Weekly Meal Prep on a Budget: Frozen Greek Yogurt Fruit Bars

Amirali Mirhashemian via Unsplash

I want to prove that it is not difficult to eat healthy food while on a tight budget. I’ll be sharing weekly recipes that are both friendly to your wallet and to your health. At the end of the grocery list, I’ll share how much I paid for each of the food items. Pantry staple items like olive oil, salt/pepper/rice are not included in the cost. This is another step that I’m taking to be financially conscious while not sacrificing my health.

I’ve been feeling the stress of quarantine and increased working hours more intensely lately. The anxiety hits the hardest in my gut. It’s strange how closely the stomach and the brain are linked together. Throughout my life, every time I go through a period of increased stress, I face bouts of indigestion, flatulence, and cramps (a real cute situation). This time, the cramps were so bad that I couldn’t do anything after the work day besides lying in bed with my heating pad all night. The silver lining to this discomfort was that I got to lose a few pounds of the quarantine chub, and refocus my diet to become leaner, less processed, and more gut healthy.

For those of you who also suffer from stress-related gut issues, I encourage you to follow a low-FODMAP diet with the help of a dietician, take daily probiotics (“good” bacteria to help your gut flora flourish) and prebiotics (carbs that humans body cannot digest, but that the “good” bacteria can feed on) — the two makings of a microbiome therapy.

I wanted to share a snack recipe that personally worked well for me throughout my gut issues. I always crave ice cream as a means of comfort whenever I’m feeling sad, but the kinds with loaded sugar and whole milk make my stomach feel worse. I thought of a way to satisfy my craving, while boosting my daily probiotic intake with my favorite kind of greek yogurt. I used the 0% Total product in this recipe, but for those who are lactose-intolerant, Fage’s lactose-free BestSelf product line works well too. A small amount of blueberries and coconut are designated as low-FODMAP foods, so this recipe worked perfectly for me. To check where foods fall in the FODMAP scale, I use the free version of the Fast FODMAP app.

Grocery List:

  • Greek yogurt (2 6oz cups)— $2.00
  • Frozen blueberries (10 oz) — $3.00
  • Sugar-free maple syrup — $2.00
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes — $2.00

Total Budget: $9.00, $1.00 per serving

Total Time: 5 Minutes (not including freezing time)

Prep Method:

  1. Mix 2 cups of greek yogurt with 3 tablespoons of sugar-free maple syrup.
  2. Line a square food storage container with cling wrap (make sure the cling wrap drapes over the container edges), and pour in the greek yogurt mixture. I used a similar size (2.9 cups) container as this. Close the lid over the cling wrap.
  3. Evenly top with frozen blueberries and coconut flakes.
  4. Chill in freezer for 3 hours. Take the container out, and slice into 9 squares. Put back in freezer for 3 more hours.
  5. Let thaw for a couple of minutes before enjoying. The cling wrap will prevent the greek yogurt from sticking to the bottom of the container. You can simply lift the edge of the cling wrap to take a piece of the bar out!

Here are my bars!

Did you try this recipe? Let me know how it went!

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