Almost every morning, I have a cup of flavored Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast. Ciobani is my brand. The design of the container accommodates more berries than that of other brands, and I flat out love the stuff. At least, certain flavors — I’ll get to that. But first, some context.
For longer than I care to admit, breakfast wasn’t on my agenda. Time was a factor, since I slept until the last possible second — even when I worked second shift. Depending on how drunk I got the night before, the very idea of eating a hearty, artery-clogging breakfast right out of bed was often enough to make me nauseous. Dealing with dirty dishes first thing in the morning was a deterrent too.
My abstinence-only approach to breakfast persisted long after I quit drinking more than the occasional margarita. Massive quantities of coffee — black — sustained me until lunch, when I’d pick up a “healthy” fast-food salad (extra dressing, please) with about the same caloric and fat content as a juicy cheeseburger, fries, and a cokie-colie. Then when I got home from work, I ate nonstop, more or less until bedtime. Throw in a tendency to sit on the sofa in front of the television, and the net result was a slow but significant weight gain.
The first diet I attempted was the Slimfast plan — two shakes and a sensible meal every day. Eventually, I got tired of every flavor, but breakfast had become a part of my daily routine. I stuck with the breakfast bars, but skipped the shakes, replacing them with Activia yogurt because I wanted the probiotics.
Going on Weight Watchers in 2011 forced me to take a closer look at my eating habits. Staying within my daily point allowance necessitated some changes. The breakfast bars had to go. I switched to Greek yogurt for the extra protein — never mind preferring the taste. I love the stuff.
Somewhere along the way, I picked up the berry habit, adding a cup or so to my morning yogurt. I blame Weight Watchers. Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are on the list of foods you can eat all you want for zero points. Free, and y’all know I loves me some free shit, especially if it’s loaded with sugar. I spend a small fortune on my free berries.
A lot of people don’t like yogurt. I think it’s because we associate the product with Euro-trash hippies or something. Throw in that the first taste of the stuff I ever had — plain and unsweetened — was gag worthy, and I understand. But if that’s your only experience with yogurt, you should give the flavored stuff a try.
Ciobani, as I said, is my favorite brand. They have lots of different flavors, but the one that inspired this post is new. Apricot, and I’m hear to tell you, it’s fabulous. My response might be emotional, perhaps even a bit nostalgic. Apricots are the only fruit my mother really likes. She’ll eat a peach, but she loves apricots and always has. The apricot flavor in the yogurt hits all the right notes.
I’m also a fan of the lime. Yum. Tastes like key lime pie. I buy extra and substitute a container for my nightly ice cream now and then.
Prior to the arrival of apricot, my favorite has been pineapple. I like both the strawberry and the raspberry flavors too, but would give a slight edge to strawberry. The peach is also pretty good.
I loved the pear when it first came out, but something about the texture bugs me. Pears aren’t supposed to be crunchy. I can only do the apple-cinammon flavor every now and then too. I dunno. I think maybe it’s the cinnamon.
I never buy the mango, blood orange, or passion fruit flavors because the one time I did, I wasn’t a fan. I don’t buy the pomegranate flavor because I can’t abide no damn seeds in my yogurt. Both the blueberry and banana flavors ring fake to me, so I don’t buy them either, including the mix with strawberry and banana.
The cherry flavor makes it home with me every now and then, but is always the last cup to go. I blame an experience with cherry Kool-aid when I was a kid. To this day, that fake cherry flavor makes me gag.
As I was researching this article, I see they’ve rolled out another new flavor. Blackberry. What a let down. Blackberries are my favorite berries, but the yogurt tastes just like the blueberry yogurt to me. Blech.
Oh yeah, don’t get vanilla. Double blech. I love vanilla ice cream. Vanilla yogurt, however, is nasty. The time I substituted vanilla yogurt for sour cream in a recipe has nothing to do with it.
So if you haven’t tried Greek yogurt yet, I hope this guide to flavors has been helpful. My advice? Go for the apricot. If everybody wants it, they have to keep making it. Don’t they? I mean, it worked with Twinkies.