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Who Says Snacking Can't Be Healthy?

When you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, without throwing your diet out the window, head to Fruity Yogurt in Hillsborough.

It's almost a dream come true: a cold, sweetly satisfying treat with less than 100 calories.

Forget about ice cream, try the freshly-mixed frozen yogurt at  on Route 206 in Hillsborough [they do have soft-serve ice cream if you can't].

The brightly-lit store features eight varieties daily, mixed on premises and offered self-serve style. Today, you can pick your cup, then serve up a helping of No Sugar Vanilla, or strawberry, honeydew, peanut butter, cookies and cream, plain tart or taro [a "root vegetable" from Malaysia that is high in fiber]; add your choice of several dozen toppings ranging from fruit to cookies [not crumbles, or chips, but actual whole Oreos]...and voila! A treat made for the moment.

Owner Jenny Chen said the store's secret lies in the yogurt flavors.

"Some places will use flavorings, but we use real fruit juice," she said.

That's why the strawberry tastes like strawberries, and the honeydew—honeydew!—tastes like the fruit.

I enjoyed a straight-up serving of strawberry and found it very flavorful, with a nice, creamy consistency. It wasn't "brain-freeze inducing" cold, but chilled nicely.

I passed by the toppings bar, but had to admire the variety: sure, there's diced fruit [strawberries, mangoes, kiwi, banana, mixed berries, blueberries, cherries, lychee and pineapple], as well as candied flavors [cookie or brownie dough, mint chocolate bits, the aforementioned Oreos, gummy worms]—but you'll find surprises, too.

What would a honeydew frozen yogurt topped with Goldfish crackers taste like? How about a plain vanilla yogurt with lychee and banana?

I don't have the answers, but would certainly be willing to go back and try to find out. Especially since Fruity Yogurt offers a great "bang for the buck": a "small" [16 oz.] yogurt, with toppings and tax, is under $5.

Testing all those flavors supposes I can get past the shaved ice/slushes/ice milk tea flavors, which may take some time, too.

In addition to the usual suspects, the flavor lists for these offerings include such exotic flavors as acai berry, mulberry, pomegranate, avocado, rose and papaya.

Top it with hot fudge, marshmallow cream or butterscotch...

The shop also offers Boba [the small, chewy pellets of tapioca] in ice milk tea—I tried the chocolate, which had a nice, light chocolate flavor and hint of tea...along with the chewy tapioca [Boba is not recommended for young children because of the obvious choking hazard]. It was a very different concoction—I'm chewing my drink?—but enjoyable.

Obviously, not all of the choices available are going to be, strictly speaking, healthy ones, but they will all be tasty and satisfying.

Fruity Yogurt is located at 424 Route 206 in Hillsborough. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

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