|Air Fryer Cinnamon Raisin Bagels and My Best Self Journey|
(This blog post is sponsored by FAGE. All opinions are my own.)
I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that yogurt played a critical role in my journey to becoming my best self.
But, it certainly did!
For the first few years of my career as a holistic chef, I lived by a set of arbitrary food ‘rules’. Even though my business espoused the idea of balance, I really didn’t adhere to this myself. I had a set of foods that I cooked with and ate, and I was ‘skittish’ about going outside of this self-created pantry.
Until I got my first cookbook contract.
One of these rules was to share primarily dairy-free recipes. This meant recipes without butter, cheese, milk and, of course, yogurt. And yet, as I spent hours dreaming up the outline for The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook, there was one dish in particular that I couldn’t get out of my head: Pan Seared Beets with Lemony Yogurt and Pistachio Crumble.
Yum, right?! I knew I wanted to include this in the cookbook, so I headed to the grocery store and grabbed a large container of plain yogurt. The recipe turned out even better than I anticipated, and I had most of the yogurt leftover.
Not wanting to waste food, I included the remainder of the yogurt in breakfasts throughout that week mixed with fruit, honey and granola.
And I fell in love.
After several years of a mostly dairy-free ‘diet’, that rich, creamy yogurt tasted like heaven, and my body was happy as well. Not only was the yogurt incredibly satiating as a source of protein, it helped improve my digestion almost immediately. To this day, I make a point to include yogurt in my meals regularly for this specific reason, among many others.
Most importantly, however; this yogurt ‘revelation’ opened the dairy floodgates and encouraged me to continue to dispel food rules. Bringing this wonderful food group back into my life led to more flexibility around enjoying a variety of food, and to just enjoying food more overall. My second cookbook, Simply Laura Lea, offers multiple recipes using ALL kinds of dairy, and it even includes a section on the science behind dairy’s health benefits.
A brand that has come alongside my “Best Self” dairy-journey is FAGE. I love how I can find a variety of FAGE products at almost any grocery store, and the FAGE Total 5% Greek Yogurt is my definition of wellness decadence! It cannot be beat in the texture department, and I love that FAGE uses milk from non GMO-fed cows. While I still adore FAGE in my granola bowls, it’s also fantastic dolloped over my favorite savory dishes.
And for all of my lactose-sensitive friends, FAGE also recently came out with their BestSelf lactose-free line...yes, the inspiration for reflecting on what being my ‘best self’ means to me! It still has that signature divine FAGE consistency from real dairy, but it happens to be totally lactose-free.
PLUS, FAGE Total Plain Greek Yogurt is the star ingredient in these Air Fryer Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.
There’s something so fun and satisfying about being able to whip up a bagel in your very own kitchen, whenever you like. All you need on hand is some FAGE Greek Yogurt (the thickness of FAGE is key in creating that bagel ‘chew’) and self-rising flour. I doctor mine up to make this Cinnamon Raisin version, but you could absolutely play around with different flavors.
One of these bagels with some cream cheese, butter or peanut butter, and a side of FAGE Total Plain with my classic fruit & honey pairing has been the dreamiest breakfast lately. It truly helps me feel like my best self from the inside out: a delicious and nutritious reminder of how far I’ve come and the energy to look forward to whatever is next.
To grab your FAGE Total Plain Greek Yogurt or FAGE BestSelf Lactose-Free Yogurt, check out their store locator HERE!