You can only eat the same parfait for so long.
When it comes to dairy products, yogurt seems to be a universal favorite. It works as a convenient breakfast, a healthy snack, and even as a condiment or appetizer. (Check out this recipe for salted yogurt with roasted beets that makes a great starter course.)
But if your morning yogurt is getting a bit dull or predictable, here are nine ways to shake up your ‘gurt game.
Add to smoothies. This is the easiest option: just throw a half-cup of yogurt to your favorite smoothie recipe. Not only will it make the smoothie creamier, but it will up the protein content so your breakfast isn’t quite so carb-heavy. (Here are more tricks to add protein to breakfast.)
Make a yogurt pop. Make a parfait with yogurt, granola, berries, and chia seeds in a paper cup, insert a popsicle stick, and set it in the freezer. Later, you can pop it out of the cup and eat it like a popsicle.
Use as a fruit dip. You could keep it plain, or you could jazz it up with cinnamon, orange zest, pumpkin pie spice, or chai spices. Bonus: It might help you eat more fruit, too.
Drink it. Drinkable yogurt, especially in the fermented form of kefir, has become more popular and accessible in stores. You can make your own at home. Just thin out your yogurt by whisking in a little water or milk, and you’ll be able to drink your ‘gurt on the go.
Use it as a sour cream substitute. Americans tend to eat their yogurt sweet, but its unflavored and unsweetened form tastes just like sour cream. Nutritionists love this swap due to gut-healthy probiotics available in yogurt. Plus, even reduced-fat sour cream has more calories and grams of fat than Greek yogurt. Throw it on top of chili, in tacos, or in veggie dips.
Make a banana pop. Get crafty: Roll a peeled banana in yogurt, cover in nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and freeze. Insert a popsicle stick before freezing if you’d like to eat this as a popsicle.
Freeze into a bark. Similar to a white chocolate holiday bark, spread out yogurt in a pan, sprinkle in nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or cacao nibs, and freeze. Once frozen, break into pieces and enjoy like bark. Don’t bother getting them into perfect, straight pieces—the random sizes and shapes are part of the charm.
Go Greek and make tzatziki. Here’s more proof that yogurt can go savory. Tzatziki is a classic, beloved sauce from the Mediterranean region consisting of yogurt, cucumber, and herbs. This condiment often appears on pita with shawarma or falafel, but you could also use it as a dip for vegetables. (Here are more food tips to borrow from the Mediterranean diet.)
Make chia pudding. You don’t need yogurt to make chia pudding; the only required ingredients are chia seeds and your favorite milk. However, mixing in yogurt leads to a creamier, tangier, protein-rich pudding. Simply mix the chia seeds, liquid, and yogurt (along with any other flavors like vanilla extract or mashed raspberries) and let it set in the fridge overnight. If you don’t like the texture of the chia seeds, you can blend the pudding in the morning and it will have a more traditional “pudding” texture.
6 surprising ways to incorporate yogurt into MyPlate. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2014. (Accessed on October 4, 2017 at http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/6-surprising-ways-to-incorporate-yogurt-into-myplate.)
Duyff RL. Complete food & nutrition guide. 5th ed. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017.
Make yogurt fun. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2014. (Accessed on October 4, 2017 at http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/make-yogurt-fun.)