Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple Dessert
This Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple dessert is a delightful and healthy treat for the family. It looks fancy yet it takes only 5 minutes to make!
There are so many delicious variations to this Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple. Keep reading to learn about yogurt, new knife skills, and vanilla extract!
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that is enjoyed by cultures around the world. Bacteria ferment the yogurt, which are typically different species of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus. Many yogurt brands such as Dannon and Chobani will add additional bacteria species for an extra probiotic boost.
Yogurt is considered a probiotic because it is full of beneficial bacteria that have numerous health benefits. That means this Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple is a delicious way to consume probiotics! Research has shown that consumption of yogurt may improve lactose malabsorption, reduce duration of respiratory infections and enhance immune and anti-inflammatory responses.1
Types of Yogurt
The main categories of yogurt are Plain, Greek and Flavored (vanilla, strawberry, “banilla”), all of which can be made with whole (full fat), low fat or fat free milk. I used Greek (whole milk) yogurt to make the Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple. Greek yogurt is denser and thicker than plain yogurt because it is strained, removing water.
Plain yogurt is exactly what it sounds like and is the base of flavored yogurts. Flavored yogurts are sweetened, meaning they have sugar, and lots of it! For example, a ¾ cup serving of Chobani Vanilla Fat Free Greek yogurt has 10 grams of added sugar . That’s about 2 ½ teaspoons of sugar! Fat free products are often high in sugar to compensate for loss of flavor.
Dairy products are a nutrient dense food! They provide necessary vitamins (A, B6, B12, D and K), minerals (calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and zinc). Many milk/milk products are also fortified, which means nutrients are added to make it healthier!
In this Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple I used whole milk, which has some saturated fat (saturated fat has an association with increasing cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular disease). Personally, I enjoy full fat yogurt on occasion and feel that it has been demonized and avoided by many Americans. Recent research has shown the benefits of full-fat dairy consumption. 2
A growing body of research has shown that the nutrients in full fat dairy may have higher bioavailabilty of vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, a study has shown that people who consume full fat milk versus fat free milk did not have any difference in their cholesterol levels.3 However, I am the first to admit that more research is still needed to bolster these claims.
To make this Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple I use two techniques that might be new to you, chiffonade and macerate. I chiffonade mint to add a fresh taste and vibrant color. Chiffonade means to cut into long, thin strips. To chiffonade the mint, stack up to 8 clean mint leaves and roll them up like a burrito. Use a sharp knife to cut the mint into delicate ribbons.
The chiffonade technique can be used with any tender greens! You can chiffonade kale into a beautiful raw salad or basil to use in my Cherry Tomato Bruschetta recipe.
It’s important to gently smash or macerate the berries you add to the Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple. This will enhance the fruits flavor, add color and give the dish a better mouth feel. I used a large metal spoon to macerate or break up the berries, you could also use a wooden spoon. Sugar is usually added to macerated fruit, but it is unnecessary in my Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple!
Instead of using vanilla yogurt, which we now know has lots of added sugar, you can use vanilla extract. Vanilla is a bean that is hand harvested from tropical orchids. The island nation of Madagascar supplies 80-85% of the world’s natural vanilla!
Vanilla extract is made by slicing the vanilla bean and soaking it in an alcohol such as ethyl alcohol, vodka or rum. If you are worried/hoping about catching a buzz, almost all the alcohol is evaporated in the cooking process of vanilla extract. You can even make it at home, check out this recipe! Alternatively, you can use imitation vanilla which is synthetically made in a lab and does not contain any real vanilla beans.
Vanilla is similar to salt – it enhances the flavor of the other ingredients in a recipe. Without vanilla, cookies and cakes would taste bland and flat! You can also try using almond or mint extract when you make the Mixed Berry Yogurt Ripple.
- Kok CR, Hutkins R. Yogurt and other fermented foods as sources of health-promoting bacteria. Nutr Rev. 2018;76(Supplement_1):4-15. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy056
- Lordan R, Tsoupras A, Mitra B, Zabetakis I. Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to Be Concerned? Foods. 2018;7(3). doi:10.3390/foods7030029
- Visioli F, Strata A. Milk, Dairy Products, and Their Functional Effects in Humans: A Narrative Review of Recent Evidence1. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(2):131-143. doi:10.3945/an.113.005025
- Pint of raspberries
- Pint of blueberries
- 1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Garnish: mint leaves
- Crush/macerate raspberries and blueberries with a fork.
- Mix yogurt and vanilla extract in separate bowl. Fold berries into the yogurt.
- Split into bowls and garnish with mint.