In case you somehow haven’t noticed, our nation seems to be melting in on itself. Last week we offered up original smoothie recipes to help you keep cool without busting your diet. This week we’re turning to fro-yo, our fair city’s favorite treat a few years back. Many varieties of frozen yogurt offer beneficial probiotics, much-needed dairy, and a touch of tart sweetness—all for 120 calories or less. Plus with the endless toppings and fancy flavors offered at spots like Pinkberry, TangySweet, and Washington’s indie fro-yo eateries, there’s something to suit every taste.
We asked a few of our go-to dietitians about their favorite ways to enjoy this creamy dessert. Stay cool, friends.
Avoid Syrupy Fruit Toppings
“I’m a bit of an ice cream/fro-yo addict. I love getting desserty-sounding fro-yo flavors like cookies and cream or birthday cake and topping it with fresh fruit—and I make sure it’s not fruit that’s swimming in syrup. That way, I get the essence of something indulgent but the nutritious aspects of the fruit.”
—Elana Natker, MS, RD
“Frozen yogurt can be a healthier fun treat, but you’ve got to be careful with the toppings. Loading your yogurt with candy, sugary cereals, and gummies will add lots of extra calories and sugar. I personally don’t put on any toppings. My kids get to pick one fresh fruit topping and one other topping—typically a few sprinkles, shredded coconut, or graham cracker crumbs.”
—Alison Sonak, RD
Don’t Make It a Meal
“You’ve found my Achilles’ heel in terms of frozen treats—I love frozen yogurt. But here is where I’m going to sound really boring: I very often will go without any toppings because they sometimes seem like an interruption to the yogurt flavor. I have, however, been known to add raspberries, strawberries, raw coconut, or nuts. I really try to avoid the crunched-up cookies, candy bars, and fudge toppings because they can easily make a light, delicious dessert the caloric equivalent of a full meal.”
—Colleen Gerg, MA, RD
Sweeten With Honey
“I do love nonfat plain Greek yogurt at home with orange zest, vanilla extract, and a drizzle of honey. I recently heard Pinkberry is now offering plain Greek yogurt as an alternative to its frozen yogurt, and I would definitely opt for that choice because it has far more protein than regular yogurt so it will keep you fuller longer. Any fresh fruit topping would be ideal.”
—Katrina Seidman, MS, RD, LDN, NASM-CPT