Yogurt. That creamy, thick, comforting goodness is one of the chief building blocks to a healthy breakfast. Dairy yogurt (full fat and unsweetened) is full of protein, key vitamins and in particular gut healthy probiotics. Not only is it a fundamental breakfast component, but it is a key ingredient for many exotic cuisines and is a staple in the sauce/dipping world!
So whether you are lactose free, vegan, intolerant, Fodmap friendly, suffer from fructose malabsorption or just dislike dairy yogurts and its cousin substitutes (soy and coconut) then you are pretty screwed over on other choices.
Tahini is a great one for padding out dips and there are a number of brands that offer great dipping thickeners and replacements such as Vegenaise. Chucking in a few blended nuts is an instant thickener and is used commonly in vegan cooking.
But the real problem curdles down to this: what to replace that morning bowl of yogurt with! If you aren’t a fan of coconut or soy alternatives then buying something in the local supermarket is not an option. There are a number of great recipes out there (check out Sarah Britton’s recipe in her latest book My New Roots) that offer recipes for cashew/almond yogurt and in the US there are a few brands that offer almond based yogurt substitutes (however a note; most of these are loaded with stabilisers and added refined sugars!).
This is not an anti-soya, anti-coconut rant at all. I am in fact a fan of them both, however sometimes it’s nice to switch it up! Coconut yogurt tends to be quite rich, and being Fodmap sensitive I can only stomach a little of the stuff. Soya yogurt has definitely flourished in the past few years, and there are a number of great flavoured brands with no added stabilisers and sugars. However, there is significant research to suggest that having too much soya in your diet can be detrimental. Living off tofu and edamame beans, I do worry sometimes that I might turn into a soya bean myself!
Creating your own nut based yogurt is a real commitment! It is not only costly, but time constraining (soaking, stewing, blending and sieving) and not for those who are anything but masters in the kitchen. Additionally we mustn’t forget that nuts are loaded with fats, and albeit it they are healthy fats, winter is coming and the pounds are easy to pile on. A bowl full of blended nuts every morning isn’t going to help with anyone trying to slim down!
So what are the alternatives out there? In the search for something delicious, nutritious, easy and cheap, the famed Green Smoothie Bowl came to mind! However, many of the recipes I have experimented with tend to come out sloppy and I sadly watch my granola clusters sink into the pond of green goodness. Soggy granola at the bottom of the bowl is not what I wanted to achieve! It needed to be thicker!
This is not a substitute for the white coloured, plain flavoured, wobbly yogurt we are used to. This is in fact quite the opposite – but somehow it works! Sweet, velvety, wholesome and GREEN, this plant based “yogurt” is our new obsession and we hope you will adopt it too! Similar to a smoothie bowl, but thicker and less sweet, this wonderful substitute can be made in minutes!
Why our Avo-Yoyo is a winner:
- Full of Probiotics – By emptying in your probiotic tablet to the mix or using live probiotic that can be stored in your refrigerator, Avo-Yoyo can have billions of healthy probiotics that are incredibly important for overall stomach sanity.
- Vitamin Powerhouse – A medium banana offers 25% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 (essential for healthy skin, hair, nails and regulation of the nervous system), and a medium avocado and banana combined provide the body with 30% of its RDA of Potassium (important for brain health and muscular contractions)! Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as Iron! This doesn’t even cover the goodness that will come from all those toppings!
- Healthy Fats – The avocado is the superfood of the moment and this isn’t just some fad! This green pear is high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart healthy fatty acid that is renowned for heart health and anti inflammatory benefits. Some studies have suggested that eating avocados with other plant based superfoods can help with the absorption of antioxidants and minerals! The fat from the avocado will help keep you full all morning!
- Adjustable – Avo-Yoyo is totally adjustable according to taste and can be PILED full of goodies. If you are trying to restrict your sugar or just don’t agree with banana then using avocado and spinach is enough to gain the right consistency (adding a little carrot can sweeten things up). If you are trying to cut down on your daily intake of fat, reducing the avocado and increasing the other ingredients results in the same outcome!
- Tell Me What’s Your Flavour – You can pretty much throw anything into the mix here – some days I use Maca powder, some days Baobab, some days Spirulina and some days NADA! If you fancy replacing spinach with kale, its the same outcome, and if you fancy replacing the banana with another fruit or veg you just need to increase the avocado! This is simple healthy eating.
I have listed the quantities for two servings of Avo-Yoyo. This can easily be doubled, but I use a Nutribullet and the capsule I have isn’t big enough to make larger helpings. If you do make a larger portion, make sure to only keep it for 3 days and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
A note on toppings you can literally add anything you like to your Avo-Yoyo: Granola, muesli, fruits, nuts and seeds, bee pollen, nut butters, sweeteners etc. We are fans of adding bee pollen for a touch of sweetness and proteinhit as well as mixed nuts and cereals for a little crunch!
Makes 2 servings
- 1/5 of an avocado
- 1/2 a banana (can be frozen)
- 2 Tbsp. of chia seeds (soaked until thickened)
- 6 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 Probiotic supplement (emptied out)
- 3 Tbsp. of filtered water/coconut water/birch water
- Additions: 1 Tbsp. of aloe vera juice, 2 Tbsp. of any superfood powder, a few carrots (peeled and chopped), a few berries, 1 Tbsp of Nut butter or tahini (for extra creaminess)
- Soak your chia seeds in 4 Tbsps of water until thickened. This should take around 30mins, but can be less.
- Throw all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and whiz! Make sure that you allow the blender to completely blitz the veggies and chia gel until completely smooth.
- Place in the fridge in an air tight container until ready to serve.
- Top with anything you would add to your yogurt and enjoy!