In the mood to grab a drink? This is a dwindling question amongst my girlfriends these days. At this stage in my life, many of my friends are or are trying to have children, and avoid our past frequented watering holes. I guess it works out for everyone, I get to introduce them to my new favorite eatery in the loop, fro yo, my new go-to dessert spot. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is close to my home. Fro Yo opened its doors about 6 months ago. I vividly remember the day I noticed the “frozen yogurt, coming soon” sign in the door. Everyday for 2 months, I drove by to see if they had opened yet. In Tennessee, where I am from, the well-known frozen yogurt store was The Country’s Best Yogurt (TCBY) and the “shiver” was my common (and frequently often) order. When I moved to St. Louis, I searched and searched for my beloved TCBY and finally found it in the East Terminal airport at Lambert. Not the most ideal spot for a quick sweet tooth fix. I soon realized that custard was the queen of frozen dessert in St. Louis. Delicious, no doubt. But if I ate custard as much as I ate TCBY, my parents would not have recognized me when I returned home. Enter the answer: fro yo. Fro Yo trumps TCBY for several reasons. First of all, it is self-serve, and I can tailor my portion to my hunger, mood, etc. Second, there are at least 8 different yogurt flavors to choose. Can’t make up your mind? Try them all! You can select from yogurts which truly are “yogurt-like” and tart (which I never choose) or fill your fro-yo cup with creamy, sweet flavors, like my favorite: white chococolate macademia nut. Now, the part that really “tops” TCBY. Fruits, candies, nuts, cheesecake, brownies, whipped cream, the list goes on. The toppings are also self serve and you can select from common fruits like kiwi, strawberries and bananas or go for the more exotic fruit like the “lychee” berry. Once again, I go straight for the chocolate and bypass anything I could put on my morning cereal. Time to check out your damage. There are two sizes of fro-yo cups, and my dietitian eye would guess the small cup holds 4 cups of delicious-ness. Similar to stepping on the scale at home, you must weigh your creation and pay the price. So far, the cashier hasn’t gasped at my ice cream weight, so I must be somewhere within the patron norm. The calories in fro yo yogurt are ~110 calories per half cup. Unfortunately, there are no standards in labeling for yogurt like there are for ice cream which are the requirements mandated by the Food and Drug Administration for ice cream. But as a comparison, here are some ice cream nutrition facts. Real ice cream must contain 10% butter fat (7 grams of fat) per 1/2 cup. Some “premium” ice cream contain 16%. Ice cream must state on the label whether it was naturally or artifically flavored. “Reduced-fat” ice cream means it contains 25% less fat than the original product. “Low-fat” ice cream must have 3 grams of fat or less per 1/2 cup. “Light” ice cream must contain 50% less fat than the orginial product. “Fat-free” ice cream must contain less than 0.5 grams per 1/2 cup. I also did a little research on ice cream that might give you an ice cream headache… Dairy Queen’s Banana Cream Pie Blizzard (large) = 1,100 calories Baskin Robbin’s Premium Oreo Sundae = 1,330 calories Cold Stone Creamery Milk & Cookie Shake = 1,660 calories Yikes. Land of frozen yogurt, thank you for coming not only to St. Louis, but close to my home, in the loop.
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.