The convenience of store-bought yogurt cups is undeniable, but there are a few good reasons to keep a stash of this easy, homemade alternative on hand.
Ready-made fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups tend to be more jammy than fruity, and they’re usually a little too sweet for me. Starting with fresh, seasonal fruit adds so much more flavor and natural sweetness. Adding just a couple teaspoons of your favorite jelly or jam to your fruit of choice provides the requisite jammy element to stir through the yogurt–but with a fraction of the added sugar.
On the jelly note, you can match it to the fruit–like peach jam with fresh peaches or strawberry preserves with strawberries–but you can have a little fun here, too. I love apricot jam with peaches and pineapple, for example. On occasion, I use a locally made option that includes fresh ginger (and it’s so good!).
Jam that includes lime zest offers a little something special, too, complementing almost any fruit from blueberries and raspberries to mango and pineapple. Of course, you can skip the fancy jam and simply grate a little lime (or lemon) zest over top. And if you’re a fan of chia jam, by all means give that a try.
A sprinkle of coconut will play up tropical notes, a pinch of cinnamon adds a warm note, and just a leaf or two of finely slivered mint perks up pineapple, mango, and berries.
All fanciness aside, following the basic recipe with a quality Greek yogurt is still likely to win you over. I opt for a plain, whole milk variety, but you can use fat-free, low-fat, or vanilla if you prefer. For those who may have shied away from whole milk yogurt because of the fat content, a half cup provides just 4.5 grams of fat (this may vary slightly by brand), which aids with nutrient absorption and makes this meal-on-the-go especially filling and smooth tasting.
You can prep enough to last you a week in relatively little time, and the result will be a better tasting, healthier, light meal or snack. As a bonus, it’s a little more fun to eat out of a pretty jar–and it’s reusable to boot!
Easy to customize based on personal preference and seasonal ingredients, the protein makes these fresh-tasting cups more filling than they might seem.
- breakfast on the run
- packable lunches
- camping breakfasts
- filling snacks
- adding protein and calcium to your diet
- meal prep convenience
Makes 1, but can easily be scaled up to make a week's worth
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) plain yogurt, divided (I like whole milk Greek, but use your favorite; may substitute cottage cheese)
- 1/4 -1/3 cup fresh fruit (such as chopped pineapple, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- 2 teaspoons jam or jelly*
- Optional: granola (about 2 tablespoons per cup), toasted nuts, shredded coconut, flax meal (about 1 tablespoon per cup)
Spoon half of the yogurt in a half-pint jar. Add the fruit and drizzle with the jam. Spoon the remaining yogurt on top. Sprinkle over the granola or nuts, if using. Seal the jar and pack it up for work or school, or enjoy it immediately.
- *The use of jam or jelly mimics the sweetened fruit mixture on the bottom of the store-bought, single serve cups. Feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors or use homemade, chia, or an all-fruit option. Fancy jams that include ginger or lime zest provide interesting flavor. (Ginger with pineapple or peach and lime with blueberries and strawberries are personal favorites). Optionally, you may forego the jam and add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
- If you refrigerate these with granola on top, the granola will become more chewy than crunchy. Some may enjoy this texture, but to maintain full crunch, simply add just before eating. For ready-to-go meal prep purposes, you can portion into a snack-size baggie or other small container.
- Storage: The yogurt cups will keep, sealed in their jars, for up to 1 week.
Doing it yourself allows for more ingredients you want and nothing you don’t want. There will be less sugar and additives than the convenient single serve cups, and they’re so darn easy to make. (I think they taste better out of a pretty jar, too!) Use a Mason jar or repurpose your jelly and other small condiment jars.