8 Easy Ways to Make a Cup of Greek Yogurt Way Less Boring

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Greek yogurt has long been a snack-time standout, and for a few good reasons: It’s filled with the healthy fat and protein you need to stay satisfied—and its neutral flavor and creamy texture make it reliably enjoyable, no matter what you’re craving that day.

Problem is, that plain cup can start to feel a little…uninspired. And classic upgrades can get old too, especially if you stick to the same add-ins over and over again. After all, there are only so many times you can sprinkle on some granola before that becomes boring as well.

The good news? There are actually a whole bunch of ways to turn your reliable snack into something more riveting—and you don’t need to make a huge effort to do so. Little tricks like adding savory mix-ins, making use of unexpected ingredients, and rethinking how you eat the creamy treat can give you a new appetite for this snack-time classic. Here are some ways to help your Greek yogurt find its new groove.

1. Switch up your base.

If you’ve been stuck on nonfat or low-fat options, you may want to give full-fat yogurt a try.

“Full fat will always reign in the taste department for me,” Roya Shariat, Brooklyn-based writer, home cook, and coauthor of the cookbook Maman and Me: Recipes from Our Iranian American Family, tells SELF. “The flavor just feels ‘fuller.’” she adds. Plus, thanks to the higher fat content, these versions tend to be a little more satisfying too.

While there are tons of flavoring options out there, Shariat actually recommends going with a plain base instead: It’s just more versatile. “I love getting an unflavored yogurt as my blank canvas so I can go sweet or savory with it,” she explains.

2. Add surprising sources of crunch.

There’s nothing wrong with granola, but it’s not your only option. Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, of Street Smart Nutrition gets her crunch fix with something a little different: a trail-mix-like combo that packs some heat. She loves to add a few spoonfuls of Fly by Jings’ Chengdu Crunch—which contains fava beans, yellow split peas, soy beans, and pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, along with chili flakes and oil—to her Greek yogurt to mimic the feel of granola (and sneak in some extra fiber).

You can also make your own mix by heating a neutral oil (like canola or peanut) to just below its smoking point and combining your favorite flavor element—think garlic, shallots, or green onions—with some heat (say, chili flakes or Szechuan peppercorns) and crunch (like chopped nuts or sesame seeds), Harbstreet says. Cook thoroughly, then toss your mix right in your yogurt bowl, scoop it up with chips, or make a savory parfait by adding in some chopped veggies, like cucumber or red bell pepper.

3. Make it into a dip.

Speaking of chips, turning your spoonable bowl into a scoopable dip is an easy way to shake up your snack. In fact, for Shariat, chips and Greek yogurt dip was her go-to growing up and is still something that always hits the spot.

“Find your favorite variety of potato chips, and mix Greek yogurt with a spoonful of sour cream or mayo, and any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand—Italian seasoning works great,” she explains. From there, taste to see if it’s missing anything, like lemon juice, black pepper, or other seasonings, and dig in. While Shariat loves potato chips, everything from pita and tortilla chips to raw chopped veggies like carrots and cucumber pair excellently with Greek-yogurt-based dips.

4. Amp up the classic fruit-and-yogurt combo.

Fruit and Greek yogurt is another famous pairing, but slicing up a banana or sprinkling in that same kind of berry can get old. So try some unexpected options. Tropical fruits like pineapple, watermelon, and mango go surprisingly well with the tangy creaminess of yogurt. They also meld great with a sprinkling of Tajin (a lime, chili, and sea salt blend), which makes for a Mexican-street-cart inspired treat, says Harbstreet. Frozen or canned options work well too and can be super convenient during off-season, she adds—their texture just may be a little different.

Whether you go the tropical route or prefer to stick with solid standby combos (like apple and banana or orange and kiwi), your bowl could benefit from a bit of orange blossom water, Shariat says. “Just adding a touch can bring some gorgeous floral flavors to a yogurt bowl, making the fruit and whatever else you throw in there really sing,” she says. Not a fan of orange blossom? She says rosewater is worth trying out too.

5. Sprinkle on some salt.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going the sweet or savory route: Salt belongs in your bowl. “Always add a pinch of salt to your yogurt mix, even if you’re doing fruits and granola,” says Shariat. “I find that it rounds out the flavors really beautifully.”

6. Make the yogurt your topper.

If you’re tired of Greek yogurt bowls, consider reversing your approach entirely, says Harbstreet. “Instead of looking for things to mix into Greek yogurt, think of it as something that can be added to another food,” she explains. Smear it on toast, crostinis, or pita bread for a handheld snack, and top with thinly sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, seeds, and spices for a savory bite. Or, she adds, make a sweet Greek yogurt toast with all the usual parfait add-ins, like peanut or almond butter, cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup, and fresh sliced apples or bananas.

7. Try out the social media “sundae” trick.

This TikTok hack has been picking up steam for months: Swirl a tablespoon or two of peanut butter into a plain cup of yogurt, top it with melted chocolate and whole or chopped peanuts, and let the whole thing chill in the freezer. You’re left with a magic shell, sundae-esque treat that’s infinitely riffable.

For instance, Shariat recommends swapping peanut butter for tahini along with a squeeze of honey for a sesame twist-style snack. You could also swirl in raspberry or strawberry jam before adding the chocolate, pop a stick in it, and let it freeze until completely solid for a makeshift dreamsicle.

Quick note, though. Make sure you’re enjoying this for what it is—a tricked-up yogurt cup—and not because you want it to take the place of ice cream. “One sneaky way that diet culture shows up is implying these ‘treats’ should only be enjoyed if they’re highly nutritious,” Harbstreet says. So if you really want ice cream, have ice cream! But if you’re simply in the mood for yogurt 2.0, then give this a shot.

8. Take inspo from your other favorite dishes.

With its neutral flavor, Greek yogurt goes great with a lot of things—and chances are, that includes your other favorite dishes. For Harbstreet, that’s a bagel-inspired breakfast bowl. She’ll add sliced or diced cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and capers, as well as torn smoked salmon and a hearty sprinkling of Everything Bagel seasoning to some plain Greek yogurt.

“This hits the mark for texture plus flavor and nutrition,” she says. “No, it’s not the same as the original bagel-based version, but it works well for someone like me who wants to channel that flavor profile without a trip to the bakery.”

But don’t stop there. Use the same formula to create everything from a Mediterranean-inspired snack with store-bought falafel to a knock-off seven-layer dip with black beans, guac, and pico de gallo. Basically, it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with an ingredient as versatile as Greek yogurt—so don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative.


Originally Appeared on SELF