By Meri Raffetto, Wendy Jo Peterson

Breakfast in the Mediterranean is usually simple fare, but you can also find many specialties like Greek yogurt that are unique to the region. Although you can find many yogurts lining the shelves of your local grocery store, plain Greek yogurt reigns over the rest. One reason: All the liquid whey is drained out, leaving a thicker, creamier texture. Face it: Creamier is just better!

Along with the normal health benefits of yogurt (such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins B-6 and B-12), Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein of regular yogurt, keeping you feeling fuller longer. Greek yogurt is also lower in sugar and higher in the probiotic cultures that are helpful for healthy digestion.

You may be tempted to opt for a lowfat or fat-free variety of Greek yogurt, but not so fast! People throughout the Mediterranean region enjoy the full-fat variety; they eat full-fat products in moderation with other fiber-filled items, such as fresh or dried fruit, grains, nuts, and seeds. Focus on hunger and fullness cues over cleaning your bowl. Full-fat products can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet, especially if the fat helps create a greater satisfaction and sense of fullness than the lowfat counterpart.

If you aren’t used to the taste of plain yogurt, mix in some all-fruit spread or fresh berries to add a little sweetness. Try the Greek Yogurt and Fruit Bowls recipe for a quick, healthy, and delicious breakfast. Here’s to adding more yogurt into your diet!

Greek Yogurt and Fruit Bowls

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups red or green grapes

4 fresh apricots

2 cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt

4 tablespoons slivered almonds

4 tablespoons raw, old fashioned oats

4 tablespoons honey

  1. Slice the grapes in half and divide into 4 bowls (1/2 cup per bowl). Slice the apricots and discard the seed; divide equally into the 4 bowls.
  2. Top each fruit bowl with 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt and sprinkle with the slivered almonds and oats.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey over each bowl and serve. The figure shows an example of a yogurt bowl.

PER SERVING: Calories 206 (From Fat 45); Fat 5g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 23mg; Carbohydrate 36g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 8g.

mediterranean-yogurt
Illustration by Liz Kurtzman

A yogurt bowl can be a tasty and healthful breakfast.