Tips from a health and nutrition coach on how to easily build a healthy, tasty breakfast bowl. Plus, a FREE printable grocery list with my favourite yogurt topping ideas.
Are you on the lookout for a tasty, yet healthy, breakfast or snack idea? Well, that's where yogurt bowls come in. They're not only super easy to whip up, but also extremely versatile, and can be loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients.
But, to truly make the most out of your yogurt bowl, you've got to be mindful of the toppings you choose. You want to select toppers that are both delicious and nutritious, without adding too much sugar or calories.
I know, that sounds like work. That's why I've put together a list of the best yogurt toppings, separated into different categories. Trust me, you're going to love these!
What are healthy yogurt toppings?
Before I dive into sharing my yogurt topping ideas, let me give you a quick rundown of what clean eating means to me. As a holistic health and nutrition coach, I believe in consuming whole foods that are minimally processed and not refined. Plus, whenever possible, I try to eat organic and seasonal.
And guess what? That's exactly what my yogurt topping list is all about. The items on it don't follow any specific diet, like being vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or dairy-free. Instead, I built this list by choosing whole foods that nourish both your body and mind.
To help you build your yogurt bowls with more of the good stuff and less of the junk, I put together a printable yogurt topping shopping list. Having these healthy ingredients in your pantry will make it easier to build satisfying, satiating bowls on the daily.
If you're ready to go shopping, you can print the yogurt bowl topping list here. If you want to know more about how to use the ingredients, keep scrolling.
How to use this list
Making healthy eating a habit can be tough, which is why making it effortless is crucial. And, having a kitchen stocked with healthy options is one of the best ways to achieve that. But, before you head out to the grocery store, take a moment to check out the list of my favourite yogurt add-ins below.
Make a note of what you already have, and see what other toppings catch your eye. You don't have to buy everything on the list right away. If the items are new to you, try a few at a time. It's all about taking baby steps toward a healthier, happier you.
Once you run out of your new ingredients, try a few more. The key is to have fun and experiment with new flavors until you find a yogurt bowl that satisfies your cravings and makes you feel good.
Here's what you'll find in the yogurt topping ideas list below:
- Natural sweeteners
- Textured toppers
- Flavour enhancers
Be sure to print or pin this list of yogurt topping ideas for quick reference.
How do you sweeten plain yogurt without sugar?
If you're like me, you want to add sweetness to your yogurt bowl without adding refined sugars. Lucky for us, there are some amazing natural sweeteners that can do just that. Here are the best yogurt toppings for the job.
- Fresh fruit: Berries, bananas, chopped apples, or sliced peaches are all amazing options to add natural sweetness to your yogurt.
- Frozen fruit: Frozen berries, mangos, and pineapple are perfect for those who like their yogurt bowls extra chilly.
- Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, and chopped dates add a chewy texture and a burst of natural sweetness to your yogurt.
- Healthy jams: Look for ones that are free from added sugars and preservatives. Chia seed jam and fruit compotes are two of my favorites!
- Honey: This natural sweetener adds a complex, rich flavor to your yogurt and has antibacterial properties. If you don't have any on hand, check out my list of subs.
- Maple syrup: Opt for pure maple syrup to give your yogurt a unique, earthy flavor. If you don't have any on hand, I have a list of great alternatives.
- Agave nectar: Derived from the agave plant, this mild and slightly fruity sweetener has a low glycemic index. Here's what to use if you don't have any on hand.
- Stevia: This plant-based sweetener is much sweeter than sugar and has zero calories, making it a great option for those watching their sugar intake.
What are the best crunchy toppings for yogurt?
Who doesn't love a little bit of crunch in their yogurt bowl? I know I do. And, I use some amazing textured toppings to take my breakfast bowls to that level. Here are my favourite options.
- Granola: This classic topping is a must-have in any yogurt bowl. Not only does it add a satisfying crunch, but it's also packed with healthy ingredients like oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Feel free to try some of my homemade granola recipes.
- Nuts: Chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, and walnuts are another amazing way to add crunch, as well as healthy fats and protein, to your yogurt bowl.
- Seeds: For a super healthy option, try seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds. They not only add crunch but are also a great source of fiber and healthy fats.
- Coconut flakes: If you're looking for a sweet and crunchy topping, then you've got to try toasted coconut flakes. They're loaded with healthy fats and fiber, and add an incredible flavor to your yogurt bowl.
- Cacao nibs: If you're a chocolate lover, then you'll love cacao nibs. These small pieces of raw cacao beans add a chocolatey, crunchy flavor to your yogurt bowl and are packed with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
- Dark chocolate chips: Another great option if chocolate is your jam. I like to use Pascha 85% dark chocolate chips or Lily's Dark Chocolate Chips.
- Cereal: For a quick and easy option, cereal is a great choice. Just make sure you go for a high-fiber, low-sugar option like bran flakes or puffed rice to keep your yogurt bowl healthy.
What can I add to yogurt for flavor?
We're not done jazzing up your yogurt bowl just yet. If the sweet and crunchy toppings aren't enough, then I want you to start playing around with different flavour enhancers - like spices, powders, extracts and herbs. Here are some fun and healthy add-ins that can add variety to your bowls.
- Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder adds a delicious chocolatey flavor to your yogurt bowl. It's also rich in antioxidants and may have other health benefits.
- Protein powder: Adding a scoop of protein powder to your yogurt bowl can help boost the protein content of your snack or meal. Look for a high-quality, low-sugar protein powder that's free of artificial sweeteners and other additives.
- Nut butters: Adding a spoonful of nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter to your yogurt bowl can add a creamy, nutty flavor as well as healthy fats and protein. Look for a nut butter that's free of added sugars and oils.
- Extracts: Extracts like vanilla, almond, and peppermint can add a subtle, sweet flavor to your yogurt bowl. Just a small amount can go a long way, so start with a drop or two and adjust to taste.
- Cinnamon: This spice is a classic choice that adds a cozy, sweet flavor to your yogurt bowl. Not only that, but it's also great for regulating blood sugar levels.
- Nutmeg: Another warm and comforting spice that pairs perfectly with yogurt. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and is often used in fall and winter recipes.
- Ginger: If you're looking for a bit of a spicy kick, ginger is the way to go. It's also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and you can use fresh or ground ginger, depending on your preference.
- Turmeric: This spice has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It's also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help boost your immune system.
- Mint: Fresh mint leaves add a refreshing, cooling flavor to your yogurt bowl. They're also believed to have digestive benefits and can help soothe an upset stomach.
- Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a sweet, slightly peppery flavor to your yogurt bowl. They're also packed with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
- Rosemary: This herb has a strong, slightly woody flavor that pairs well with yogurt. It's also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What not to mix with yogurt
When it comes to mixing yogurt with other ingredients, it's important to keep a few things in mind. As a yogurt bowl enthusiast and recipe tester, I've learned that while yogurt is a versatile and delicious ingredient, there are some ingredients that pair less than perfectly. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, I'm sharing some things I've learned.
- Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and limes, can cause yogurt to curdle and separate, resulting in an unappetizing texture.
- Similarly, be cautious when mixing yogurt with other dairy products like milk or cream. These will cause your yogurt to separate and become watery.
- When adding spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg, don't add too much. These can be overpowering and make your yogurt bowl difficult to eat.
- Finally, let's talk sweeteners. I know it's tempting to load up on sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to make your yogurt taste good, but it's important to use them in moderation. Too much natural sweetener can turn a healthy snack into a sugary dessert.
10 yogurt bowl ideas
Okay, now that you have your pantry stocked with toppers, you're ready to start building bowls. For inspiration, I've shared some awesome combinations below that balance flavour and nutrition. Or, scroll past the list to find my go-to recipes.
- Mixed berries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of honey for a burst of sweetness and crunch with healthy fats.
- Sliced bananas, granola, and nut butter for a perfect balance of sweetness, crunch, and protein.
- Mango chunks, coconut flakes, and chopped macadamia nuts for a tropical flavor and plenty of healthy fats.
- Sliced peaches, raspberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a comforting flavor and plenty of nutrition.
- Blueberries, chia seeds, and shredded coconut for a burst of antioxidants, fiber, and tropical flavor.
- Diced apple, chopped pecans, and a drizzle of maple syrup for a perfect fall flavor and plenty of healthy fats.
- Sliced strawberries, dark chocolate chips, and a dollop of whipped cream for a decadent flavor and plenty of antioxidants.
- Pineapple chunks, kiwi slices, and hemp seeds for a tropical flavor and plenty of nutrition.
- Diced mango, blackberries, and a sprinkle of lime zest for a refreshing flavor and plenty of antioxidants.
- Sliced peaches, granola, and almond butter for a perfect balance of sweetness, crunch, and healthy fats.
My go-to yogurt bowl and topping recipes
If you share my love for yogurt and want to learn more, check out some of my other articles below.
You can add a variety of sweet, crunchy and flavourful ingredients to your yogurt to make it tase good. I've shared some of my favourite yogurt topping ideas. Now, tell me, what are the best yogurt toppings you use? PS - don't forget to download and print your yogurt toppings grocery list.