Three nearby frozen yogurt shops offer sweet selections.

photo by Courtney Droke

photo by Courtney Droke

by Michelle Ajemian
photography by Courtney Droke

The perfect meal could be described as a leafy green salad, a protein-packed entrée and a sweet dessert. Diets are all about of low-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-sodium and low-sugar. Most new diets leave no room for fun and adventure for the taste buds, which means no opportunity for dessert.

Fear not, caramel, chocolate and peanut butter lovers; there are desserts out there that will satisfy the sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. One dessert that is causing a craze all over the country is frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt is just like ice cream; most people can’t tell the difference. It is made by freezing pasteurized milk with other ingredients that vary with each yogurt establishment, allowing each store to put its own spin on the yogurt concoction.

Three frozen yogurt establishments in the La Verne area offer a variety of tastes, toppings and experiences.

O-Lime Natural Frozen Yogurt
O-Lime Natural Frozen Yogurt, located at 2105 Foothill Blvd. in La Verne, looks more like a nightclub than a frozen yogurt store. Techno music blares in the background. Pod-like chairs and comfortable cushions are available for people to sit on while enjoying their low-calorie desserts. Tables are decorated with fruits and flowers, and the walls are adorned with four large red rectangles that feel like they’re from an Ikea store. It is no surprise to learn that O-Lime received the 2007 La Verne Community Design Award for Excellence in Interior Design.

O-Lime’s simple flavor choices include an original flavor and a berry flavor that switches between acai berry and pomegranate, depending on which is in season. Natural frozen yogurt is O-Lime’s specialty, and the flavor can be described as bittersweet and tart. It actually tastes like you are eating something really nutritious. Frozen yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, and contains live and active cultures proven to boost the immune system and lower cholesterol. O-Lime is as good as it claims because it contains only 25 calories per ounce of yogurt.

Topping choices range from fresh fruit like blueberries, mangos, strawberries, pineapples and kiwis to unique toppings like Cap’n Crunch cereal and mochi, as well as staple toppings like Oreos and white chocolate chips.

O-Lime yogurt is reasonably priced. A small size, at five ounces, with three toppings, costs a mere $2.95. If a small does not do the job for you, O-Lime’s large size, containing 15 ounces, with three toppings, costs only $8.

O-Lime is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt
A decal on the glass door of Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt in Glendora reads “Celebrating 25 years of great taste, 1983-2005.” Golden Spoon, located at 1365 E. Gladstone St., promises great taste, and it lives up to this promise by offering a variety of flavors and toppings.

Preparing a large frozen yogurt for a customer, University of La Verne student Ashly Gillis adds raspberries and blackberries to the low-calorie snack. O-lime is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. / photo by Courtney Droke

Preparing a large frozen yogurt for a customer, University of La Verne student Ashly Gillis adds raspberries and blackberries to the low-calorie snack. O-lime is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. / photo by Courtney Droke

Golden Spoon’s color scheme of black, red and white is immediately apparent. Everything in the store is adorned in these colors, from the tables and chairs to the floor and the counter. Ironically, some of the only items that are golden are a prominent Golden Spoon sign that embellishes the wall, and the spoons people use to consume their frozen yogurt. Overall, the décor is fun and upbeat, with contemporary music playing in the background. Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt’s interior design is reminiscent of an old ice cream parlor, but with a modern twist.

With 12 flavor choices at Golden Spoon, there is a different taste for everyone. The staple flavors are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and peanut butter. The other eight flavors switch out month-to-month and week-to-week, depending on the schedule and flavor in season. Examples of the more unique flavors are cookies and cream, espresso and fresh peach. All of the flavors are non-fat and have only 17 calories per ounce. Yogurt sizes are mini, small, medium, large, pint and quart. However, if toppings are involved, then the calorie count is going to rise.

The toppings offered at Golden Spoon are as diverse as the flavor choices. Golden Spoon has healthy choices like almonds, peanuts and walnuts, plus fresh fruit options including blackberries, mixed berries, pineapples and strawberries. Golden Spoon is unique because it offers non-fat toppings like caramel, fudge and granola that taste just as good as the regular ones. Of course, Golden Spoon also offers toppings needed for the perfect sundae, like brownies, cookie dough, M&M’s and sprinkles. The topping that causes a laugh among many of the patrons is “floor sweep,” which basically contains a mixture of toppings as if they were swept off the floor.

Golden Spoon offers a variety of sizes from a mini, starting at $2 to a quart at $6. Toppings come in small and large sizes with a small topping costing 55 cents and a large topping costing 99 cents. Golden Spoon is open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

21 Choices
Greeting customers with a friendly smile and a wave, 21 Choices employees ask if there are any flavors that customers would like to try. A piece of advice would be to visit the store, which is nestled among the hills of Claremont at 817 West Foothill Blvd., to get the true sense of the 21 Choices experience.

Upon entering 21 Choices, it is sensory overload, with a backdrop representing California amid blueberries, cherries and strawberry toppings on display. Eight televisions play cartoons for the customers to enjoy, while oldies music plays in the background.

The staple flavors are French vanilla (99 percent fat free) and Dutch chocolate. Other than that, the flavor choices are presented at random.

Their name, 21 Choices, is a bit misleading since more than 40 choices of toppings are available. Fruit is a popular option, with fresh fruit such as blueberries, mangos and kiwis offered daily. There are the not-so-ordinary toppings such as brownie dough, cream cheese, gummy worms, marshmallows and peanut butter. Unlike other frozen yogurt stores, 21 Choices offers the toppings mixed in with the frozen yogurt like Coldstone Creamery, or sprinkled on top.

Besides serving great desserts, 21 Choices also wants to do its part to help the environment by offering 100 percent biodegradable cups to customers. Their biodegradable cups range in size from a tres small, costing $2.50, to a quart, costing $8.50. For any size, toppings are 95 cents extra.

If enjoying the experience as much the yogurt is something ranking high on your list, then 21 Choices is the perfect frozen yogurt store. But beware, there might be a long line ahead of you.