Forget the plain old yogurt or that overly sweetened stuff in the store. You can make your own with fresh fruit and plain Greek yogurt for a nutritious and delicious breakfast.
All three of my kids have been eating more grains and sugar than I would like at breakfast, so I recently did an internet search for no-cook, high protein breakfast options. I was QUITE disappointed.
Every single blog and website in the search results had the same suggestions over and over and over. Bleh. We can do better than that!
This post is the first in a series of healthy, gluten free, grain free breakfast options. I’ll start with no-cook breakfast ideas, and then we’ll move on to the ones that do require a bit cooking. Nothing too time-consuming though. Weekday mornings are not when I want to be spending 30 – 60 minutes in front of the stove.
Fruit and yogurt is one of the standard suggestions for a high-protein breakfast. Most websites just leave it at that. They don’t answer the question (or even raise it) of which fruits taste the best when paired with yogurt….as opposed to those that taste better with a nut butter or with a cheese. And that my friends is where we can do better. You and I can can take a few minutes to consider flavor when we’re planning breakfasts!
But, before we get into the fruit suggestions, let’s talk about yogurt. All three of my children seem to be going through a growth spurt and I need to start them off with a meal that has plenty of protein and fat to give them calories and keep them from being hungry within an hour. For that reason, we start our yogurt breakfasts with the highest % fat Greek yogurt that I can find.
If you haven’t tried Greek yogurt yet, here’s a good article on the nutritional difference between regular and Greek yogurt. I disagree with the author of that article when it comes to the fat content of my yogurt. Since I am trying to increase the protein and fat in my childrens’ breakfasts, my first choice in Greek yogurts is Cabot’s Plain Greek Style Yogurt as it’s the highest fat content yogurt that I can find. However, I’m also happy to use Fage and Chobani 2% plain Greek Yogurt too. I always choose plain yogurt because I want to control the amount and type of sweetener that is added.
For those of you who need to be dairy-free, there are non-dairy yogurts. Godairyfree.org is a great resource for finding non-dairy yogurt alternatives. The author of that site, Alisa, has also written Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living which contains recipes for making soy, coconut, and cashew yogurts.
All of these fruits pair well with yogurt, but I’ve listed them with the fruits we like most at the top.
My children would completely revolt if I didn’t add honey to their yogurt, so that is a given. However,if we have nuts, then I’ll also give them the option of adding nuts to their yogurt and fruit. More fat and protein, you know? The following nuts pair well with yogurt:
Now that we know which flavors work well with yogurt, we need to know which of the fruits play nicely with a given nut or spice, so that we get the full effect of great flavor combinations. In developing the following recommendations, I referenced my copy of The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs.
Try one of these combinations for your next fruit and yogurt breakfast:
Yogurt with mangoes, topped with almonds and lime juice, and sweetened with honey or light brown sugar
Yogurt with strawberries, topped with orange zest and almonds and sweetened with honey or sugar
Yogurt with blueberries, topped with toasted pecans and cinnamon and sweetened with maple syrup
Yogurt with orange slices, topped with walnuts or pistachios, and sweetened with honey or sugar.