I’ve always been really into breakfast. Not just because I wake up legitimately hungry (always have), but I love breakfast food. I go through serious phases with my breakfast choices – for months I’ll eat the same. exact. thing. until one day, I’m just done. And then I choose another culprit and repeat. Smoothie bowls, oatmeal, and pumpkin waffles (basically these in waffle form) have all had their moments, but right now I’m really into yogurt bowls (with all the toppings). This berry yogurt bowl with pistachio crumble comes together in 5-ish(!) minutes. And it’s pretty good for you too. Read more about my favorite ingredients below. Enjoy! – Ally
How to Buy the Healthiest Yogurt
WHY YOGURT (CAN BE) GOOD FOR YOU
The key to healthy yogurt is quality (sorry but seeya, Activa). Fermentation breaks down the milk protein (the part of milk that can be difficult to digest) and culturing restores lactase, an enzyme that helps digest milk sugar. For these reasons, yogurt is tolerated by many people who are sensitive to fresh milk. Goat milk or sheep milk yogurt can be good options for people sensitive to dairy because they’re easier to digest. Cultured dairy products, like yogurt, also provide the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria, which helps guard against illness and aids digestion. Yogurt from grass-fed cows has significantly more omega-3s than conventional yogurt. And while many argue the healthiest yogurt is from grass-fed cows and is raw (unpasteurized) because it’s richest in probiotics and nutrients, it can be hard to find because laws about selling raw dairy vary from state to state (interested? See if you can find raw yogurt locally here).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING
Buying quality yogurt is key. Many commercial yogurts are made from milk from unhealthy cows, stripped of all their fat, and then loaded up with sugar, thickeners, and food coloring. But! There are really quality options on the market and they’re becoming easier and easier to find. The first thing to check when buying yogurt is the ingredient list. The healthiest yogurt really only has two ingredients: milk and living cultures. Next, I look for the words organic and grass-fed. I like whole milk yogurt because: fat tastes good and makes dairy easier to digest…but you do you!
Grass-fed / Pastured
MY FAVORITE BRANDS
Brands that hit all (or most) of these marks that I buy frequently: Siggis, Stonyfield, Maple Hill Creamery, Trader Joe’s, Organic Valley, and Sidehill Farm (local to New England). Most national grocery stores will carry Stonyfield – and many more (including Target) now sell Siggi’s. If you have a Whole Foods Market nearby, they’ll have all of these options plus local brands. Trader Joe’s now carries a yogurt from grass-fed cows, which is a great affordable option if you have one near you.
If you’re dairy-free don’t worry. There are (finally) some good dairy-free options on the market. Out of the ones I’ve tried, Kite Hill, Forager, and So Delicious are all ok. I’ve heard amazing things about COYO, but I haven’t tried it yet (have you? thoughts?). Check the store locator to see if it’s sold near you. Since dairy-free yogurts often have less protein than regular yogurt, I like to mix in a couple scoops of collagen from either Vital Proteins or Great Lakes.
- ½ cup shelled, raw, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- pinch of sea salt
- a sprinkle of cinnamon
- 2 cups yogurt, preferably grass-fed
- 1 cup mixed berries, fresh, frozen, or thawed from frozen, preferably organic
- Coarsely chop the pistachios.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Once melted, add the pistachios and stir frequently until golden brown and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly add the honey, a pinch of sea salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Give a good stir.
- Assemble the bowls. In each bowl, put 1 cup of yogurt, top with ½ cup of berries, and sprinkle with half of the pistachio crumble.