Friday, May 24, 2019

The Yogurt Struggle

Friends.  The yogurt struggle.  It's real.

My favorite way to eat yogurt is to begin with creamy homemade Greek yogurt, add sweetener and vanilla, and top with chopped strawberries and homemade granola.  It is so good!  Mmmm...

The difficult part, the struggle, if you will, is making sure that I have all of those components available at the same time

I'll have yogurt but not granola. 

Or granola and yogurt but not strawberries.

I'll have strawberries, but by the time I get around to making the yogurt and granola, they will have gone bad. 

I'll have granola, but by the time I get around to buying strawberries and making yogurt, the people who live here will have eaten it all.

And I know, I know, I could compromise.  I could use a different fruit.  Or seeds or chopped nuts instead of granola (not store-bought granola: never that).  I could buy yogurt, even.  Or switch it up completely and go with cookie dough yogurt (yogurt + honey or maple syrup + peanut butter + mini chocolate chips).  But it's just not the same delicious combination of creamy and crunchy, sweet and tart.  And it is a struggle to coordinate this yogurt perfection. 

I've figured out a couple of things over the years to help myself out.  I realized I can buy strawberries when they're on sale, chop them up and freeze them, then add them to my yogurt--the only issue there is I need to plan ahead a little so the strawberry chunks have time to thaw, but when they thaw, they release yummy strawberry juice which infuses the whole yogurt with strawberry flavor, so freezing them is maybe even better than using them fresh.  And now whenever I make granola I triple the recipe and freeze 5/6th of it.  The family can't eat what they don't know is there, and they rarely venture into the freezer in search of sustenance.

The thing I can't really make ahead is the yogurt, and unfortunately, that's the most daunting of the three.  Making yogurt requires good planning skills--which sometimes I have, and others not so much.

This week, the stars have aligned and I have all three: yogurt, granola, and strawberries in the house.  It's been heavenly.

I finally got the opportunity to try this little hack.

See my ducks in the background? 
Me, either, but they're there *somewhere*
I hope

So cute and fun, don't you think?  Super useful and functional, too.  I've got yogurt and strawberries in the jar and granola in the little cup on top. 

To do this you need a wide mouth mason jar with lid and sealing ring, plus a little plastic cup, like the ones you can buy fruit in.  Put food in the jar.  Put other food, that you don't necessarily want coming into contact with the first food (in this case, the granola, because I don't want it to get soggy during storage and transport), in the plastic cup.  put the lid on the cup, then turn the cup and lid over and place on top of the jar.  Use the sealing ring to hold everything in place. 

If you use a larger jar, you can also put a plastic cup inside the jar, resting on the lip of the jar, if you have two things you want to keep separate until serving (like with a jar salad, put the salad in the jar, dressing in the cup in the jar, croutons in the cup outside the jar).

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