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Wake Up to the Goodness of Yogurt

posted Jan 27, 2015, 2:08 PM by   [ updated Feb 2, 2015, 7:24 AM ]
When you head over to the dairy section of the grocery store, you're probably overwhelmed by the vast choices that are available to you--especially in the yogurt department.  There are various brands, processing methods, fat contents and flavors to choose from.  The most versatile option is to choose non-fat, plain, Greek-style yogurt.  

Why, you ask? 

1. It's thick and creamy texture mimics higher fat yogurts.
2. It is higher in protein than regular yogurt. 
3. Plain yogurt doesn't have any added sugars, colors or flavors.

Since this month's theme is breakfast, we'll focus on how yogurt can easily be incorporated into your morning routine.

Yogurt parfaits are simple and can be made ahead of time for the entire week. All you need is a small storage container or jar, plain yogurt and toppings of your choosing.

Try layering ~3/4 cup frozen berries, ~3/4 cup plain yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon in small food storage container.  Let sit overnight.  As the berries thaw, your yogurt will be flavored naturally with the delicious berries.  By adding real fruit, you are decreasing added sugar and artificial colors/flavors that are normally found in fruit-flavored yogurts and you are increasing fiber and antioxidants.  

In the morning, just give it all a nice stir and top with ~1/4 cup granola or chopped nuts.  

A second favorite method is with whole oats.  This is another method of the popular "overnight oats" that you may have seen recipes for. 

Start by layering ~3/4 cup plain yogurt in a small jar or storage container.  Then, top with ~1/3 cup old fashioned oats (raw!), and toppings of your choice!  Pictured here are: cinnamon, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and dark chocolate chips.  Set in the refrigerator overnight (this allows the uncooked oats to soften) and grab it on your way out the door.

Now, you're all set for a naturally sweetened, protein and fiber packed breakfast that is sure to keep you full and focused all morning long.

Buying yogurt in bulk and packing your own is more cost effective for you and creates less waste for environment.  Because plain yogurt isn't sweet on it's own, it can also be used throughout the day as a more wholesome alternative to sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise and as a butter or oil replacement when baking.