Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Brunch with Dannon Activia Harvest Picks


I had the wonderful opportunity today to host a lovely brunch to try out some new flavors of Dannon Activia Harvest Picks. We did the brunch at my mom's new house, which was awesome. She has such a gorgeous (and huge) kitchen, it made cooking for a crowd a snap.

I don't cook a lot of breakfast food for this blog so I jumped at the change to develop some yummy new recipes using these Dannon products. The Activia Harvest Picks line comes in four tasty flavors, strawberry, peach, cherry and mixed berry. These new flavors have large chunks of real fruit and a perfect texture, not too runny and not too firm. I also liked that they were not overly sweet. Once I gave each flavor a taste test, I set to work figuring out a yummy brunch menu that would incorporate these flavors well.

I settled on a menu that would work well with the Activia Harvest Picks, but would also feature a ton of fresh fruit. The weather cooperated, giving us a beautiful spring day. At one point it was well into the 70s! It was also a great day for grilling, which I wanted to incorporate as well. Grillmaster Craig grilled some tasty fruit skewers beautifully. He also grilled some delicious, thick cut bacon. If you have never grilled bacon, do so immediately! It is soooo yummy.


Menu:
Raspberry Lemonade Sangria
Grilled Fruit Kebobs with Honey Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Peach Yogurt Muffins
Cherry Chocolate Chip Yogurt Muffins
Potato, Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Frittata
Ham, Cheddar and Spinach Frittata
Grilled Bacon
Strawberry Yogurt French Toast

All of these recipes will be posted up this week. So stay tuned. How did brunch turn out? Read more after the jump!



I was so pleased with how well the yogurt worked in these recipes! As anyone who's read this blog knows, I dislike butter and almost never use it in any recipe. Yogurt makes a fabulous butter substitute i baked good and can make for moist and fluffy muffins. Activia Harvest Picks was the perfect healthy compliment to my favorite muffin recipe. It's so simple to make delicious muffins with minimal fat and sugar. This recipe tastes fabulous and has the added benefit of whole wheat flour, tasty fruit and healthy, protein packed yogurt. I decided to make two types of muffins to reflect the peach and cherry flavors of the yogurt.

One of the things I liked most about the Harvest Picks flavors was that the serving size of 4oz was perfect. It makes a filling snack at only 110 calories and 4 grams of protein. I found that these were very satisfying and filling. In addition to being flavorful and sweet, these yogurts contain probiotic culture, Bifidus Regulari, which helps to regulate your digestive system.




Cherry Chocolate Chip Yogurt Muffins


Ingredients:
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 4oz cartons of Dannon Activia Harvest Picks Cherry Yogurt (8oz total)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
2/3 cup frozen pitted cherries, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flours and baking powder, set aside
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, yogurt, sugar, and honey until combined
4. Carefully fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix until combined
5. Add cherries and chocolate chips, mix until combined
6. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
7. Using a tablespoon, spoon muffin batter into each tin
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean




Peach Yogurt Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 4oz cartons of Dannon Activia Harvest Picks Peach Yogurt (8oz total)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey

1 cup of frozen peaches, chopped


Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flours and baking powder, set aside
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, yogurt, sugar, and honey until combined
4. Carefully fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix until combined
5. Add peaches, mix until combined
6. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
7. Using a tablespoon, spoon muffin batter into each tin
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean


I also cannon resist the chance to make Sangria once it gets nice outside. This morning was no exception! This simple sangria recipe was sooo tasty and easy to make. Unfortunately, everyone drank it up so fast I didn't get a change to get good photos. However, I will be making it again soon so I will get some photos up ASAP. Here's the recipe.



Raspberry Lemonade Sangria
1 bottle of chilled white wine (I used Sav Blanc but Pino Grigio would work as well)
1 lemon, sliced
1 pint of fresh raspberries, washed
16oz lemonade (I used Newman's Own)
16oz seltzer
ice

Just mix everything together in a pitcher and leave in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Warning, have enough ingredients on hand to make another batch because this is a crowd pleaser!

PLEASE NOTE: I received free coupons from Dannon to try out the Activia Harvest Picks yogurts. All opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

6 Comments:

At March 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

My mom and I were just talking about what we'll make for our annual Mother's Day brunch (even though it's still pretty far away) so I'm excited to see your brunch menu - everything sounds delicious! I LOVE chocolate + cherries - I bet those muffins are amazing :)

 
At March 19, 2012 at 8:01 AM , Blogger Yummy said...

I love the Harvest Picks line, so those muffins look delicious!

 
At March 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Jenn Kendall said...

oh my god thats an awesome brunch menu! these muffins look sooooo good!

 
At March 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM , Blogger Sweet and Salty SF said...

Had no idea you could make muffins with yogurt! Sounds so healthy as a replacement for butter!

 
At March 23, 2012 at 4:53 AM , OpenID gobakeyourself said...

These muffins are so adorable and delicious - they look healthy and perfect for a brunch/breakfast and lunch and dinner ;)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Double Nutella Layered Cheesecake Brownies

 
At July 4, 2012 at 12:53 AM , Blogger Anne said...

Yogurt is one of my favorite foods or drinks. I love yogurt that contains probiotics. Kefir yogurt is a great example. What I love about yogurt is that, it aids in the digestion process.

 

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