Packed with gut-friendly and immune boosting probiotics yogurt deserves a place in your diet.  Greek or Icelandic yogurts strain away most of the lactose in the process, making it easier for our lactose-sensitive bellies to digest, and simultaneously delivering a higher concentration of protein for extra staying power.

When choosing yogurt, no need to fear a little fat (we need some fat to help us absorb the nutrients in our fruit!), but do be mindful of the sugar content.  Choose plain yogurt, or if you prefer vanilla or a fruit flavored yogurt, choose a yogurt that is lightly sweetened using natural sweeteners, like Siggi's - this brand only uses about 1 tsp of sugar in their yogurts.

Reading labels can be tricky, but here's a tip.  Check out the total grams of sugar in one serving, then divide this number by 4.  This will tell you how many teaspoons of sugar are in the yogurt.  For example, if there are 20 grams of sugar in one serving, (20/4=5), this means it contains a whopping 5 teaspoons of sugar in one single serving of yogurt! yikes.  For perspective, our daily quota of added sugar should be no more than 6-10 teaspoons.

Here's how I dress up my yogurt to create a well balanced, wholesome, and nourishing bowl of deliciousness:

  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • splash of vanilla, OR a squeeze of citrus + citrus zest
  • 1/2 cup berries (fresh, or frozen & thawed)
  • 1/2 cup puffed whole grains (try Arrowhead Mill's Puffed Kamut Cereal)
  • 1 Tbs of chopped nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 Tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • pinch of cinnamon

Mix together plain yogurt with citrus or vanilla.  Next, toss together puffed cereal, chopped nuts, toasted coconut flakes, and cinnamon.  To serve, spoon yogurt into a bowl, layer with berries, and top with the nut and puffed grain mixture for a nutty cinnamon crunch!

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Lindsey Kane is a Registered Dietitian in Philadelphia. For more nutrition tips and recipes, visit her blog at biteforchange.com.

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