September 2, 2016 3 Comments
I’ve been eating Yogurt Sundaes since I was a teenager. This versatile bowlful of food can be a yummy breakfast, a light lunch, a late-night snack that keeps you full until morning (crucial for fighting pregnancy nausea!), or a satisfying treat when you want the fun of eating a sundae without the calories and sugar of ice cream with syrup.
You can make it any size, you can use any kind of fruit and any kind of (optional) crunchy stuff, and you certainly could make it look fancier than I did last night when I spontaneously decided to snap a photo. I’m not big on appearances, and my 11-year-old food stylist was asleep!
This particular Yogurt Sundae was made with plain whole-milk yogurt, unsweetened organic applesauce, Cheerios, cinnamon, and allspice in a cereal bowl. I did not add any sweetener, yet I thought it was pleasantly sweet.
Here’s what you need to make your own Yogurt Sundae:
- Dish. Choose one that will look pleasantly full with the amount of food you should be eating–if you feel like having a snack but aren’t all that hungry, use a small dish to avoid overeating. You might want to use a proper sundae glass or other fancy dish to enhance your perception of enjoying a sweet treat.
- Yogurt. I recommend using plain yogurt and adding fruit, and sweetener if you must, rather than using flavored yogurt, which can contain more sugar than chocolate-caramel sauce! The fruity stuff in fruit-flavored yogurts is more highly processed and therefore lower in vitamins and fiber than fresh fruit, frozen fruit, or even some canned fruits. My very favorite yogurt is the whole-milk regular (not Greek) style from Trader Joe’s–it doesn’t taste sour or acidic at all. (Yes, it does have cholesterol and saturated fat. I eat very little meat and cheese, so I’m not worried about getting too much of those.)
- Fruit. You might dice a fresh peach or banana. You might dice a fresh apple or pear and cook it quickly or keep it raw. You might use cooked fruit that you made from odds-and-ends. You might microwave some frozen berries. You might open a can or jar of fruit–try to buy unsweetened or “packed in juice.” Last night, we were out of fresh fruit but had an open jar of applesauce.
- Crunchy stuff (optional). I usually include some granola or other cereal–but I’m one of those strange people who thrives on carbs and stays slim. Chopped nuts also make a great sundae topping! If you want cereal but need to limit carbs, try sprinkling just a tablespoon on the top of your sundae.
- Sweetener (optional). Taste your sundae first to see if it’s sweet enough; you might be surprised. Even if you drizzle it with maple syrup or sprinkle it with sugar, you’ll likely use a smaller amount than the added sugars in flavored yogurt or canned fruit packed in syrup!
- Other toppings (optional). Some fruits taste better with cinnamon, ginger, etc. If you have a chocolate craving, try sprinkling on cocoa powder. If you want to take this in a really healthy direction, sprinkle with ground flax seeds or wheat germ. Maybe even put a cherry on top!
Think this is too healthy to satisfy you? Try it as a breakfast first, then as a snack, and in a few years you might find yourself eating it for dessert as well as gradually decreasing the added sugar. That’s what I did.