I love yogurt, especially in the mornings. I take it with my cup of coffee and finish it right before I head out to the gym. This is my breakfast staple. I may still eat other things for breakfast (like eggs and toast or cereals and milk), but this is one thing constant on my breakfast table. I like its acquired sour and tart taste but most especially, what I love about it is that it’s actually a very healthy treat! It’s high in protein (less in carbs and fat — especially if you get the low fat kind) which helps people like me who are always trying to to lose weight and build muscle in the gym (yeah right).
I see several kinds of yogurt in the market today : from plain to flavored, from creamy to thick, from regular to Greek. As much as possible, I always go for the plain and Greek variety because I prefer my yogurt to be extra rich and creamy. Also, I would rather add my own toppings (like fresh fruits, nuts, granola and honey) instead of buying the already flavored ones.
So here are my favorites :
For imported yogurt, Rachel’s is my favorite brand. It is organic and made in the UK. Unfortunately, the closest place we can get this brand is in Hong Kong. So whenever I have a trip there, I head straight to the supermarket on the day I arrive and buy my stocks for the whole duration of my stay.
Aside from the Organic Greek Style Honey variant of Rachel’s pictured above, I also like their Organic Greek Style Coconut. This is the only coconut yogurt I’ve ever tried and to my surprise, it does contain real coconut strips inside!
Sometimes when I’ve had too much of the super rich and thick Greek yogurt, I go for the regular variant which is lighter in texture and creamier in consistency. I especially like Rachel’s Organic Low-fat Vanilla as this contains only less than 2% fat and is made of the best Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beans, making this yogurt really full of flavor and taste.
My fervent wish is that one of our local supermarket chains can bring this brand of yogurt in, so we don’t have to go to Hong Kong just to be able to have it!
But since I don’t live in Hong Kong and only get to visit a few times in a year… the best alternative for me back home is the locally produced Low Fat Greek Yoghurt of Rizal Dairy Farms.
This local dairy farm based in Antipolo supplies to most of the restaurants in Manila who use fresh yogurt as their ingredient. They also sell to individual customers in the Salcedo weekend market and Green Shop at Market! Market!
Rizal Dairy Farms not only produces different kinds of yogurt, but they make all kinds of dairy as well, such as : fresh milk, fresh cheeses (Ricotta, Mozzarella, Kesong Puti), Sour Cream and Buttermilk, among many others.
These are just some of the ways of how I (a big lover of plain yogurt) enjoy this healthy treat :
I top my plain yogurt with fresh fruits depending on what’s in season or what I have ready at home. In this photo, I added fresh kiwi and mango cubes. Sometimes I use strawberries and blueberries; other days it’s bananas and apples. It really all depends on what I have, what I feel like eating or my mood for the day.
For this one, I used mango slices and a little bit of freshly grated ginger. Yes, ginger works well with yogurt too! I like that “zing taste” coming from the ginger and it just tastes better when it’s mixed with very sweet mangoes.
Here, I minced some apples first and then cooked them in water (just to soften them up a little bit; but if you like your apples crunchy then you may skip this part) and then I topped it on my plain Greek yogurt. Lastly, I added some cinnamon powder on top. With this combination of apples and cinnamon, my healthy yogurt treat tasted more like an apple pie dessert!
For a more sophisticated “adult” taste, I sometimes mix ground coffee with my plain yogurt (thus the color light brown or mocha here) until the coffee granules are well incorporated. I then top it with cinnamon powder. This time around, my yogurt tasted like my usual cup of cappuccino!
On days when I get bored “spooning” my yogurt, I turn it into liquid. I freeze my yogurt the night before and then blitz it the next day, so it becomes like a smoothie. Usually, I add a fruit (like banana or mango or a combination of both) to it, so it becomes even healthier and tastier.
Sometimes when I’m craving for the sinful and calorific “Mocha Frappuccino”, I mix my yogurt with coffee, freeze and blitz it, and then voila! It becomes not just my “mocha frap” for the day but my ultra healthy protein shake.
And because there are days when I am just so lazy to think about what to put in my yogurt, the simplest solution for me is to just mix everything up in one go. This yogurt in the photo shows you everything I mentioned above, all combined. I used plain, low fat Greek yogurt, mixed it with coffee then added my fruit (mango slices), Lastly, I topped it with cinnamon powder. (Yes, yogurt-coffee-mango-cinnamon do go together after all!) This way, not only did I save on time, I had everything I wanted in one spoon!
Do you have a breakfast staple too? Share them with me!