Greek yogurt bowls make the ultimate protein-packed meal for any time of day. Top with a variety of colorful fruits, nuts and seeds to supply the fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body craves. 

Last week, I was hit with the 24-hour stomach bug – it was horrible! If you’ve managed to escape getting sick – lucky you. I think the 24-hour stomach bug is a little reminder that illness can hit anyone, at any time. When it passes, it really makes you appreciate your health. I know it made me appreciate mine.

The evening before “it hit,”  I was in my kitchen trying to perfect a Belgium waffle recipe. I had 5 failed attempts at the waffle before heading to bed. At 4 am, I woke up vomiting. Do you know what that means? It means you won’t be seeing a waffle recipe on my blog anytime soon. The mere thought of eating a waffle still makes me sick, let alone if I had to smell or taste one.

I rarely get sick, and thank goodness – I’m not very good at it. When I recovered, I could help but question how I got that sick. What did I do wrong? Where did I pick this up? Did I fail at eating enough nutrient rich foods to  protect my body from illness? Did I allow myself to get run down over the holidays? Or, are some illnesses just inevitable?

I concluded that, chances are, we’ll all have a virus or illness take us by surprise at one point in our life. We can minimize our exposure to toxins, but unless you plan on living in a bubble, you can’t completely avoid them – especially this time of year. That’s why it’s so important to fill your body with the nutrients – the ones that work to keep you healthy. It doesn’t take a lot of time in the kitchen to eat right. It just takes filling your bowl with nutrient dense foods.

Greek yogurt bowls are an easy way to accomplish that task. Start with protein and calcium packed Greek yogurt, then top it with a variety colorful fruits, nuts and seeds to supply the fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body craves. Greek yogurt bowls are way more than a quick, delicious and nourishing meal. Made right, they provide the key nutrients to help you fight off viruses and bacteria. And, they can be eaten any time of day.

Here are a few of my favorite flavor-filled bowls.

The Bowl: Cherry Smoothie Bowl Topped with Chia Seeds, Cocoa Nibs, Coconut and Pumpkin Seeds.

What You Get: A combination of smooth, crunchy, sweet, bitter and tropical! A protein-packed base mixed with healthy fats, phytonutrients, and fiber. The pumpkin seeds add a great source of magnesium and zinc and the cherries deliver anthocyanin, quercetin and carotenoids– three bioactive compounds that work together to protect us from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and guard against diabetes related stress.

The Bowl: Plain Greek yogurt Topped with Fresh Blueberries and Slivered Almonds

What You Get: One heck of an easy, nourishing meal! The yogurt provides the protein and calcium, the almonds supply the healthy fats and the blueberries provide a big dose of vitamin C, manganese and polyphenols – those tiny compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The Bowl: Vanilla Flavored Greek Yogurt Topped with Chocolate Granola, Almonds and Drizzles with Warm Peanut Butter

What You Get: A bowl of deliciousness, beautifully balanced in macronutrients! Greek yogurt packs in protein, potassium, calcium, zinc and Vitamins B6 and B12, the almonds and peanut butter provide the fats and the granola balances out the carbohydrates.

The Bowl:Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Strawberries, Mini Chocolate Chips, Crushed Almonds and Shredded Coconut

What You Get:Chocolate lovers rejoice! This bowl provides the same high-quality protein source as the others, but mixes in a sweet treat with every bite – mini chocolate chips. You’ll get a fiber, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants from the strawberries, and a crunch of healthy fats from the almonds. Though the amounts are small, shredded coconut contributes fiber, iron and zinc. The combination of nutrients from each of these foods adds up to a big bowl of nourishment.

The Bowl: Full- Fat Plain Greek Yogurt with Sliced Apples

What You Get:Sometimes, simple is best! That’s what you get from thisGreek yogurt bowl. Abowl of protein packed Greek yogurt, scooped up with an apple that offers big benefits to heart health, bone health and weight management. The skin of apples containscompounds found to have powerful inhibitory effects on cancer cells in the liver, colon, and breast. Plus, a flavonoid unique to apples may enhance bone density and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

The Bowl: Low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Diced Strawberries, Kiwi, Crushed Pretzel Pieces and Mini Chocolate Chips.

What You Get: Sweet, salty, crunchy, sour and smooth, all combined into one delicious bite – that’s what you get from this colorful combination. This protein packed bowl includes kiwifruit, which contributes the phytonutrient lutein to your diet. Lutein has been shown to support eye health, working to prevent age-related blindness and protects the eyes from various kinds of damage.

The Bowl: Plain Greek Yogurt Topped with Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Crushed Walnuts and Granola.

What You Get: This berry and granola smoothie bowl is filled with three different types of berries – leaving you with over 6 grams of belly-filling fiber and loads of antioxidants. The oats used to make the granola deliver additional fiber and iron, and the crushed walnuts not only taste great, but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids.

The Bonus Bowl: Plain Greek Yogurt blended with frozen cherries, then topped with pecans, a few slices of banana, cherries and Granola.

What You Get: First, let me explain the bonus bowl. I made this for dinner the other night because I was starved when I got home. I needed something quick or else the pantry was going to get raided!  I was going to make a smoothie, but honestly, I prefer to chew my meals rather than drink them. So, this was the result. I thought is was beautiful and I just had to photograph it. If you don’t like plain Greek yogurt, but you want to keep your sugar intake low, blending the yogurt with frozen fruit before adding topping is a great option. It thins the Greek yogurt (for those of you that don’t like the consistency) and it blends the sweetness into every bite. Easy, delicious and pretty, too!

Do you love Greek Yogurt bowls as much as I do? What are your favorite toppings?

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