- I can serve organic yogurt
- I can guarantee that the fruit on the bottom is more fruit than fruit flavoured "gel"
- I can eliminate the refined sugar
- I can control the amount of sugar
- I can prepare the flavours that my family loves, so nothing goes to waste
- I can minimize the single serving waste because I use 125 ml canning jars and reusable lids.
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt
My family has always enjoyed yogurt, particularly, the fruit on the bottom kind. For the past year or so, I have made a conscious choice to buy organic (would love to find grass fed too, but that is not to be). Sadly, the organic yogurt carried at my grocery store offers only a few flavours, of which, only one is liked by my daughter and it is the already stirred kind. In order to stop the yogurt flavour boredom from which my family is suffering, I decided to try my hand at my own fruit on the bottom yogurt, and I must say, I am pleased with the results.
So why should I make my own fruit on the bottom yogurt?
I think this is a win-win especially since it is easy to do and doesn't take much time.
When I started thinking about how to make this, I knew I didn't want to use the refined white sugar to sweeten the fruit or the yogurt. This meant, I would have to use honey or maple syrup resulting in a thinned down the yogurt. In the past, I have made a cornstarch or arrowroot thickened fruit sauces and sweetened with a little maple syrup which was excellent on pancakes or spread on toast. Sadly, the starch method would not be an option to thicken the yogurt. Hmmm! Thinking cap back on and then the AHA moment!
Drumroll please... Enter my favourite plant based thickener... Chia seeds - weird, wonderful, are amazing! They thicken milk for chia seed pudding; when mixed with water, they can be substituted for eggs in baking; they can thicken fruits to create chia seed jams. With all this thickening power, I decided they would be a perfect ingredient; and let's not forget the nutritional punch chia seeds bring to the party. Yes, we have chia seeds for the win!
So far I have made 2 flavours: blueberry and mixed fruit. For my blueberry flavour, I used fresh blueberries because we had just been picking. For the mixed berry version, I used frozen berries that came in a raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, and blueberry mix from the grocery store. I also varied the preparation of the fruit jams to see how they would perform with the yogurt. My blueberry jam was cooked and my mixed fruit jam was a raw chia seed jam. Spoiler alert... BOTH methods worked perfectly!
Today I am going to share my blueberry flavour. I will post the mixed fruit recipe next time!
For the blueberry jam, I used an excellent recipe for Magical Blueberry Vanilla Chia Seed Jam by Oh She Glows. I mentioned that I used fresh berries this time, but I've made this before using frozen ones. The jam turns out beautifully both ways. I let the jam sit overnight because I actually made the jam to have on hand for toast. It was serendipitous that I had it in the fridge when I got the brainstorm to use it in my fruit on the bottom yogurt!
1 recipe Magical Blueberry Vanilla Chia Seed Jam (save the leftovers for toast or pancakes!)
2 cups plain organic yogurt, I prefer a 2.5% fat content for creaminess.
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp chia seeds**
Mix the plain yogurt with the maple syrup and chia seeds well.
Put 1 tablespoon of the blueberry jam in the bottom of the jar. I used 6 each 125 ml canning jam jars (1/2 cup) with the canning lids and screw bands. Spread it to cover the bottom evenly. If you like a little more fruit filling, you can add a little more. Cover the fruit with the prepared yogurt and put the canning lids on and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that the yogurt thickens up.
**NOTE: If you use more maple syrup in your yogurt, you may need to add a few more chia seeds.
These are the perfect size for a packed lunch or snack. The containers are reusable and inexpensive to buy. I like to make a bunch up on the weekend for the upcoming week. Please let me know what you think. If blueberry isn't your thing, watch for my next post to get the mixed fruit recipe!