It can be hard to track the antioxidants, probiotics, macronutrients and other goodies in your diet to make sure you’re getting enough. Fortunately, a yogurt bowl in the morning can start off your day with a strong nutritional boost.
Yogurt has been a morning staple of mine for a long time, and I’ve tried countless combinations of toppings and add-ins, from the simple-but-classic yogurt and honey to complex, unexpected bowls involving chard and other greens. My daily yogurt changes with the season, the mood and the contents of my pantry, but lately I’ve found myself coming back to the same combination.
The yogurt bowl I’m going to share with you today is more of a yogurt-coated fruit salad, which means that I can pack in the toppings without ending up with too much food in my bowl. If you prefer more yogurt, add it in and decrease the amount of fruit.
The most important decision that you can make while trying this recipe is your yogurt selection. Greek yogurt is perfect for me because it’s more tangy than sweet, which interacts with the sweetness of the fruit to bring the dish to a perfect, complex flavor. Greek yogurt is also higher in protein, so choosing Greek over regular yogurt will make the bowl a more nutritious and filling meal.
Still not sold? Worried that the yogurt will still be too sour? My partner loves Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt, which is much more tart than any other variety I’ve tried--in fact, it’s so tart that I can’t eat it even with bananas, nut butter and other add-ins! The apple in this recipe is here specifically because I was desperately searching for something to beat TJ’s tartness, and to my surprise, the sweetness of Honeycrisp apples perfectly offset the sour yogurt. If you’re on the fence about Greek yogurt, I recommend you try it with apple before completely writing it off!
Nuts + Nut Butter
The first time I used nut butter in my yogurt was a happy accident: I poured myself a bowl of yogurt before discovering that I had no fruit, chia or other toppings. Curious and in need of something to mix with my yogurt, I tried a dollop of peanut butter, and I’ve never gone back. The nut butters and nuts add a texture and saltiness that I wouldn’t do without, and it’s an extra dose of healthy fats, protein and vitamins like E and B6.
For this recipe I use my home-roasted almonds, which have much less salt and oil than store-bought varieties, contain no toxic additives and are absolutely irresistible.
I prefer store-ground peanut or almond butter over jarred varieties because the texture adds a little bit of meat to the yogurt’s creaminess. If I can’t get organic, freshly ground butter then I use crunchy, organic nut butter with two ingredients: nuts and salt!
I usually use whichever fruits I have on hand, but these are my three favorites--and, as noted above, the apples are sometimes a must! Choose organic for maximum nutritional value.
However, the true secret ingredient in this recipe is chia. By starting your day with a few teaspoons of chia seeds, you’re setting yourself up for success: packed with fiber, protein, omega-3’s and magnesium, among many other important nutrients, you can consider your spoonful of these little seeds as a bit of a multivitamin! Extra bonus: A chia seed stuck in your tooth is a great reminder to brush those teeth, so they’re good for dental health too!
Like I said, this recipe is constantly evolving and adapting, so if you try it, modify it, or make an exciting new yogurt discovery, let me know in the comments!