The Taste Test: Greek Yoghurt

I’m on a bit of a dairy kick with these taste test posts, it would seem. Last week, feta. This week, Greek yoghurt. We consume a ridiculous amount of Greek yoghurt around these parts, considering that we’re only a two person (and one cat) household. I use it in breakfast dishes, in smoothies, to make dressings, as a marinade, as a quick snack… Greek yoghurt is incredibly versatile, tasty, and even good for you, apparently. Full of protein.

There’s a significant difference between Greek yoghurt and plain, or natural, yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is creamier and thicker (and higher in fat) than plain yoghurt. I’m not going to get into the whole argument of whether or not some fats are good for you here (I don’t have the answers, I’m not a nutritionist, and it’s been talked to death). Personally, though, I don’t buy anything ‘low fat’. Usually low fat products just contain more sugar and/or water than their full fat cousins, and don’t taste as good.

The distinctive texture of Greek yoghurt comes from having had the whey strained off it, to create a thick, creamy product. Do not confuse Greek yoghurt with Greek style yoghurt. Generally, Greek yoghurt has undergone this straining process, while Greek style yoghurt hasn’t. The latter often contains thickeners and preservatives, and will have a more watery texture. And won’t be as tasty.

As before, I feel I need a rambling disclaimer: obviously, I am doing this in my kitchen and not in a lab and I am not a scientist. These are the opinions of one person – that said, one person who has been trained to taste for quality. Also, the products used in this series are just examples – obviously each supermarket has, say, eight or nine different types of yoghurt or whatever the product may be, and I’m not going to try every single one because what am I, made of money?

Finally, I should highlight that I tasted all the products blind, and at the time of tasting and making my notes I didn’t know which product came from which shop. I sat in one room while my glamorous assistant (er, my husband), prepared the samples in another. Any notes added regarding packaging and so on were only done after blind tasting, when I learned which supermarket had made A, B, C, D, or E.

The Blind Taste Test: Greek Yoghurt


Greek Yoghurt
per 100g
Brooklea – Aldi

A – Waitrose –  6/10

  • One of the thickest yoghurts – held a defined shape on the spoon. Quite smooth – a creamy texture but, oddly, didn’t actually taste particularly creamy. A fairly sharp and acidic taste – almost drying in the mouth.

B – Tesco – 7/10

  • Much softer than A – moved around the spoon a lot more, but still quite thick. A lighter, softer texture. Very smooth to taste, and not too acidic. Well balanced.

C – Total – 7/10

  • Doesn’t look as smooth on the spoon as some of the other samples, and a bit of liquid separation from the solid of the yoghurt that you didn’t see on all products. Means what’s left was very thick. Creamy, medium acidity. Good but not amazing.

D – Sainsbury’s – 8/10

  • Another firm yoghurt, holding its shape. A good smooth texture. Fairly acidic taste, but nicely creamy too. Well balanced.

E – Aldi – Brooklea – 7/10

  • Holding shape, not separating on the spoon. Creamy, smooth texture. Very thick.


The main thing to note is that none of these were bad, and I’d eat them all again. Looking at this, unless I just got lucky, anything labelled Greek yoghurt has to be of a certain standard, and so all the products I tried were pretty tasty.

It’s interesting to note that, gram for gram, there are far fewer calories in the Total yoghurt than in all the other samples. Total was the most expensive, and tasted fine, but wasn’t the most delicious. That said, if you’re watching your calorie intake then it’s obviously the way to go. The other products are all so similar in calories, and Total is the only option significantly lower on the scale, so there must be some variation in their production methods.

My favourite was the Sainsbury’s own brand, which was towards the more expensive end of things, but would be lovely for something where you’re actually going to taste the yoghurt – with a dessert, say, or plain with berries or granola. However, if you’re using the yoghurt for a dressing or marinade or something, any of these would be fine, so you may as well go for the one that’s cheapest or most easily available to you.

Next week, chocolate hazelnut spread. Yes, I mean Nutella. Yes, it is a happy time.

*Prices correct at time of writing.


Courgette and Feta Fritters

These courgette and feta fritters do a pretty good job of exemplifying my attitude towards health food. That is, you can take something perfectly healthy and fresh and lovely, like a courgette, and that’s fine. But then you can mix it with eggs and cheese and fry it. Yes, you’ve kind of marred its health credentials. But hey, you’ve got a super tasty snack.


This is the second in my series of recipe collaborations. Last time, I was working with Wild Honey. This time, it’s 2 North Parade. They’re a fantastic independent produce shop here in Oxford, who work with local suppliers and really focus on high quality, fresh, seasonal food. When I visited the shop to pick up some bits and pieces to work on this recipe collaboration, I was absolutely spoilt for choice.

For these courgette and feta fritters, I’ve used 2 North Parade’s beautiful courgettes, along with the feta they sell from Blackwood’s Cheese Company (seriously the best feta I have ever tasted), and the yoghurt they stock from North Aston Dairy. When I was there, though, I also picked up some beautiful sweetcorn, along with a delicious jar of local honey. The staff are really friendly and very happy to chat with you about all the produce they stock. Well worth a visit, particularly if you are looking for something special.



You can fritter all sorts of vegetables! Sweetcorn? Definitely. Cauliflower? Why not! Broccoli? The choice is yours. Make your own adventure. If anything, courgettes are the slightly (ever so slightly) trickier option, because you have to wring the excess liquid out of them.

This recipe should make around 10 fritters, depending on how large you make them.


500-600g courgette (you don’t need to be too exact, but it’s about 2 large courgettes or 3 medium ones)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
150g feta cheese, crumbled
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
100g wholemeal flour (plain works fine too, but I like the taste of the wholemeal here)
½ tsp baking powder
a generous pinch of chilli flakes
olive oil, for frying
150g plain natural or Greek yoghurt
a handful of fresh dill, finely chopped


  1. Put your oven on a low heat – around 100C/ gas 1. First, top and tail your courgettes, and then grate them roughly. Toss the grated courgette with a good pinch of sea salt, then pop it all in a sieve above a bowl to drain for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, crush your garlic, finely chop your onion, and pop them both in a large bowl. Add your eggs, feta cheese, lemon zest, and a good pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Once your courgettes have had around ten minutes of draining time, get a bit more water out of them by either pressing them firmly against the sieve or popping them in a clean tea-towel and wringing them out. Put your drained courgettes into the bowl with the other ingredients, then add your flour, baking powder, and chilli flakes. Give it all a quick mix until combined.
  3. Pop your biggest frying pan on a medium-high heat, and pour in a generous glug of olive oil, to just coat the base. Shape the courgette mix into fritters in your hands. When the oil is hot, put your fritters in (in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan) and fry for 3-4 minutes a side until golden. When they’re cooked, remove from the pan and pop in the low oven to keep warm while you fry the rest.
  4. Finish by mixing your yoghurt with your lemon juice, dill, and seasoning to taste, and serve the courgette and feta fritters warm with the yoghurt.

Blackberry and Pistachio Frozen Yoghurt

I know, I know, I used blackberry and pistachio together in a recipe last month. And I also put pistachios in pretty much absolutely everything. I’ve mentioned before that I go through food obsessions and phases, and poor James has to put up with eating the same things over and over until I get bored and move onto something else. Basically, purple and green is just where it’s at with me right now, I’m afraid, so that’s what you get. Frozen yoghurt.

I never picked fruit as a child, living mainly in London and lacking that sort of bucolic rural upbringing, and so it never really occurred to me to do so as an adult until recently. A couple of summers ago, I was walking the dog of a dear friend who was temporarily immobile, post-surgery, and stumbled across the most incredible treasure-trove of untouched, heavy-ripe blackberries, just across the river from where our boat is moored.

It was part of our neighbouring nature reserve, and the plants had grown so high and wild that they’d formed winding paths through the field down to the river, each lined with dripping, plump fruit. We’re not in blackberry season yet – although it’s been so warm that perhaps it will come early this year – but when the time is right I am going to find my way back there again and gather a few tubs of berries to freeze for the colder months. Frozen yoghurt is only one of a thousand things to do with them.

Of course, you can buy perfectly lovely frozen fruit from the supermarket, but it makes me feel outdoorsy and practical to try and pick it myself occasionally. In reality, I am the least outdoorsy person you are likely to ever meet.


Anyway, we had what passes for a heat-wave in these parts last week (three full days of heat, anyone in an actual hot country is laughing at us right now), and all we really wanted to eat was ice cream. But I don’t have an ice cream maker. And I’m kind of too impatient for all that setting, stirring, setting thing you have to do with a no-churn recipe. So instead, I give you frozen yoghurt. It’s an incredibly simple recipe (as was last week’s actually – clearly I am getting lazy). It’s healthy-ish. But also nice, promise. You could legitimately have this for breakfast. I did have this for breakfast.



Obviously, you can make this with just about anything you like. I think raspberry and almond or blueberry and pecan would also be delicious, but hey, throw whatever you’ve got in the cupboards or the freezer in there and go wild. You could also stir through chocolate chips, crumbled biscuit, fudge pieces, cereal… That’s the beauty of frozen yoghurt. It’s adaptable.


300g frozen blackberries
50g pistachios
200g Greek yoghurt (I like the proper, thick, full fat stuff, but whatever you prefer will be fine)
2-4 tbsp honey (adjust to taste)


  1. Either get your blackberries out of the freezer ten minutes before you want to make this, or whack them in the microwave for 30 seconds or a minute to soften them up – some blenders (mine included) will struggle with absolutely rock hard frozen fruit. Pop your pistachios in a dry pan on a medium heat to toast for around 5 minutes – keep shaking them around now and then to make sure they don’t burn.
  2. Put your blackberries, yoghurt, and honey in a blender and blitz until smooth and thick. Taste, adjust honey if needed.
  3. Chop your pistachios roughly and serve the frozen yoghurt sprinkled with chopped nuts, and some whole blackberries if you like.