February 17, 2011

A Snail's Pace: How I Learned to Like Yogurt

Food at our house is in short supply right now, ladies and gentlemen. I have to admit, on weeks like this when Dan is gone and I have plans almost every evening, I kind of forget to cook... or even grocery shop. When I opened my fridge this morning to scrounge up today's lunch, my choices were pretty limited: it was either a bagel or some leftovers that were just barely this side of too old. I opted for the bagel (and threw away the leftovers) and grabbed the butter as well, since apparently we're out of cream cheese, too.
As the morning went on, though, I started to crave a Starbucks drink. I was up late last night and started to crash, so by lunchtime I figured I'd grab one to go with my bagel and hoped it would wake me up a little. It was gorgeous outside, so I was happy to have an excuse to head out into the sunshine for a while. As I was waiting in line for my mocha frappuccino, I noticed that they had one of those fancy parfait things with greek yogurt with honey and granola. I've been trying to convince myself to try greek yogurt for a while now, so I knew that I should purchase this cute little package:
Let's start at the beginning here: my own little relationship history with yogurt. When I was little, I hated the stuff. I hated the texture, I hated the taste, I hated all the pieces of fruit in it, and try as my mother might (it was a valiant effort, mom!) I just couldn't eat the stuff. While all my friends sucked down their go-gurt at lunch, I shuddered at the thought of blueberry goo (I don't think I'll ever be able to stomach one of those). While I was in college, however, I launched a major campaign to get myself to like yogurt. I knew it was good for me, it was a quick and easy breakfast/snack/late-night indulgence, and, perhaps mostly importantly, the stuff was cheap!
After forcing myself to eat it for several months, I started to figure out which flavors I could handle and which were out of the question. I'm still really picky: I can't do any of the ones with bits of fruit, so I've memorized the few flavors that come sans chunks. Years later, however, I've been surprised to find that I actually really enjoy these few. My favorite thing to do is to mix in some raw oatmeal -- it gives it a little crunch and makes it feel a little more substantial.
Recently, it seems like everywhere I go people are raving about greek yogurt. It's in recipes and all over the shelves at the grocery stores, and I feel like I must be missing out on something big, but I have been sooooo hesitant. I mean, I finally just finished convincing myself to like regular yogurt, and now you want to take out all the flavor and change up the texture on me? I'm skeptical. Nevertheless, I've been slowly working up the courage to trying this new and scary product. I even bought a few little packages recently at the store, but I've been too scared to try one yet. (Note: I love food and am usually pretty willing to try anything. I'm not sure exactly why yogurt is different, but I think it has to do with the texture. I'm really not as horribly picky as I sound, though.)
So flash forward to Starbucks today, when I decided that if anyone can make greek yogurt yummy, it would be them. Plus I guess I was feeling a little extra brave today, because I scooped that cup right up and placed it confidently on the counter, trying to hide the fact that inside I was totally freaked out. I opened it slowly when I got back to my desk and took a sniff. Not promising. I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I added a little bit of honey. I love honey and happened to have some with me at work, so I figured that might ease my first experience. I stirred in the granola and took a few tentative bites, and I was absolutely shocked to find that I actually didn't hate it. In fact, it was pretty good. The granola was really amazing and totally helped with the whole texture thing. The honey was the perfect addition. I couldn't believe it when I looked down and I had finished the whole thing, while my drink sat there melting, completely forgotten.
I think I may have found a new breakfast... although I'm not  planning on spending almost $4 every morning so I'm going to do my best to recreate the magic. I'm a little behind this bandwagon, but I'm sprinting to catch up: does anybody else out there love greek yogurt? Do you have a favorite brand or something great to mix in? I'd love to hear your suggestions!



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