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What Is Vanilla Yogurt?

H. Bliss
H. Bliss

Vanilla yogurt is a dairy product flavored with natural or artificial vanilla flavoring. Like most other yogurts, vanilla yogurt is generally made from cow's milk, but it can also be made from other types of milk, like goat's milk, sheep's milk, and buffalo milk. This type of yogurt can be lightly sweetened and flavored like vanilla, or it can be a notably sweet product that is similar to an ice cream dessert. It is normally served either refrigerated or frozen, most often in single-serving cups, squeezable pouches, or large, multi-serving plastic containers.

Yogurt is made by fermenting milk using a bacterial culture. Once the milk is fermented, other flavoring agents, like sugar and vanilla, are added to the yogurt. Vanilla yogurt is often prepared so it contains live bacteria, which are thought to improve digestion, but some yogurt is pasteurized, which kills the potentially healthy bacteria but gives the yogurt a longer shelf life. Vanilla yogurt is often eaten with toppings, normally fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or crumbles of sweet treats like cookies or breakfast cereal. Some vanilla yogurt products also contain milk or cream, which softens the texture of the yogurt.

A bowl of vanilla yogurt.
A bowl of vanilla yogurt.

Vanilla yogurt can be flavored with real vanilla, or with synthetic vanilla flavoring. Real vanilla comes from the vanilla bean, which is a seed pod that grows on a type of orchid. Vanilla usually goes into yogurt in the form of vanilla extract. Yogurts that use the actual vanilla bean for flavoring are usually peppered with telltale flecks that indicate the presence of vanilla bean material in the yogurt. Synthetic vanilla flavoring is called vanillin, and it is usually extracted from the tar that comes from certain types of wood.

Man making vanilla yogurt.
Man making vanilla yogurt.

Many varieties of yogurt products are flavored with vanilla. Vanilla-flavored yogurt powder can also be used to make a sweet coating for snacks like dried fruit and nuts. Candy coating with powdered yogurt turns out similar to an ordinary candied shell, but the yogurt coating is usually softer and thicker than candy coating. The most common types of vanilla coated snacks are almonds, but peanuts, cherries, and raisins are also common vanilla yogurt-coated snacks.

Frozen vanilla yogurt.
Frozen vanilla yogurt.

Some people freeze their vanilla yogurt before they eat it. In retail establishments, it is usually a sweet dessert that resembles soft serve ice cream. Most frozen yogurts are not simply frozen yogurt, but a blend of yogurt with an ice cream base that sweetens the frozen treat and makes it creamier.

Discussion Comments


@candyquilt-- When I eat vanilla yogurt as dessert, I usually add some granola to it. That by itself turns it into a sweet treat.

Another great way to make dessert with it is to use it in place of custard and combine it with cake, cookies, fresh fruit and whipped cream. You can layer these ingredients in a cup which will also make it look very good.

Just the other day, I bought some strawberry short cake. You know, those pre-made cakes that they sell at the grocery store, usually by the fresh strawberries along with strawberry glaze? I took those, added some vanilla yogurt and topped them with chopped fresh strawberries, blueberries and a little bit of whipped cream. You can also add strawberry glaze if you want. The result is a lighter version of strawberry shortcake and it's ready in minutes.


@fify-- Can you give me some dessert ideas using vanilla yogurt? I love vanilla yogurt too but I'm not sure how it can work as dessert.


I love vanilla yogurt. I buy it in large containers and finish it up in no time. I'm actually not experimental at all when it comes to yogurt flavors. I don't like plain yogurt but I don't want to many flavors in my yogurt either. Vanilla yogurt with a touch of vanilla and a hint of sweetness is perfect for me. I sometimes have it as breakfast, as a snack or as a dessert. The great part is that I never feel guilty because it's so healthy. There are not many foods that taste good and that we can indulge in without guilt. This is one of them, especially if the vanilla yogurt is non-fat and sugar free.

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    • A bowl of vanilla yogurt.
      A bowl of vanilla yogurt.
    • Man making vanilla yogurt.
      By: areafoto
      Man making vanilla yogurt.
    • Frozen vanilla yogurt.
      By: sonnenklang
      Frozen vanilla yogurt.
    • Real vanilla comes from a vanilla seed pod that grows on an orchid.
      By: rimglow
      Real vanilla comes from a vanilla seed pod that grows on an orchid.
    • Creamy vanilla yogurt blended with strawberries and blueberries.
      By: Brent Hofacker
      Creamy vanilla yogurt blended with strawberries and blueberries.