I’m no Jamie Lee Curtis. You won’t find me slurping down copious amounts of yogurt on a daily basis or trading in my status as an international sex symbol to become synonymous with pooping.
Why, Jamie Lee, why?
My issue is with the prepackaged flavored yogurts. Like canned soups, they all taste the same after a while. But I like the idea of yogurt, of having something wholesome and cold for breakfast when it’s so hot outside that you wish you could unzip your skin and just sit around in your bones on a polar ice cap.
So, my solution is to buy a container of plain (or vanilla) low-fat yogurt and doctor it until it’s so packed with flavor and texture that I actually crave it. Crave yogurt.
That’s saying something.
This Orange Yogurt is full of good things – orange segments, chopped pecans, raisins (if you want them), honey and vanilla. But stirring things into yogurt is no big secret. The secret here is in the actual yogurt. You drain it overnight and then replace the liquid with freshly squeezed orange juice. It makes such a huge difference. When you first add the liquid, it will seem soupy and way too wet, but no worries. Forge ahead like the fearless warrior you are, and within seconds, the yogurt will start to absorb the liquid.
I love waking up with this super-cold, creamy, crunchy, nutty, fruity yogurt, but it also makes a perfect late-afternoon snack or dessert, especially layered in a tall glass with granola (or your favorite cereal) and sliced bananas or pineapple chunks. And it’s pretty enough to serve to company.
Feel free to change the mix-ins to suit your own tastes. Exchange the raisins for banana slices or dried cranberries. Add a small handful of toasted coconut. Trade the orange segments for drained crushed pineapple. Or, nix the fruit, and add maple and walnuts.
You could even skip the mix-ins and use the combination of yogurt, orange juice, honey and vanilla to top a fruit salad.
So many decisions. At least one is easy. If you’re ever faced with the choice to be known forever as an international sex symbol or world-class pooper, always go for sex symbol.
Loaded Orange Yogurt
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”
Makes 3 cups
- 1 quart (32 ounces) plain low-fat yogurt (regular or gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Garnish: orange segments, orange zest, nuts or raisins
- Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels, and place it over a bowl. Grab a spoon or rubber spatula, and scrape your yogurt into the sieve. Let it drain in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
- Place the thickened yogurt into bowl, and add the nuts, raisins (if using), honey, vanilla and orange zest.
- Thin the mixture with orange juice until it’s the right consistency for you. (It might seem soupy at first, but the yogurt will absorb the liquid.)
- Garnish with orange segments, orange zest, nuts or raisins (if using). Serve immediately.