Friday, October 14, 2016

A to Z Food Challenge: Y

Happy Friday everyone and happy second-to-last "Food Challenge". I can't believe I've made it this far, but I can tell you it's inspired me in multiple ways. One being that I'm less cautious to try new things. Also I will be doing a new segment each Friday the week after next (the last food challenge), which will be announced next Friday.

Today however, we have a food challenge to get to, the letter 'Y' and I've chosen to go with Yogurt. Hear me out. I have a few things mixed into today's post. A taste test AND a mini-list on how you can enjoy yogurt in different ways! 

Yogurt is a very good snack, dessert, and breakfast, that can help with your healthy diet. It's also an excellent way to get your daily dairy (for those who aren't lactose intolerant), without scarfing down 2 grilled cheese sandwiches (don't worry, I do it too). Unfortunately, yogurt can be boring and feel like a chore to eat, but today I'm going to show you guys 3 ways (and some) to spruce up your plain yogurt, so you can start enjoying it again! 

1. Fruit
Who doesn't love fruit?! Well, actually there are a lot of people, but if you DO like fruit (and/or perhaps want to jazz up your bananas as well) then you're in for a treat today! Instead of buying the yogurt that has the fruit already in it, pour a flavored one onto a nice bowl of fresh or frozen fruit! I enjoy the berry medley from Trader Joe's and some Strawberry or Vanilla yogurt on top, for a dessert alternative. Other fruits that taste awesome with a nice covering of yogurt are papayas, strawberries, melon, apples, oranges, kiwis, and bananas! It's really simple, but when combined, it makes for a really delicious dish. If you want to add even more, you can sprinkle some granola, chia seeds, and honey, for the ultimate health food meal! Personally I aim for fruit flavored yogurts when I eat with fruit (don't get me wrong, vanilla is an excellent choice for this, but I looove fruit flavors with fruit). 

2. Cereal
This is my son's favorite way to enjoy a nice bowl of cereal in the morning. Recently he's been into the Trader Joe's Vanilla Granola cereal, with a nice cup of Vanilla yogurt on top, and a drizzle of rice milk, as his "go-to" breakfast. Now, this can be played two ways. You can either make it with a little milk for a thicker "yogurt-like" consistency or you can add more milk to make a more traditional style cereal dish. You'd be surprised with how amazing it tastes with cereal in general and you can use ANY flavor you like! I've tried this on Cocoa Puffs, Fruit Loops, Raisin Bran, and Cheerios as well, with a fantastic result across the board. I've done blueberry yogurt with Cheerios, vanilla with Raisin Bran, and strawberry with Cocoa Puffs (I highly recommend this one). It just goes to show, experiments in the kitchen can bring forth delicious new loves.

3. Drinkable with Chia
Again, this is very simple, but you'd be surprised by how many people aren't aware of drinkable yogurt! At Trader Joe's, they have these probiotic yogurt drinks called "Kiefer" and I'm IN LOVE. They used to only sell Plain, Blueberry, and Strawberry, but just recently they've started selling more flavors! Now they have Vanilla and Mango (haven't tried the mango one yet), but the Vanilla one is HEAVEN IN A PLASTIC BOTTLE. I'm automatically attracted to vanilla flavors, so as soon as I saw this I grabbed it with a hug (yes I got s few looks). I can vouch for how fantastic this is and what an excellent way to enjoy a healthy beverage. I add chia seeds to each glass that I pour (it's a big bottle that last be 2/3 breakfasts) for added benefits, which would be extremely beneficial for those who avidly workout, as an after workout "snack". For added crunch, you could also add granola into your glass. Perhaps even use this as the yogurt you put on your fruit. For me, I'm just glad that I get the probiotics I need without sacrificing taste. 

A few other super easy ways to use yogurt in your daily eats, could include:
-Avocado dip
-Spinach artichoke dip
-Dip in general
-Cakes
-Brownies
-Cookies
-Muffins
-Smoothies
-Marinade (you'd be surprised)
-Ice cream
-Homemade granola bars
-Trail mix

As you can see, yogurt has many different uses. It doesn't have to be the same plain ol' cup of boring-ness. Add a little pizzazz in whatever way suits your taste buds and enjoy the delicious choices! 

As mentioned prior, I'm also including a taste test review. This is going to be for the Trader Joe's Chocolate European Style Lowfar Yogurt. I had heard mixed reviews about this yogurt and while I could've asked an employee to let me sample it right then and there, I didn't want to make a disturbing face if I hated it (as some have told me they truly do). Now, the main reason why I was so interested in trying this, is because I'm a huge fan of chocolate pudding - as is my Padawan - and I was hoping for a better alternative in the chocolate world. I knew ultimately it wouldn't be identical, but I was hopeful and kept an open mind. I regret to inform you all that it was horrible. No offense to Trader Joe's in any regards whatsoever, but this is a product I will NEVER buy again. 

I opened up what to be a milk chocolate looking yogurt, mixed it up (its my habit with yogurt, but thankfully I did because there is chocolate on the bottom), and took a bite that led me straight into bitter town. I'm a huge fan of tart frozen yogurt in general, but this was a bitter tart that did not do my taste buds (or chocolate cravings) any justice. I was filled with disappointment, but alas, not everything from Trader Joe's suits my desires. I wasn't to broken up with it though, because 90% of there stuff makes my tummy fill with glee. 

Personally I wouldn't recommend this yogurt, but if you like tart and bitter yogurt with a hint of cacao flavor (it was more of a dark cacao taste than chocolate to me), perhaps this could be an amazing find for you? If you do try it, let know in the comment section below! 

 I love you guys so much and I can't thank you guys enough for all the support you have given me. I send a big squeeze hug to each and every one of you! Have an amazing weekend and please remember to stay safe! You're like a little family to me and I want all you Padawans and Jedis to keep rocking!

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