Continuing on this month's topic of hydration and fueling & hydrating snacks, I want to share my quick and easy, fresh and simple Sweet & Tangy Blackberry Yogurt.
I am a yogurt fan. It can easily accompany breakfast or lunch, it makes a fueling pre-workout snack or a recovery post - workout snack, it can be frozen for a sweet treat or healthier after-dinner dessert, or used as a healthier base for chicken salads and other homemade dressings and sauces. PLUS, it is one of those foods with a high water content, making it a good way for you or your young athlete to get a little more fluid in the day and stay hydrated.
Nonfat yogurt is a great source of protein (Greek & other high-protein yogurts have twice the amount of protein as regular), calcium (although Greek yogurts, while having more protein, have slightly less calcium per serving than regular yogurts), potassium, and healthy more complex carbohydrates - all qualities that help repair and refuel worked muscles and tired minds.
The thing about yogurt, though, is that (A) some are extremely high in sugar (try to stick to around 12 grams per serving. Those 12 grams are from lactose, the natural sugar found in milk and milk products. Anything over that could be added refined sugar.) and (B) they can get very expensive.
So, one morning I stopped and thought, "How can I simplify this so that I can buy one large container of plain yogurt vs. a plain variety for my sauces and dressings and then additional small individual flavored varieties for my breakfast and snacks?" I wanted to simplify, cut down on cost, and free up some refrigerator space while making sure I was still serving myself a healthy, tasty & fueling product.
Well, the next day I bought some fresh blackberries at the store. When I got home, I popped one in my mouth and thought, "this is the sweetest, most succulent thing EVER. Why do I not do more with these?!?!". And that is when I got the idea to start creating my own yogurts with my own fresh (or frozen) fruits at home, my nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and a few other additions. Why worry about where the extra sugar is coming from in your fruited yogurts? Just buy your own fruit and, with a couple of other pantry staples, make your own! It not only feels fresher knowing everything you're putting in your body, but adding the fresh fruit also boosts the water content even more, providing you with even more fluid on a hot summer day.
You can pick your favorite fruit, of course, but I love adding fresh ripe blackberries. They give it a powerful punch of sweet and tang with just 1/2 cup of beautiful berries. Plus they turn the plain yogurt into a wonderfully deep rich purple that the eyes love and makes the mouth water.
It's quick and easy and, if desired, you could mix it ahead of time and store in individual serving containers to grab and go the next day. If you have kids, they can make their own varieties (as a fun cooking activity and food & nutrition lesson) and store them in the freezer for a super refreshing treat. This is one powerful snack that packs calcium for strong bones, potassium for the muscles, healthy carbs to replenish depleted muscles and a tired brain, and a boost of fluid to help hydrate you and your athlete.
SO here it is - My quick and simple Sweet & Tangy Blackberry Yogurt...
Sweet & Tangy Blackberry Yogurt
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (my favorite is Siggi's)
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. low-fat granola (my current favorite is KIND's Cinnamon Oat with Flax Seeds)
- Add all the blackberries, except for 2 to 3, to a small serving bowl and mash with the back of a spoon.
- Add in the yogurt and mix well to combine.
- Drizzle in the honey and mix well.
- Sprinkle the top with the granola, top with the reserved 2 to 3 fresh berries, and serve!
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories 101, Protein 7g, Carb 17g, Fat 0.75 g, Sugar 9g, Sodium 32 mg, Cholesterol 0 mg, Potassium 88 mg, Calcium 75 mg
*Note*: This would be the serving size for a snack or accompaniment to a meal. You may want to double the ingredients for more of a "meal" portion or if after a very long and extremely intense workout or training session to boost the protein and the carbohydrates. Also - if using different fruits, you may need less than the 1/2 cup used here if the chosen fruit is much sweeter than blackberries OR you can keep the 1/2 cup fruit and reduce the honey. Have fun with it and enjoy!