Eating yogurt for breakfast is one of the best food decisions I have ever made—it gives me just the right amount of fuel and energy to start my day, and it makes me feel a lot less guilty about the brownie I ate last night and the brownie I’m about to eat.
Since I’ve been on my yogurt kick, I’ve been buying plain yogurt by the quart, and using it as a blank canvas for different toppings. At the very least I will always have yogurt, honey or maple syrup, sliced banana, dry fruit and nuts. Then, depending on the season and my mood, I will throw in some fresh fruits and other toppings like cinnamon or toasted coconut.
With summer berries in season, I’ve been experimenting with a combination of fresh and dry blueberries. The fresh berries are light, juicy and tart, while the dry blueberries are chewy and sweet with a more robust flavor. Since the plain yogurt is sour and tangy, I like to add a bit of sweetness from a drizzle of honey and a little sliced, overripe banana. Then, to keep things crunchy, I throw in a couple of raw walnuts and a sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes. When I’m feeling motivated, I’ll sometimes prepare my bowl the night before. This lessens the morning rush while giving the added bonus of drawing out a little extra flavor from the dry fruit and toasted coconut.
One day last week, I had forgotten to prepare my yogurt altogether. Since I was in a rush to get to work, I stopped at a coffee shop and bought one of those 6-ounce single-serving parfaits. It had yogurt, a cherry compote, and some almond granola to throw on top. It was overly sweet and pretty expensive at $4! Since my usual tubs of yogurt are $2.99 for a quart, it got me thinking whether I’m saving any money by making my own bowls at home. I decided to do a little investigation to tally up the cost of my homemade bowls.
1 qt plain, organic whole milk yogurt ($3.39)
1 bunch organic bananas ($1.70)
1 pint organic blueberries ($5)
16 oz jar good-quality honey ($20 – yikes!)
8 oz bag dried wild blueberries ($5.99)
7 oz container organic raw walnut halves ($8.69)
6 oz container coconut flakes ($2.99)
*This grocery list uses pricier ingredients to reflect the upper limit of what a yogurt bowl might cost.
Though the grocery list is expensive up front ($47.36), I have calculated in the recipe below that each yogurt bowl costs $2.03 to make. This is half as expensive as the sugary, less-than-delicious parfait I bought last week! With shelf-stable ingredients like honey, coconut flakes, walnuts and dry blueberries that are sure to last awhile, I am relieved to know that my pantry—and my wallet—can stay well-stocked while leaving a little extra room for my brownie budget!
This yogurt bowl is a refreshingly light way to enjoy summer blueberries. The soft, chewy and crunchy textures keep each bite interesting as you fill your belly with whole, fresh ingredients. Have fun and experiment with your favorite dry fruit and nuts, or whatever fruits and flavors are in season!
1/2 cup plain, organic whole milk yogurt ($0.42)
1/2 organic banana ($0.15)
1/4 cup fresh blueberries ($0.63)
1/2 tsp honey ($0.10)
1 tbsp dried wild blueberries ($0.30)
3 raw walnut halves ($0.37)
1/2 tbsp coconut flakes ($0.06)**
**Though this recipe only calls for 1/2 tbsp coconut flakes, it is best to toast the flakes by the 1/2 cup and store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Pour coconut flakes into a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
Scoop the yogurt into a bowl and drizzle the yogurt with honey. Slice the banana into rounds and scatter them over the yogurt, along with the fresh and dry blueberries. Crush the walnut halves with your fingers and sprinkle the pieces throughout. Top with coconut flakes.