I have trouble making decisions, about everything. Whether it was choosing my major or which carton of eggs (because they’re all so different right?). Sometimes, there are just too many options to choose from. I’m not complaining! I’d rather have variety than be limited, but choosing the right… anything? can be difficult.
If you shop at a grocery store, you’ve probably seen the wall or isle of yogurt options. Fruit in the bottom, fat-free, sugar-free, candy add ins, all types of Greek yogurt, and so it goes.
I probably haven’t even covered half the choices. With all of these brands, types, and “healthy” claims, I used to be lost and confused on what I should buy and what was actually good for me. Once I started checking the labels though, I noticed something rather alarming. Some of these single-serving containers of yogurt had a sugar content comparable to ice cream. I wasn’t the only one who noticed though. A recent study written about by NPR found that…
“The median sugar content for organic yogurts was 13.1 grams per 100 gram serving, and some brands had almost 17 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.”
This was in 2018 in the UK. Can you imagine what the figures may be in the United States? They estimated that the figures were likely pretty equal but my bet is that it’s even worse here in the good old U.S of A.
I love what Michael Pollan said about labels with health claims in his book and documentary In Defense of Food.
“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.”
I live by this advice. When I grocery shop, I buy food without labels or with little to say if it has a label. I recommend following this advice with all of your food shopping, but let’s stay on yogurt.
Buy plain and simple.
Every time I shop for food, I buy a large container of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. There are no health claims on the container. Usually, it’s on the bottom shelf where no one is looking. That’s how I like my food; not screaming at me like some new invention I need to pump into my body. Plain Greek yogurt sounds bland if you aren’t used to flavoring things on your own, but that’s what I’m here for! You can eat healthy and enjoy it too.
Okay, so first, buy the plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt. Just make sure it’s plain).
Decide how you want to eat it. Do you want to have yogurt for breakfast? Is it a snack? How about savory options? I have a few recipes for each.
Take some yogurt and add honey + cinnamon + fresh fruit. Don’t add the fruit till you’re happy with the sweetness. I don’t want to tell you how much to add because I’m weird and sweetness isn’t a priority. Only add around 1/8 tsp cinnamon for each 1/3 cup yogurt. You can make this a day or two ahead.
- Greek yogurt with maple syrup + toasted walnuts + ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract per 1/3 cup yogurt.
I love this on an autumn morning. The maple syrup may make it a bit thinner if you use a larger amount. I recommend having this with an apple or waffles, but don’t add the syrup to the waffles! You’ve already got it.
- Yogurt + vanilla extract + almond extract + toasted almonds + fresh blueberries
Both extracts ¼ teaspoon per 1/3 cup yogurt
- Add your favorite cereal (low in sugar I hope) to yogurt for a longer lasting full feeling
I usually just add a spoonful of each ingredient (besides extracts and spices) for a few spoonfuls of yogurt
- Yogurt + natural peanut butter + jam
- Add more jam than peanut butter.
- Yogurt + natural peanut butter + honey + cinnamon + Nutella OR chocolate chips (unless you’re a rebel)
- Yogurt + Nutella + peanut butter chips (this is enough sugar, I promise)
- Yogurt + lemon juice + honey
- Yogurt + jam + chocolate chips or toasted, crushed nuts
- Any type of jam will do, but I love blueberry
- Yogurt + pumpkin puree + cinnamon + toasted walnuts
- Yogurt + orange juice + orange zest + vanilla extract
- Yogurt + broiled strawberries + brown sugar
- Dips for chips and veggies
– Yogurt + toasted sunflower seeds + lemon juice + thyme
– Yogurt + chopped green onion + minced garlic or garlic powder + salt + olive oil
- Sandwich or pita spread
– yogurt + fresh dill + lemon juice + salt + little bit of garlic
- Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream, which is less calories if you’re into that. I just like the way it tastes.