5 Clever Ways to Sweeten Greek Yogurt

A lot of people love Greek yogurt for its mouth-puckering tartness. But a lot more (maybe you?) avoid it altogether for that same reason. It’s easy to balance the tanginess out with a little something sweet, though. Try any of these five ideas to reap the benefits of this protein-packed and calcium-rich breakfast staple–and actually enjoy it in the process.

1. Maple Syrup + Granola

This natural sweetener was recently called out as a superfood. Scientists say it contains beneficial compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (and can even help manage type 2 diabetes). Drizzle a little onto yogurt and top with nuts or granola for a hearty breakfast.

2. Coconut Flakes + Fruit

Add freshly cut mango or pineapple to your yogurt and then sprinkle with a handful of coconut flakes for a tropical afternoon treat. It sure beats the chocolate-chip cookie you were about to reach for.

3. Pomegranates

Pomegranate seeds add just the right amount of natural sweetness and are the perfect complement to Greek yogurt’s tang. Plus, we love how they burst in your mouth when you crunch down on them.

4. Peanut Butter + Honey

Whisk 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of honey into your yogurt for a sweet-salty breakfast combo.

5. Blackstrap Molasses

Typically used in baking, blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium and has a moderate glycemic index (meaning you won’t experience the blood-sugar spikes common with more refined sugars). It does have a strong flavor, though, so a little drizzle goes a long way.

This article originally appeared on PureWow.

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Five Ways To Flavor Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt is a delicious way to boost probiotic intake. It can be a meal by itself, or it can be a topping, side, or even an ingredient. Here are five ways to enhance the creamy flavor of yogurt.

Sweeten it up!

  1. Add a spoonful of jam or fresh fruit to replicate popular commercial yogurts. Start with 1 tablespoon per cup and adjust to taste.
    • Cut up, mashed, or pureed fruit or fruit juice
    • Jam, Jelly or marmalade
    • Lemon curd
  2. Add Sugar, honey, maple syrup or any other sweetener to taste.
  3. Flavor extracts. Add 2-3 drops of extract per cup of yogurt and adjust to taste.
    • Vanilla
    • Lemon
    • Peppermint
    • Root beer
    • Coffee flavoring syrups expand the flavoring possibilities and can be used as well.

Go Savory!

  1. Herbs. Adding herbs to yogurt is an easy way to make an instant salad dressing, meat topping or vegetable dip. Combinations to try are
    • Lemon and dill (for fish)
    • Oregano and tomato (toss in a pasta salad)
    • Basil and parmesan (serve with fresh or roasted summer vegetables)
    • Salt and pepper (use plain or with cucumbers)
    • Herbs de Provence (brighten up leftovers)
    • Thyme and sage (perfect accompaniment to roast chicken)
  2. Chutney, salsas, and cultured vegetables. Adding yogurt to spicy or strong cultures can tone down the heat and add a creamy base. Yogurt has been used traditionally with spicy foods to cool them off and open up the flavors.

Back to What’s Fresh Fresh entry by Go Voskos! January 4, 2011

I have a confession: I LOVE plain nonfat VOSKOS® yogurt and enjoy eating it as-is! Despite being nonfat, it is so thick and creamy, and not too tart. Every spoonful is so satisfying!

Of course, VOSKOS® nonfat is also very healthy – in fact, it’s as healthy as yogurt can get. Chock full of protein, calcium and probiotics and no added sugar. It’s certainly better than those commercial brands in the store that add obscene amounts of sugar, not to mention gelatin and flavorings, to their products.

But I know that not everyone enjoys the taste of plain, nonfat yogurt. So what to do if you don’t want the sugar-laden stuff from the store, you know that nonfat plain is the healthiest, but you still find that it’s too bland and not flavorful enough to eat as is?

Flavor it naturally! The advantage of doing that is that you start off with the cleanest of foods, then add just the amount you need to make it more flavorful. So you know exactly what gets into your body, and you are in control of how sweet the end result is.

Some of these I tried and loved. Others are suggestions from fans that were posted on our Facebook page:

1. Honey. This one is a classic. Pour a tablespoon of honey over 8oz plain nonfat VOSKOS® and mix well.

2. Jam. As simple as honey, simply add a tablespoon of jam to 8oz plain nonfat VOSKOS® and mix well.

3. Mashed fruit. I love mashing a ripe banana and adding it to my VOSKOS® plain nonfat.

4. Raisins. Raisins are fun because they add chewiness in addition to flavor.

5. Dark chocolate. Melted and swirled into the yogurt, or use a tablespoon of chocolate syrup.

6. Peanut butter. Use a hand-held whisk or a fork to whip 8oz VOSKOS® Plain Nonfat with 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Add a teaspoon of chocolate syrup for some extra indulgence!

7. Chocolate chips. Use dark chocolate chips – dark chocolate is actually good for you, in moderation.

8. Granola. A quarter cup of granola adds just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. Of course, you can always opt for YoGreek, dual-cup Greek yogurt that comes with pre-measured crunchy granola!

9. Stevia and Vanilla. To create your own vanilla yogurt and keep it low in calories, add stevia to taste and a drop of vanilla extract to your VOSKOS® Plain Nonfat.

10. Apple butter. Mix one tablespoon apple butter into your VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt for a fruity, creamy, wonderful treat.

  1. Turn whole-milk Greek yogurt into a sweet and refreshing fruit granita.

  2. Make a crumble for coconutty goodness in every bite.

  3. Switch up your yogurt rotation with non-dairy, coconut probiotic yogurt.

  4. Try any of these topping combinations:

Granola + Maple Syrup

The ultimate classic: Tangy, creamy yogurt, crunchy granola, and sweet maple. Perfection in a bowl.

Preserved Lemon + Dill

A jar of preserved lemon will keep well in the fridge. Finely chop a tablespoon of that, along with a teaspoon of dill, and swirl in.

Rhubarb + Dates + Orange Zest

Roasting a big batch of rhubarb with heady spices and sweet honey will provide you with a week’s worth of add-ins.

Sautéed Garlic + Sumac + EVOO

Sumac’s astringent, tangy flavor is rounded out with garlic. A drizzle of olive oil lends richness.

Maple Syrup + Walnuts

Better yet, make a large batch of wet walnuts that are infused with flavor from the inside-out.

Chia Seed + Pomegranate + Pistachio

Pomegranate seeds and juice add tartness, and pistachio gives chia pudding extra crunch.

Sautéed Mushrooms + Cooked Wheat Berries + Walnut Oil

This is also an excellent lunch or dinner yogurt.

Harissa + Sautéed Onions + Garlic

Slice the garlic thinly and add it to the pan once the onions are almost done, so they don’t burn.

Pineapple + Crushed Pink Peppercorns

Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the peppercorns—you don’t want to crunch down on a whole one.

Cacao Nibs + Agave + Chia

Who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast? Cacao nibs are unsweetened, so use agave, honey, or maple along with them.

Sautéed Spinach + Nutmeg + Kosher Salt

Let yogurt stand in for heavy cream in this breakfast-friendly version of creamed spinach.

Pomegranate Molasses + Tahini + Almonds

Tangy, sour, sweet, and creamy. Feel free to sub date syrup with lemon zest for a similar flavor to pomegranate molasses.

Grated Raw Beet + Toasted Caraway Seed

As a bonus, the beet will turn your yogurt pink.

Orange Flower Water + Pine Nuts + Figs

Buttery pine nuts are a perfect match for sweet figs and perfumey orange flower water. Use chopped dried figs if fresh aren’t available.

Roasted Butternut Squash + Curry Powder + EVOO

Season the squash with curry powder before roasting to infuse it with flavor. An extra drizzle of olive oil for the finish won’t hurt.

Chopped Apple + Cinnamon + Brown Sugar

Season the apple with the cinnamon-sugar mixture a few minute before mixing it in, and the flavors will really shine.

Sliced Radishes + Sea Salt + Black Pepper

French breakfast radishes are mild, while Black Spanish radishes are ultra-spicy. Find your ideal radish here.

Sunflower Seeds, Chocolate Chips, and Raisins

A throwback to your favorite trail mix

53 Simple Ways to Make Greek Yogurt Taste Better

1. Make your yogurt tastier, crunchier, and energizing with some cacao nibs.

Cacao nibs are likely better for you than dark chocolate since they’re less processed and contain less sugar. They also contain a small amount of caffeine so your yogurt can provide a kick, too. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate makes yogurt taste good, too.

2. Add a sweetener like maple syrup or honey.

Maple syrup takes less than 30 seconds to mix into your yogurt and instantly makes yogurt taste better.

By adding the sweetener yourself, you also get to control the health to taste ratio of the yogurt. The “healthiness” of a food can be complicated, subjective, and impossible to truly know. With that said, you can generally make food tastier and less healthy by adding sweeteners (like honey), fats (like butter or oil), or salts.
Less healthy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Less healthy broccoli” is probably better for you than regular fried chicken. Health to Taste Ratio is simply how tasty/healthy you choose to prepare a meal. This isn’t true with pre-mixed yogurt from grocery stores. Sometimes grocery-store yogurt has too much sugar or too little taste. Adding the sweetener before eating lets you decide.

A few other ways to make yogurt taste sweeter include agave, honey, Splenda, stevia, and sugar.

3. Mix in some nuts, seeds, or nut butters.

Nuts and seeds not only improve flavor and add crunch but they also make greek yogurt a more complete meal. Peanut butter is a popular option, but if you’re allergic to peanuts, you can try any tree nut or seed. Most nuts like almonds, cashews, and pecans are tree nuts. Peanuts are a huge exception. They’re actually legumes, which makes them related to beans, peas, and lentils.
This fact is important because while both foods contain a variety of nutrients, some people are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts. Here are a few different options:

  • Peanut Butter, PB2, or Peanuts
  • Seeds: Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Pine Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seed Kernels
  • Tree Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Pecans
  • Nut Butters: Almond Butter, Cashew Butter

All About: Nature’s Path Qi’a Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal

Qi’a Cereal is a convenient way to add additional nutrition and crunch to yogurt, grains, soups, and a variety of other foods.

Read our Review

4. Eat like Tom Brady and add some avocados to your yogurt.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is known for having an eccentric but effective diet. His diet is one of the reasons he still delivers peak performance at an age where most NFL players have already retired. Tom revealed his favorite recipe before launching his book, The TB12 Method.

The answer? Avocado ice cream. Avocados go great with a variety of foods including yogurt. And seeing that most people consider greek yogurt to be healthier than ice cream, you’d be eating healthier than Tom Brady.

5. Try something different with sweet and spicy yogurt.

You don’t usually see many types of spicy yogurt at the grocery store. Spicy yogurt is definitely more unconventional than maple syrup, honey, nuts, or seeds. But if you want to try something different, add some spice. Some of our favorite pairings include honey/vanilla and apple/cinnamon, but any of these spices will improve the taste of your yogurt and countless other foods.

  • Allspice
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Vanilla

6. Add some goji berries or other kinds of fruit.

Yogurt with fruit is a common staple at most grocery stores. You’ll typically find everything from Valencia orange to blueberry to pineapple. Want to try something different? Yogurt with raw, organic goji berries is a yogurt and fruit combination you won’t see at most grocery stores.

Health Benefits of Goji Berries

Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They’re low in calories, fat-free, a good source of fiber, and are high in antioxidants and nutrients.

Or you can always go with classic yogurt and fruit flavors. Here are a few of the most popular fruits to add to yogurt:

  • Berries: Blackberries, Blueberries, Pomegranates, Raspberries, Strawberries
  • Citrus: Lemons, Limes, Oranges
  • Tropical: Bananas, Mangoes, Passion Fruits, Pineapples
  • More: Cherries, Peaches, Watermelons

7. Make yogurt even healthier with some granola or cereal grains.

All About: KIND Healthy Grains Whole Grain Clusters

KIND Healthy Grains are a tasty, diverse mix of whole grains that works great as a snack or as an add-in for yogurt or other types of food.

Read our Review

Like mentioned earlier, adding nuts or seeds makes yogurt a more complete meal by adding healthy fat content. In the past, eating foods with a large percentage of fat was frowned upon. The debate has changed recently. It’s now believed that many high-fat foods are good for you. In particular, certain foods like olive oil, avocados, and walnuts are considered to be healthy fats. Granola and cereal grains completes the meal with quality, slow-acting carbohydrates.

One of our personal favorites is KIND Healthy Grains Clusters. It tastes good and is much more nutritionally diverse than granola, which is mostly oat-based. KIND’s mix contains oats, brown rice, millet and pseudo-grains like buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa.

You could also try popular breakfast staples like Froot Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or any grocery-store cereal. However, since many breakfast cereals contain wheat flour and added sugar, they’re probably not as healthy as actual whole grains. A whole grain is simply a grain like rice in its original intact form versus eating a processed derivative like rice flour. Eating whole grains instead of refined grains has a variety of benefits including more nutrients, more fiber, and better satiety.

Why should I probably avoid wheat flour?

It’s generally suggested to replace refined wheat flour with whole grains for a variety of reasons. First, thanks to their high glycemic index, most flours actually make you more hungry. Also, the process of creating flour often strips out many of the nutrients found in whole grains. Wheat flour also causes you to absorb more calories, which slowly makes you gain weight. A case could even be made that you should avoid wheat completely.

8. Try something even more different by mixing yogurt and salsa.

We haven’t tried this yet, but a mix of salsa and yogurt seems to be a surprisingly popular combination as either a dip or a snack.

I’m super excited to share this post with you, as I’ve finally solved a conundrum that’s been bothering me for quite a long time.

So, without further ado…

I’m convinced that I can’t be alone on this issue.

For years I’ve known three things:

  1. Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt
  2. Flavored yogurts are (generally) packed with added sugar
  3. Greek yogurt is freaking sour

So my position on Greek yogurt has been: It’s good for you, but tastes… ugh. Really ugh.

However, I recently decided that I needed to befriend this new dominator of the dairy aisle. Not because of it’s nutritional profile. Not because of it’s thick and creamy texture. But simply because I was determined to solve this puzzle.

When I Googled “How to make Greek yogurt taste good”, most of the suggestions were about adding fruit to it. So I chopped up an apple, mixed it in with some Greek yogurt, and excitedly shoveled a large spoonful into my mouth. Ugh.

I quickly learned that you really need to add a juicy fruit. Partially thawed frozen berries are also a good option (plus, they turn the yogurt purple!). All of this brings me to my first suggestion:

1. Add Some Sweet and Juicy Fruit

Whatever you do, don’t add grapefruit. Instead, opt for some fresh mango or my all-time favorite, the humble orange.

Maybe add some almonds for a little crunchiness…

Or maybe forget about the whole “trying to be healthy” thing and add some chopped cookie bars!

Pictured below is a little “Zillionaire’s Shortbread”, which will be in my eBook Cookies for Breakfast (when I finally finish it!).

Oooh, now we’re talking!

My second suggestion to make Greek yogurt yummy is:

2. Add It to a Smoothie!

This may surprise you, but I’ve recently been drinking smoothies like crazy! Ever since I finally my fear of cleaning the blender (read: extreme laziness), I’ve finally managed to appreciate the joy of smoothies. The Greek yogurt adds a ton of creaminess and it’s sourness is more than offset by the sweet fruit.

Coming up next week on the blog: Funky ‘n’ Fabulous Smoothies! They’re actually strawberry, banana, mango and spinach smoothies – but all smoothies need corny names, right?

Finally, I have one last suggestion (for today, anyway):

3. Add Peanut Butter and Honey

There are few things in life that can’t be improved by peanut butter. And peanut butter and honey totally love each other.

If you just happen to have a ridiculous amount of PB2, then this is the recipe for you! While PB2 can taste a little weird on bread and often makes baked goods a little dry (or leaves you with cakey cookies), it’s perfect with Greek yogurt.

Would you like to know something truly ridiculous? I have more PB2 than in the above picture!

Moving on from my odd shopping habits, I wrote out the recipe below for convenience, but this is really far to easy to warrant a recipe.

All you need is some Greek yogurt, PB2 (or regular peanut butter) and honey.

If using PB2, mix it with some water. Whenever I’ve added PB2 directly into a recipe (i.e. without mixing it with a liquid first), it always tastes floury to me. And no one likes eating a bag of flour.

Next, add the honey and yogurt and you’re done!

If you have any tips and tricks for improving the taste of Greek yogurt, I’m all ears – it doesn’t matter if it’s simple or complicated, I’d love to hear it!

Peanut Butter and Honey Greek Yogurt This is a ridiculously simple way to improve the taste of Greek yogurt! Peanut butter and honey add a ton of flavor, and offset the sourness Recipe type: How to Make Greek Yogurt Taste Good Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons PB2 (or regular peanut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons water (omit if using regular peanut butter)
  • 2 teaspoons honey, or more
  • 6 oz. (170g) Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. If using PB2, whisk together the PB2 powder and water. Otherwise, just add the regular peanut butter to a bowl/dish.
  2. Add the honey and yogurt, and mix until completely combined.
  3. Serve with fruit, nuts, granola or eat it by itself. Enjoy!

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5 Clever Ways to Sweeten Greek Yogurt

A lot of people love Greek yogurt for its mouth-puckering tartness. But a lot more (maybe you?) avoid it altogether for that same reason. It’s easy to balance the tanginess out with a little something sweet, though. Try any of these five ideas to reap the benefits of this protein-packed and calcium-rich breakfast staple–and actually enjoy it in the process.

1. Maple Syrup + Granola
This natural sweetener was recently called out as a superfood. Scientists say it contains beneficial compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (and can even help manage type 2 diabetes). Drizzle a little onto yogurt and top with nuts or granola for a hearty breakfast.

2. Coconut Flakes + Fruit
Add freshly cut mango or pineapple to your yogurt and then sprinkle with a handful of coconut flakes for a tropical afternoon treat. It sure beats the chocolate-chip cookie you were about to reach for.

3. Pomegranates
Pomegranate seeds add just the right amount of natural sweetness and are the perfect complement to Greek yogurt’s tang. Plus, we love how they burst in your mouth when you crunch down on them.

4. Peanut Butter + Honey
Whisk 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of honey into your yogurt for a sweet-salty breakfast combo.

5. Blackstrap Molasses
Typically used in baking, blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium and has a moderate glycemic index (meaning you won’t experience the blood-sugar spikes common with more refined sugars). It does have a strong flavor, though, so a little drizzle goes a long way.

If you follow us on Instagram, you might have noticed there are a lot of yogurt posts. A lot. I didn’t actually realize this was a common theme until I was explaining my ” low sugar yogurt snack” with someone recently and directed them to our Instagram page. What can I say, I love yogurt.

Too often, pre-packaged yogurt can be full of added sugars. As in, 25+grams of sugar per 4 ounce container type of full. However, there are naturally occurring sugars in yogurt, which is okay, and usually accounts for 7-10 of the grams. What we want to focus on here is the amount of added sugars in the yogurt. The easiest to way to tell how many grams of added sugar is in your yogurt choice is to compare it to the same size and same brand plain yogurt option. To make it even easier, the new food labels will be required to break down natural sugars and added sugars on all products (but the release date of these new labels has been postponed). So how many grams of added sugar is too much? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day (and less than that is better). As I mentioned, many flavored yogurts have this much sugar or more – and I was eating it as a snack not even a dessert!

I decided it was time to transition to plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it myself to control the amount of sugar I was consuming. Now, if you have ever had plain Greek yogurt it is a STARK wake-up call to flavored yogurt. Based on my own trial and error, I recommend not going cold-turkey and instead making it a transition to plain Greek yogurt. How? Choose a juicy fruit and add a dash of pure maple syrup or honey.

How to eat plain Greek yogurt and enjoy it:

  1. Choose a creamy plain Greek yogurt. My favorites are Fage and Trader Joe’s brand, they are not watery or grainy and are always thick, smooth, and creamy. If you just cannot get used to the bitterness of the plain 0% Greek yogurt, start with plain 2% Greek yogurt, as it is usually a little sweeter and creamier. To test this low sugar snack idea, or to make it easy on-the-go, feel free to purchase the single-serve options. I prefer to buy the tubs since it is most cost-effective (especially at Costco), but that is a personal preference.
  2. Choose a juicy fruit. You need a fruit that is sweet enough and juicy enough to help mask the bitterness of plain Greek yogurt. Juicy fruits to add to your yogurt include orange slices, very ripe blackberries, very ripe strawberries, grapefruit slices, ripe peaches, and purple grapes. My two favorites are orange slices, the juice from the orange makes it all blend beautifully with perfect sweetness, and purple grapes. I know, grapes sound weird. And you don’t believe it. But I am telling you— grapes in plain Greek yogurt is a delicious combination that you have to try, just make sure every bite of yogurt has a grape in it too. I dare you to try it! With orange slices and/or grapes, no extra sugar (maple syrup or honey) is needed, as they are both juicy and sweet enough.
  3. Add a dash of honey or pure maple syrup (a dash!). You really do not need a lot, a little bit goes a long way here. Add a dash to start, and then slowly add less and less each time. That is the best way to transition out of any overly sweet food in general and is very easy to do with yogurt.
  4. Optional: top with cinnamon for added flavor, stir in a spoonful of low sugar chia seed jam, or top with toasted oats and/or a low sugar granola. I prefer to make my own granola to limit the amount of added sugar, or I will just toast some old fashioned oats (toss with a tiny bit of canola oil) for the crunch without any sugar. Not keen on making your own? Kashi Go Lean Original is low in sugar and adds crunch. Another delicious add-in? A tablespoon of almond butter or natural peanut butter – dip in crunchy apple slices for a filling snack.

Below are a few of my favorite low sugar yogurt combinations:

Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, and a drizzle of honey.

Plain Greek yogurt with orange slices and homemade low sugar granola – my FAV option.

Plain Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of natural creamy natural peanut butter and topped with just a few chocolate chips. Dip crisp apple slices.

Plain Greek yogurt with sliced figs, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.

The easiest way to eat it to-go: Prepackaged plain Greek yogurt and top with grapes and low-sugar granola.

Plain Greek yogurt with grapes and blackberries- no added sugars when you have juicy grapes!

Plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey.

My go-to and favorite option again, plain Greek yogurt with orange slices – no added sugar needed!

How do you like to eat low sugar yogurt? Any flavor combinations I should try? Add them to the comments below.

You might also like:

Greek Yogurt Review

The Best Low Sugar High Protein Yogurt

Pumpkin Yogurt: The Only Pumpkin Product I Like

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Oh hi guys! Welcome to your regularly scheduled Wellness Wednesday post! Today’s how-to was inspired by me wanting to cut out excess sugar in my diet a few years back. First, I started reading the nutritional labels on everything I ate. Turns out that nearly 15+ grams of sugar were coming from my morning or afternoon greek yogurt snack. Yep, it’s true!

Did you know that most of the fruit-based greek yogurts out there add cane sugar and/or syrup to sweeten the yogurt? That’s so unnecessary, don’t you think? I mean I’ll admit I love a sweet afternoon snack but when realized HOW MUCH sugar they really added I was disturbed. Surely I could find another way to enjoy greek yogurt without spoonfuls of added sugar, right?

First I started experimenting by just eating plain greek yogurt, but it was way too tart for me. I couldn’t even eat more than 1/4 of a cup without wanting to throw it away. The yogurt needed a little something else in there to make it more appealing.

I stumbled upon making my own naturally sweetened yogurt when I was preparing my meals for the week. I added a cup of greek yogurt and some really ripe, juicy strawberries in a container and placed it in the fridge. The next day when I was ready for a snack, I noticed that the fresh strawberry juice had mixed with some of the liquidy whey goodness sitting on top. I stirred it into the yogurt and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious and fresh it tasted.

I started doing this again and again with different type of fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, mango, cherries, and blackberries. Finally I found out the perfect method to achieve a naturally sweetened yogurt and wanted to share it with all of you! I absolutely love it because I mix up a few in the beginning of the week and then have them to pull out of the fridge anytime. It’s much less expensive than buying the containers and you can mix and match flavors.

STEP 1: Start by adding 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt to a mason jar or a container.

STEP 2: Add 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit on top. Make sure the fruit is nicely chopped or smashed. This allows for their natural juices and sugars to release and mix in with the yogurt. The best fruit to use is ripe, organic berries. I also love tossing my berries with 1/4 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract to enhance the flavor. Trust me, it’s good!

STEP 3: Layer another 1/2 cup of greek yogurt on top, then add another 1/4 cup of smashed/chopped fruit.

STEP 4: Cover and place in the fridge overnight at least 12 hours. When ready to eat, give the yogurt a nice stir to incorporate the fresh fruit juices. Then I recommend sprinkling it with chia seeds or stirring in almond butter.

I usually make about 2-3 of these on a Sunday night to enjoy throughout the week. They are wonderful and FILLING.

Let me know if you try this method out. I didn’t include nutritional info on this one but typically 1 cup of plain greek yogurt is equivalent to about 130 calories and 20g of protein. A 1/2 cup of berries is about 40 calories.

I’d love to hear what your favorite way to enjoy yogurt is!

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What is cool, creamy and delicious? Yogurt! Even better, it is a great part of a healthy diet for kids and adults. Yogurt is rich in protein and calcium and contains potassium. Some yogurts contain live, active bacteria cultures, as indicated on the label. These cultures, or probiotics, are considered “good bacteria” for the gut and can help maintain healthy digestive systems.

Yogurt comes in an array of flavors and styles. On a single trip to the supermarket, a shopper could easily see more than a dozen different brands with multiple varieties of each. Between low-fat, fat-free, fruited, flavored, plain, Greek and traditional — the choices can be overwhelming.

What Kind of Yogurt to Buy?

  • Whole Milk, Low-Fat or Fat-Free? Overall, it is best to choose low-fat or fat-free yogurt as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. There are many delicious low-fat and fat-free options to choose from.
  • Fruited, Flavored or Plain? Added sugar is a common ingredient in fruited and flavored varieties of yogurt. Skip the added sugars by choosing plain yogurt and adding your own fruit or flavors such as cinnamon and vanilla. When you read the Nutrition Facts label on plain yogurt, you still will see that it lists “sugar” even though no sugar has been added. This is because even plain yogurt contains lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk.
  • Greek Yogurt or Traditional Yogurt? Greek yogurt is strained. This process makes it thicker, creamier and smoother than traditional yogurt. It also has double the protein of traditional yogurt, but reduced calcium. In both traditional and Greek yogurts, bacteria cultures help break down lactose, so yogurt is sometimes an easier dairy food to digest for those who are lactose intolerant. Greek yogurt has less lactose than traditional yogurt, so lactose-sensitive individuals may tolerate it even better than traditional yogurt.
  • Dairy or plant-based? Whether you cannot or choose not to consume dairy, the good news is there are loads of plant-based dairy alternatives on the market. Be sure to look for versions that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Fortified soy-based yogurt has the closest nutrition profile to dairy-based yogurt while coconut milk and almond milk varieties are lower in protein.

I Bought Yogurt. Now, What?

  1. Dip it. Have fun in the kitchen with your child by using yogurt as a dip for a variety of different fruits. For a healthier alternative to a typical cream cheese based fruit dip, stir together 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  2. Sweeten it. While all yogurt has some natural sugar, take care to choose yogurts that are low in added sugars or have no added sugars. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugars to no more than 10 percent each day, which is equal to 200 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet. Fresh or frozen fruits can flavor yogurt or try using cinnamon or a sugar substitute. Additionally, you can sweeten yogurt using honey (for children over the age of 1 year) but be mindful that it is considered an added sugar.
  3. Mix it. Start the morning off right by including yogurt at breakfast. Mix a 6-ounce container of low-fat yogurt with ½ cup sliced berries, a handful of granola and 2 tablespoons nuts for a quick and satisfying breakfast bowl.
  4. Blend it.Blend up a calcium-packed snack using this yogurt smoothie recipe: 1 6-ounce container low-fat yogurt, ¾ cup low-fat milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen blueberries, 1 banana, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Then, mix it all together using a blender. Depending on your family’s tastes, you also can offer nut butters, vegetables, seeds or other nutritious add-ins.
  5. Drink it.Have your children drink their bones strong with homemade yogurt beverages. Make your own by whisking together a 6-ounce container of low-fat strawberry-flavored yogurt and ¼ cup low-fat milk. Pour the mixture into cups and enjoy. If there’s too much liquid, add more yogurt; if the mixture is too thick, add more milk.
  6. Spoon it. Spoon in a delicious topping for your next taco night with plain yogurt. Use ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons taco seasoning and 1 teaspoon lime juice for a fun alternative to sour cream. And that’s not all: plain yogurt is a versatile ingredient and often can be substituted for sour cream in recipes.
  7. Dunk it.Dunk in the yogurt fun — and build kitchen skill confidence — with banana-yogurt-granola pops. Use half a banana with a popsicle stick placed in the bottom. Have your child dunk the banana in low-fat yogurt, roll in granola and enjoy!

How Much of a Good Thing?

One cup of dairy-based fat-free or low-fat yogurt provides 30 to 45 percent of the daily value for calcium, so you can get a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. If you are using frozen yogurt, 1 cup provides about 10 percent of the daily value for calcium. Remember to look for fortified varieties if you’re choosing plant-based alternatives.

One cup dairy-based yogurt or fortified plant-based yogurt counts as one of the three dairy servings recommended for children 9 years old through adulthood by USDA’s MyPlate. For 2- and 3-year-olds, 2 cups of dairy or calcium-fortified beverage per day are recommended. For 4- to 8-year-olds, 2½ cups per day.

How to sweeten yogurt?

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