Backyard eats featuring yogurt - thrive360
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Backyard eats featuring yogurt

by Zannat Reza, MHSc RD

With summer in full swing, eating al fresco (outside on our balconies, patios or backyard) calls for simplicity. Yogurt fits the bill perfectly as it is refreshing and also packs a protein punch along with 11 other nutrients. Not bad, right? We need protein to build muscle and keep our immune systems healthy. And because protein curbs hunger, it can help keep our energy levels up for all that summer fun.

(Disclosure: I’ve partnered with the dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada to bring you this information on yogurt. As always, all content is vetted by me and opinions are 100% mine.)

One easy no-cook meal idea is to serve savoury yogurt bowls. While many of us tend of think of pairing yogurt with something sweet, going the savoury route opens up endless possibilities. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers, and make an easy, no-fuss lunch.

Here are more variations I created for — Mediterranean yogurt bowl, South Asian bowl and Chili Lime bowl.

Protein-power dip

By swapping out sour cream for Greek yogurt, we’ve upped the amount of protein. Mix the following ingredients in a medium bowl and serve with a platter of vegetables.
1 cup  plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp  sundried tomato pesto
cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Black pepper, to taste
(recipe adapted from Dairy Farmers of Canada)

Mini berry scone muffins

Makes 24

Greek yogurt adds moisture and protein to these berry-packed cross between a scone and a muffin. Sit back and imagine yourself at high tea.


  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) cold butter
  • ½ cup (125 mL) milk
  • ½ cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 mL) berries (quartered strawberries or blueberries)*


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a bowl, mix flours, wheat germ, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cut cold butter into flour mixture using two knives or pastry blender, until mixture looks like oatmeal.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Add berries to flour mixture and mix to coat berries.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture.
  7. Stir lightly until a sticky dough forms, trying not to overmix.
  8. Scoop dough into greased mini-muffin tin.
  9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until tops are lightly browned. Cool on rack and enjoy.

* If using frozen berries frozen until ready to add to dough.

For other protein-packed recipes, check out and 
Let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they turned out for you.
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