An Alternative to Flavored Yogurt: Plain Greek Yogurt, Chia Seeds, and Granola
This “recipe” is more of a recommendation to incorporate three wonderful ingredients into your diet: plain Greek yogurt, granola, and chia seeds. This is a great alternative to flavored yogurts from the grocery store that are loaded with sugar and more like desserts than healthy snacks.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. It is regular yogurt that has been strained and therefore is creamier and more concentrated. Health-wise, it has more calcium than milk, contains iodine & potassium, and is a rare vegetarian-friendly way to get more Vitamin B12 in your diet. Not to mention, it has wonderful probiotics to help promote a healthy microbiome and digestive system.
However, it can have a strong flavor that is more tart than regular yogurt. Some Greek yogurt can be purchased with honey or vanilla added but often come with high sugar content. I actually prefer to use plain yogurt, because it is more versatile in other dishes. Due to its texture, it makes a great and often healthier substitution for other ingredients. I’ve added it to savory tortilla soups and tacos as a stand-in for sour cream (pro tip: mix it with some chopped cilantro). It also goes well with Indian dishes, like a yogurt raita sauce.
And if I want to enjoy it a little more sweetened, I add a small amount of whichever jam or jelly I fancy at the moment. The key to this is that I can control how much goes in.
To round out the sweet and tart flavor of the jam and yogurt, we need some nuttiness! I like granola because it adds texture as well as a boost of protein and fiber. However, not all granola is made equal so make sure to double-check the ingredients. Some brands can have a lot of added sugar and oils in their toasting process which is why many people end up making their own granola (check this one out).
With the granola, I also toss in a few roasted or slivered almonds (I buy them in bulk). Besides being toothsome, almonds are some of the most nutrient-dense nuts – containing many antioxidants, healthy fats, Vitamin E. They’re also high in fiber and protein which make you feel fuller longer.
Add Chia Seeds
Finally, the secret ingredient: chia seeds!
A healthfood still unknown to many, chia seeds are truly a superfood. Just a tiny amount (an ounce!) contains 11g of fiber, 4g of protein, 5g of omega fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous (source).
Gram by gram, chia seeds contain an unmatched amount of nutrients. They’re a whole grain, gluten-free, and often organic. Because of their small size and very mild flavor, it’s easy to sneak them into almost any dish. I like to think of them as nature’s sprinkles because they make everything better!
They also make an appearance in an Orange Banana Marmelade Recipe, because, when added to water, they create a gel around the seed. This property is useful if you have a sauce that needs thickening – add a spoonful to improve texture while not altering the flavor.
I usually add a tablespoon or so into my yogurt in the morning, right in with the almonds and granola. Mix and enjoy!
Altogether, this is a filling snack packed with fiber and protein. It has creamy and crunchy textures; it has sweet, tart, and nutty flavors. What more could you want?
Try variations of this easy recipe with different nuts, jams, and jellies. Some people enjoy adding cinnamon or pumpkin spice to their yogurt as well. The possibilities are endless!