Bored with Yogurt, Image adapted from: Flickr, hozinja, Creative Commons 2.0

Does anybody else out there get bored with yogurt from time to time? You love the stuff, you know it’s good for you, and you understand that it’s helping your stomach heal and your immune system get stronger, but how many times a week can you actually dig into a bowl of the stuff? Sometimes I find myself there, and I need to switch things up in order to really enjoy my bowl of probiotic-rich yogurt. Here are five absurdly easy ways to jazz up your yogurt without too much effort, cost or time.

Transform It Into Mousse

Real mousse is made with eggs, but this version is a cinch to prepare when the choco-craving hits, and it’s nearly as good. Just whisk together a thick yogurt (Greek works great here) with a bit of cocoa powder and honey (or agave, or maple syrup) to taste. Season with chili powder and cinnamon for a Mexican-inspired mousse, or add vanilla and raspberries for a more traditional version. If you want yours to be extra fluffy (and certainly more indulgent), fold in just a bit of freshly whipped cream.

Transform It Into a Milkshake

That’s really all the famous Indian drink mango lassi is (plus a bit of sugar and/or cardamom). A yogurt milkshake takes just about two ingredients to make: fruit and yogurt. Ta-da! There really is no rhyme or reason to making a successful yogurt milkshake; just add whatever fruits you dig in a milkshake or smoothie, and add enough yogurt to blend until smooth. Make things exciting with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. And always feel free to toss a bit of fresh mint or basil into the blender for an ultra-cooling summer milkshake.

Transform It Into Popsicles

Take your homemade milkshake from above, and pour the leftovers into popsicle molds or an ice cube tray. Add sticks and freeze until firm. Voila! Unsweetened yogurt popsicles that are sensible enough for those breakfast moments when you know you need fruit and protein but really just feel like having dessert or taking something quick out to the park.

Transform It Into a Sugar-free Parfait

Layer your fave yogurt with ultra-ripe fresh fruits in a tall milkshake glass for a luscious summer parfait. For a sugar-free version, just toss chopped fresh fruits with ground cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice. Layer that mixture in with your unsweetened yogurt and you’ve got a pretty lean dessert or breakfast that’s totally guilt-free.

Add The Savory and Transform It Into the Unexpected

Yogurt is actually a pretty great base for making savory dishes without too many ingredients. Here are just a couple of my favorite combinations:

  • Avocados and yogurt: To make a probiotic-infused guacamole, follow your usual guacamole recipe as usual, but add about 1 cup yogurt in for every 3 to 4 avocados called for. You’ll get a creamier, smoother guac with the zing of yogurt (and the extra health benefits). Alternatively, just fold chopped ripe avocados into a bowl of yogurt, and season with lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. Enjoy this tropical breakfast for a refreshing start to the day.
  • Eggs and yogurt: Don’t cringe. You’ve had this combination a million times before, in familiar dishes like deviled eggs, breakfast skillets and vegetable quiche. Only here, we’re simplifying the idea down to its core, and the flavor is just delicious. Fold chopped poached or soft-boiled eggs into a bowl of yogurt, and season lightly with fresh dill or parsley, a bit of salt and pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice for good measure. If you’re feeling particularly transcontinental, add smoked salmon or watercress to the mix. Now that’s a smart (and cheap!) brunch idea.

Image: hozinja