Sometimes you just want something with a light sweetness, but don’t want a heavy dessert to finish a meal. A plain dish of Greek yogurt takes on an elegant twist when you add a bit of fresh fruit. I always use plain Greek yogurt because it doesn’t have any sugar, it’s all natural and adds a bit of protein, it is diabetic friendly and low cal. Greek yogurt is thicker than American yogurt, and has a more concentrated flavor. While you can use American-style sweetened yogurt, you give up the health benefits when you substitute out the healthy bacteria cultures that are good for your digestive system with calorie adding starches or gun thickeners, and you also sacrifice taste. American flavored yogurts also add a great deal of unnecessary sugars that can play havoc with your insulin levels and can cause additional weight gain. It may be easier for the manufacturer’s to add pre-sweetened fruits, which are shelf stable and easy for them to store, but it is easy and healthier to purchase plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Greek yogurt is a great kitchen staple to have on hand for breakfast, for snacks, and to substitute for higher calorie sour cream as a thickener in recipes. A small dish of Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries is a charming, yet elegant way to cleanse the palate and end the meal.
I acquired a taste for Greek yogurt when I lived in a tiny mountain village called Vlassi, located on the Greek Albanian border. I was lucky to have lived with a Greek family for a summer in Greece during my college years, when they were invited for a traditional week long family wedding in the village. While the home made yogurt they produced was made from sheep’s milk, the cow’s milk Greek yogurt sold in the United States is a good substitute. As a plus, you won’t find the occasional sheep’s hair in your yogurt that I did in the mornings when I stayed in the village! I have vivid memories of the entire village sitting peeling onions for the feast, and I helped roast the fresh lamb over the fire for hours.
While you can substitute other fruit in this recipe, fresh raspberries have a power-punch of flavor that few other fruits offer with such intensity. It balances out the flavor of Greek yogurt. If you are going to substitute another fruit for the raspberries, I recommend another berry, such as blueberries or black raspberries. If you are going to serve this for breakfast, increase the portion size and serve with a carbohydrate.