Orange Yogurt with Honey and Pecans

Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten-Free, Meatless / Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I’m no Jamie Lee Curtis. You won’t find me slurping down copious amounts of yogurt on a daily basis or trading in my status as an international sex symbol to become synonymous with pooping.

Why, Jamie Lee, why?

My issue is with the prepackaged flavored yogurts. Like canned soups, they all taste the same after a while. But I like the idea of yogurt, of having something wholesome and cold for breakfast when it’s so hot outside that you wish you could unzip your skin and just sit around in your bones on a polar ice cap.

So, my solution is to buy a container of plain (or vanilla) low-fat yogurt and doctor it until it’s so packed with flavor and texture that I actually crave it. Crave yogurt.

That’s saying something.

This Orange Yogurt is full of good things – orange segments, chopped pecans, raisins (if you want them), honey and vanilla. But stirring things into yogurt is no big secret. The secret here is in the actual yogurt. You drain it overnight and then replace the liquid with freshly squeezed orange juice. It makes such a huge difference. When you first add the liquid, it will seem soupy and way too wet, but no worries. Forge ahead like the fearless warrior you are, and within seconds, the yogurt will start to absorb the liquid.

I love waking up with this super-cold, creamy, crunchy, nutty, fruity yogurt, but it also makes a perfect late-afternoon snack or dessert, especially layered in a tall glass with granola (or your favorite cereal) and sliced bananas or pineapple chunks. And it’s pretty enough to serve to company.

Feel free to change the mix-ins to suit your own tastes. Exchange the raisins for banana slices or dried cranberries. Add a small handful of toasted coconut. Trade the orange segments for drained crushed pineapple. Or, nix the fruit, and add maple and walnuts.

You could even skip the mix-ins and use the combination of yogurt, orange juice, honey and vanilla to top a fruit salad.

So many decisions. At least one is easy. If you’re ever faced with the choice to be known forever as an international sex symbol or world-class pooper, always go for sex symbol.

Loaded Orange Yogurt

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”

Makes 3 cups

  • 1 quart (32 ounces) plain low-fat yogurt (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Garnish: orange segments, orange zest, nuts or raisins
  1. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels, and place it over a bowl. Grab a spoon or rubber spatula, and scrape your yogurt into the sieve. Let it drain in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Place the thickened yogurt into bowl, and add the nuts, raisins (if using), honey, vanilla and orange zest.
  3. Thin the mixture with orange juice until it’s the right consistency for you. (It might seem soupy at first, but the yogurt will absorb the liquid.)
  4. Garnish with orange segments, orange zest, nuts or raisins (if using). Serve immediately.

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21 thoughts on “Orange Yogurt with Honey and Pecans

  1. That bowl of yogurt looks gorgeous! And infinitely better than any of the pre-packaged stuff! :)


  2. You had me at 'Orange Yogurt' — it's been so hot and sticky here that very little seems appetizing. This sounds like a perfect thing to eat while trying to stat cool. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I usually eat Greek yogurt, but I've started buying the regular vanilla or plain yogurt because it has more calcium. The liquid (whey, I think it is) strained out contains calcium.
    What do you think about trying this with Greek and skipping the straining step?

  4. Haha! I'm actually sitting here eating one of those pre-packaged yogurts as I read this. Awesome! I will have to try this and maybe spice up my yogurt! I also love the idea of unzipping my skin and resting my bones on a polar ice cap. And what REALLY pushes this over the edge is that it's from the Barefoot Contessa. Love her! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have been enjoying Yoplait 100 calorie yogurt. I don't eat it everyday but it's tasty. I normally don't eat it but lately, it is not so bad.

  6. I've been on quite the greek yogurt kick lately but after about a month…it's started to get old. I think we're in a rut. Need to spice it up. As they say.

    This looks like exactly the way!

  7. I L.O.V.E. this yogurt! I've been making it as part of our Christmas Morning buffet for the past 5-6 years (or however long it's been since Ina's cookbook came out! I always make it with Craisins and walnuts and it's divine. And if everyone else isn't as obsessed with it as I am then GREAT–more yogurt for ME! Oh, and it's just as good with Greek yogurt…and much quicker prep!

  8. I completely agree with Jamie Lee. Now I'm not going to remember you from A Fish Called Wanda but the toilet. The new ads with "real people" on video saying how much that yogurt makes the POOP are just gross and make me cringe. But your yogurt, yummy! :)

  9. I am definitely going to try this one. We just moved to Europe and I haven't had any luck finding my favorite french vanilla yogurt, but plain is in abundance. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. i don't have any beef with regular yogurt. i mean, i'm not expecting a gourment snack or anything, but doctoring it up is never a bad idea!

    couldn't you add the juice to an already strained greek yogurt? i bet that would be great too, and would save the step of straining overnight. i usually just buy greek yogurt and pour a little agave nectar on top. perfect!

  11. i've done this (only more extremely) for a yogurt cheesecake i made once. the texture and richness of the yogurt is so well enhanced by draining!

    (i'll second the comments about greek yogurt too)

  12. I buy plain nonfat yogurt and use coffee filters to drain it overnight in the fridge. I put the emply container right back in the fridge, too, and just hunk the drained yogurt back into it in the morning. It's hecka cheaper than buying greek yogurt.

  13. Although we have tried many, many yogurt cultures, Activia (there's that dreaded name) is the best! In less than 3 hours we get a thick, creamy yogurt that is delicious plain and simple. And at a dollar a quart, a lot better price than store-bought. Try our website:


  14. LOL that Jamie Lee Curtis comment was great! I love yogurt and usually purchase organic Stonybrook Farm or Fage with honey! This recipe sounds great and something I would totally serve as a start to a brunch!

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