Saturday, August 14, 2010

Delicious, healthy toppings for your yogurt.

Now that you've made some crock pot yogurt or you have some of your favorite plain store bought yogurt, what do you do with it? Good news, your options are boundless! Here are some of my ideas that you may find tempting...

1. Sweetener- I have found liquid types like raw or regular honey, agave and liquid stevia to be best for yogurt since they blend well and keep the yogurt texture nice and creamy. Granulated sugars will be gritty, however stevia powder may work. I personally like NuNaturals Pure Liquid Vanilla Stevia (can be found online at iherb or in certain health food stores), it has a very nice vanilla flavor and is not bitter.

2. Fruit- Any fresh or frozen fruit can be a topping for your yogurt. If you have some fresh strawberries (if frozen set them out to thaw for a bit) put a cup of them in your food processor and pulse a few times if you like them chunky or longer if you want a nice, smooth puree. Add some honey, agave or stevia to sweeten the strawberries to your liking then add to your yogurt. Fruits like raspberries or blackberries have seeds that can bother your teeth, so puree them in your food processor or blender then strain the juice through a fine mesh wire strainer.

3. Essential Oils- Adding pure, food grade Essential oils can be a delicious and healthy way of flavoring your yogurt. I would only flavor the amount you will be eating right away, as EO's are naturally anti-bacterial and may effect the beneficial bacteria of your yogurt. Lemon and Orange are wonderful flavors...and I recommend using Young Living's pure, food grade EO's, they can be found on my Young Living website.

4. Nuts-Using your favorite nuts as a topping, adds a wonderful crunch and a pleasing, tasty layer of texture as well as a source of beneficial, heart-healthy fats.

Here are a couple of my recipes to get you started...

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Organic Braeburn Apples (or your favorite kind)
Hormone free butter
Cinnamon sugar (see recipe for this here)

Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees. Use 1 TBSP of butter for each regular size apple, if using small apples like I did, use a approx. 1/2 TBSP of butter for each one. Use a TBSP of Cinnamon Sugar for each regular size apple and only 1/2 TBSP for the small ones.

Peel and slice your apples in thin slices, here I'm using my Apple, Corer, Peeler, it! You'll end up with these little, cored out, spiral sliced apples.

Slice them in half and you'll end up with crescent shaped apple slices...perfect!

Put all your apple slices in a bowl and melt your butter either on the stove or in the microwave for approx. 30 seconds. Pour melted butter over the slices as my oldest son is demonstrating here.

Sprinkle your Cinnamon Sugar over the buttered apple slices. My daughter is helping her Mommy with that.

Here is my younger son mixing it all together. Are you detecting a trend? Yep, this is perfect for kids to help make, it's fun and tasty!

Pour the contents of the bowl in a 13" x 9" baking pan. No need to butter the pan! Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, take out the pan, stir the apples and put back into oven. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Stick a sharp knife into apples to test for tenderness, if they pierce easily then the apples are done. Let sit and cool on the counter top, then...

top your sweetened yogurt with could add some nuts on top as well.

Blackberry Sauce

2 C. fresh or frozen blackberries
Your favorite sweetener ( I used 5 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia liquid)

Put blackberries in food processor or blender and blend till you have blackberry puree. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour your puree into the strainer. Using the back of a spoon, smoosh the puree through the strainer till all you have left is seeds...and there will be a lot of seeds! Add your sweetener to the blackberry sauce, adjusting as needed to your taste.

Spoon over yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, etc...

Your taste buds will thank you, your body will thank you, your family will thank you...need I say more ;-)

What are some of your topping ideas?

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