Saturday, January 4, 2014

Healthier yogurt cups

(or you wouldn't give your kids ice cream for breakfast would you?)

There has been a lot of press lately about the links between autism and gut health, so I have my oldest daughter on a gluten free diet and eating a lot of probiotic yogurt to see if that helps.

The kids love yogurt, but it's always bothered me how much SUGAR they put in it. There is actually more sugar in most flavored yogurts than there is in ice cream! On the other hand, artificial sweeteners are something I never feed my kids.

I used to buy plain yogurt and put fruit in it, but then my husband started buying those individual yogurt cups to put in his lunch. The kids wanted to try them and got hooked of course. I knew from both the high cost and unhealthy amounts of sugar that I needed to come up with another solution. This is what I started doing.

Their favorite flavors are any of the berry ones, so I started pureeing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries separately.

I then put a small dab of honey into an ice cube tray (FTR- it works better to put the honey on TOP because when I put it at the bottom it sticks to the ice cube tray and a lot is lost.)

I then pour the purees into ice cube trays and freeze them.

I pop them out and put them in a container in the freezer.

For my husband's and oldest daughter's lunches I make 'fruit on the bottom' yogurt cups by putting a cube of fruit at the bottom of a small reusable container. Her school does 'litterless lunches' so we're not supposed to be sending those little disposable cups in the first place. This is a much more environmental option.

At home I just melt a cube into a bowl with a couple dollops of plain yogurt and then stir.

When I want to make mixed berry I put in 2-3 cubes of different flavors in a bigger bowl of yogurt and divide it up. More heavily flavored yogurt also works well, there is no such thing as too much fruit flavor! Nobody has noticed the switch and have been happily devouring this much healthier (and cheaper) version of yogurt.

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