Greek yogurt is a protein-rich yogurt with so much versatility. It is strained to remove whey and extra liquid, resulting in a thick texture and rich flavor. Plain Greek yogurt for breakfast doesn’t have to be boring and flavorless.
Let’s look at 5 easy and tasty ways to add it to your morning meal so you can feel satisfied at the start of your day. Four of these ways require no cooking. First, a look at some of the nutrients and health benefits of plain Greek yogurt (1, 2, 3):
- Protein: 15-20 grams in 1 serving. Protein is the body’s building block and does most of the work of cells. It helps add a feeling of fullness to meals.
- Calcium: important for bone health
- Potassium: counteracts sodium and can help maintain blood pressure
- Probiotics: promotes gut health
1. WITH TOPPINGS
The easiest and quickest way to eat plain Greek yogurt for breakfast is with toppings. The options and combinations are endless.
Here it’s served with chopped strawberries and ground flaxseed to give it a boost in fiber, nutrients, omega 3 fat, and antioxidants. The berries add natural sweetness. You could also drizzle on a little honey or maple syrup.
Exchange the strawberries and flaxseed for other tasty and nutritious toppings:
- Other berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
- Chopped dates or dried fruit
- Pomegranate seeds
- Cacao bits
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts.
- Nut butter: mix in a tablespoon or two
- Seeds: chia, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower
- Chopped or shaved dark chocolate
- Add a little cinnamon
- Add a little fresh mint
2. SWEET ON TOAST
Another easy way to eat plain Greek yogurt for breakfast — on toast. Top it with fruit and nuts and be done. You could drizzle on or mix into the yogurt a little honey or maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Use the list above for more ways to top toast.
3. SAVORY ON TOAST
Plain Greek yogurt and avocado on toast
Add a little protein from plain Greek yogurt to your avocado toast. Mix a half avocado with 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt and seasoning of our choice and spread on toast.
Toast and crudites with seasoned Greek yogurt dip
Crudites and toast with dip for breakfast? Why not. This is an easy way to use up vegetables and bread sitting around, waste not. Swap the bread for pita bread if you’d like.
Here plain Greek yogurt is mixed with a pinch or two of garlic powder and paprika. Chopped herbs are added to the mix. Spread the dip on toast and serve alongside crudites.
Swap out the seasonings for other ingredients listed here for a different take. Don’t be afraid to experiment and combine your own flavors. Always start in small quantities and adjust the flavors to your liking.
Note 3 portions of fresh herb = 1 portion of dried herbs. For tablespoon: 1 tablespoon of fresh herb = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
- Fresh chopped herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley
- Seasonings and spices: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, ground cumin, dried herbs
- Minced fresh garlic
- Chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or capers. These are already salty and may be used in place of salt.
- A little lemon zest
- Grated or crumbled cheese
- Blend with avocado and a little fresh lime juice and seasoning
4. OVERNIGHT OATS (no cooking)
Plain Greek yogurt with oats can be prepared the day before in small containers. Mix in your add-ins from the first list above. This is a great way to add more nutrient-rich and antioxidant-containing foods like fruits, nuts, and seeds to your diet. The recipe calls for milk or a fortified milk alternative; an easy way to add some calcium and vitamin D.
Recipe: Overnight oats with plain Greek yogurt for breakfast (1 serving)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk of your choice
- Fruit, nuts, nut butter, or seeds of your choice (see first list above for ideas). Top with more if you’d like before serving.
- Optional: 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl or container.
- Cover and store in fridge overnight.
- Enjoy the next morning, either cold or warmed up for 20 – 30 seconds in the microwave.
If you plan to transfer from fridge to microwave, make sure you’re using a microwave-safe container.
5. GREEK YOGURT PANCAKES
These pancakes are light and so delicious. A little more fluffy than regular pancakes. They’re easy to make and ready in 10 minutes. Perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch; use up that tub of yogurt and whip these up. If you’re used to making pancakes from scratch, give this a try and boost the protein and calcium content in your pancakes. Add some chia seeds for healthy omega 3 fat.
Recipe: Plain Greek yogurt breakfast pancakes (makes 6-8 pancakes)
- 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional though flavorless, high in omega 3 fat, and confers health benefits)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat a greased griddle on medium.
- Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and chia seeds. Gently stir together until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add vanilla to eggs.
- Pour egg mixture into yogurt and flour mixture. Gently stir until just combined. It will look clumpy, that’s okay.
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 45-60 seconds and transfer to plate.
- Top pancakes with desired toppings (see first list above for ideas): fruit, nuts, nut butter, or syrup.
HOW LONG DOES GREEK YOGURT LAST?
Various sources say that unopened Greek yogurt can last up to two weeks in the fridge, even past expiration. Always check for signs of spoilage though and toss when in doubt. A yellowing liquid floating on top is a sign of spoilage. Once opened, consume within seven days.
If you have some Greek yogurt in your fridge that you need to eat soon, keep these tips and recipes in mind.