Single-serve yogurt cartons are so much fun. They're delicious, convenient, and the perfect size; no wonder it's so fun to open a new container of yogurt every morning. Yet as awesome as single-serve yogurt cartons are, there's something you really need to do: stop buying them!
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You can just make your own single-serve flavored yogurts in mason jars! And all you need is a large carton of plain yogurt and some fun ingredients.
I can hear some people asking, "But why not just buy them from the store?" There are three good reasons:
- They're expensive. Per weight, individual yogurts are usually 2–5 times more expensive than the same amount of yogurt from a large tub. That's a lot of money you're wasting by purchasing individual yogurts.
- The flavors suck. Okay, some of them are great. But let's be honest: they could be a lot better, right? By making your own single-serve flavored yogurts you not only get better flavors, but ones that you can customize. Furthermore, the homemade flavors are usually better for you than the store-bought versions (i.e., have fewer artificial colorings and flavors and, in some cases, less sugar).
- They come in plastic. Sorry if this sounds snobbish, but why eat out of plastic when you can eat out of a glass jar? Plus, a lot more plastic is wasted in making eight eight-ounce plastic containers than one 64-ounce container.
Making your own single-serve yogurts is fun and easy. You can even make them in advance and have breakfasts or snacks for a whole week straight, bringing back that "convenience" factor. Here are my four favorite ways to jazz up homemade yogurt flavors.
As a kid, I was obsessed with fruit juice concentrates. I loved to lick the container clean to get the strongest flavor possible. Now, I add it to my yogurt.
Buy your favorite fruit concentrate (I'm a lemonade man myself), and let it melt. Don't dilute it! Then add a spoonful to your jar of yogurt and stir it in. Instant flavor, and you can customize it with any kind of fruit juice concentrate—or even get wild with a mixture of different flavors!
If you can't find the right flavor fruit concentrate, you can always melt a popsicle and use that instead!
Yes, you heard me correctly: cheesecake yogurt. This may not be the healthiest breakfast option, but I'll be danged if it isn't ridiculously good. Here's what you do:
- Find a glass that is slightly smaller than your jar. You'll use the glass to make an indentation in the cheesecake. If you can't find a glass that's the right size, just use the jar that you'll be putting the yogurt in, and trim the cheesecake later.
- Carefully cut the cheesecake. Run a paring knife along the indentation until you've cut all the way through the cheesecake.
- Extract the circle. Push the circle of cheesecake out, so that you're left with a perfect circle roughly the size of your jar. If the cheesecake is too thick for the right yogurt-to-cake ratio, just cut the top off of the cake.
- Place it in the bottom of your jar and add yogurt. Voilà! Cheesecake yogurt!
Ed. note: I'm going to try this myself, but with key lime or lemon meringue pie.
My personal favorite, and the healthiest option, is to make a simple fruit mash. This doesn't need to be difficult. Just cut up a few pieces of fruit and put them in a bowl.
Then mash the fruit with the back of your fork and add it to the bottom of your jar. Top with yogurt, put it in the fridge, and you've got a ready-made snack.
Whenever I have some leftover dessert sauce or flavored syrups, I add them to a jar with yogurt and stick it in the fridge for the next day's breakfast. Fudge sauce? Yes, please. Boysenberry syrup? Sign me up. Nutella (especially if it's the homemade variety? Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby! But honestly, my favorite one is the simplest one: Trader Joe's raspberry jam. It's hard to beat.
There really are an endless amount of single-serve yogurt creations that you can make, so please tell me your favorites!