…making your own healthy fruit yogurt
When I first started packing my lunches, I would throw in a fruit yogurt as my “something sweet”. Fortunately for my health, I happened upon a day-time talk show that went on a comprehensive rant of all the ways in which fruit yogurts had far worse things in them than plain yogurt. Even if I know that it’s very complicated to stay away from all processed foods in today’s world, I decided that taking the time to make these simple yogurt cups was worth the health benefit. It’s like making your own fruit yogurt, but without all the unnecessary extras that commercial kinds contain.
Frozen, a great alternative to fresh
You can do this with fresh fruit like cubed apples and pears, or if you’re lucky enough to have affordable, quality berries, they would be even more fun.
In Paris though, depending on the season, it can be tough and rather expensive to score fresh berries and so-called “exotic” fruit. The logical next step then was to go with frozen and boy, are we spoiled with freshly frozen fruit in France. Thanks to Picard, a frozen foods store that carries all kinds of frozen, unprocessed berries, as well as mango, figs and pineapple, we have access to the fun, nutritious fruit choices all year round.
On Sundays or sometimes Mondays, I’ll get prepared for the week of lunches by putting a few of these yogurt cups together. Now as far as fruit and toppings go, the combinations are probably endless. The important thing to know is that you can make these several days in advance and they will happily keep in the fridge until you need to grab one for the day.
- Start with the fruit on the bottom layer. As it thaws, it will render some juices, so make sure you are using a container that is leak-proof.
- Add the topping. Depending on what fruit you’re using, you can choose to sweeten things slightly with honey, maple syrup or jam. When I use fruits like pineapple and mango, I like adding some unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Spoon about two heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt or “fromage blanc” on top.
- If you’re lucky enough to be able to find chia seeds (or have an awesome friend from the US willing to bring it back for you), I like to put a small teaspoon on top of the frozen fruit as the moisture softens them up and they add an extra burst of protein to your daily intake.
These work really well as a packed breakfast if you pack some Simple Muesli on the side. Remember that any dry add-ins should be packed separately as the moisture from the fruit and the yogurt will make cereal and nuts go soft, depriving you of the ever important crunch factor!