Thursday, September 25, 2008

Homemade Yogurt and Sugar-free Rambling

Last night I made a batch of homemade yogurt.

Why do I bother when you can get yogurt in Korea? Well, I'm an insulin dependent diabetic and what you can't get in Korea is sugar-free yogurt. You can get plain unsweetened yogurt, but the types of yogurt I miss are the fruit flavored yogurts with a sugar substitute.

Forget getting anything like that here in a land where my favorite new sugar free lemon-lime soft drink, the Kin Cider Zero, just simply disappeared off the shelf of my regular grocery store. Maybe it will be back in stock one day, but usually what happens is I fall in love with a product but the Korean population doesn't, so buh bye. Honestly, you'd think with the obsession on being rail thin that sugar-free products would be hard to keep on the shelves. It truly beats me why no companies have sought to tap into the thin paranoia that exists here.

Anyway, the reality is my homemade yogurt is probably much healthier for me than a mass produced brand. So with my stash of XyloSweet, xylitol, that I bought while I was at home, some kiwi that I bought, cut up and froze before I left for L.A., milk and plain yogurt (as a starter), I woke up to a few cups of fresh yogurt and that makes me happy.

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  1. My mom who is in Seoul is diabetic with a dangerously high sugar level. I will be visting her next week and so would be great to get recommendations on where to get sugar substitutes, plain unsweetened yogurt, brown rice or whole grain pasta or bread. Many thanks in advance.

  2. You didn't leave an email, so I'll answer you here. Actually, that way, it can help someone else.

    Honestly, the South Korean food market doesn't have a lot for people with special dietary needs. There is either Coke Light or Coke Zero because the sugarfree Kin Cider is no longer being sold. They do have some not-so-good artificial sweeteners you can use for tea or cofffe that you can find in the big stores like E-Mart or Lotte Mart (you'd just go to the dry goods section where they have sugar and you'll usually see the sweeteners.) Honestly, I import the sugar free things I use. I drink Crystal Light and I just order a boatload of it and have it shipped to me. The xylitol I blogged about I bought in Santa Monica when I was home in September.

    If you have access to the stores on base, of course, there is a better selection of sugar free products because it's for Americans. To that end there are a few black market stores around that have things like Splenda or Equal, but, like I said, I just order that stuff from home.

    I use the Denmark brand plain sugar free yogurt to make my own, so eating that with maybe just fresh fruit is a good option over the sweetened yogurts. In South Korea, honestly, everything from yogurts to drinks don't have sugar free or artificially sweetened options. There just isn't a demand for it in this market.

  3. Thanks for the info. Sounds like low-sugar living in Seoul will be difficult! I'm moving in a few weeks and am tinkering with yogurt-making in preparation.

    Question: Do you know if good unsweetened cocoa powder is readily available? I don't know how long I'll last without my yogurt/chocolate concoction...

    P.S. If you want me to bring anything, like stevia, yogourmet, etc, let me know. I'm making orders and would be happy to coordinate something.

  4. I've not lived in Korea for over a year, so thanks but I don't need anything. Also, I had my supply sources already sussed out by the time I was blogging.

    Unfortunately, I don't know about cocoa powder's availability. It's best to contact the English-speaking food bloggers like ZenKimchi, FatManSeoul or SeoulEats. I know them all personally and they'll have much more of a clue about what you can get there now.

    Good luck.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.