If you want to feel like you are eating breakfast at a fancy hotel, make a yogurt parfait and put it in a martini glass. It’s a great way to use those martini glasses you registered for despite the fact you don’t drink martinis on a regular basis or ever have eight people over who drink martinis.
Okay, let’s be honest. What you really want is for breakfast to already be made when you get up in the morning. Just once. Since there’s no such thing as the breakfast fairy, these yogurt parfaits are the next best thing. You can put them together the night before, stick them in the fridge, and sure enough breakfast is ready when you wake up!
And guess what else? If you use my recipe your getting some great nutrition, too. Yogurt parfaits are one of those trick foods. They look healthy, they sound healthy, but they aren’t always healthy. Most yogurt parfaits are made with vanilla yogurt that is loaded with sugar. Mine is made with plain yogurt with vanilla extract and, if you prefer, sweetened with just a touch of honey. Most yogurt parfaits have granola that is full of sugar and a ton of calories. Mine is sweetened without refined sugar and to cut back on the calories uses unsweetened apple sauce in place of some of the oil. So you get all the benefits of the probiotics in the yogurt, the goodness of the whole grains and seeds from the granola, and the antioxidants from the fruit, but without all the added sugar and high calorie count.
And did I mention how great it is to have breakfast ready in the morning?
To have this delicious, wholesome breakfast, start by making the granola. It’s super easy and this recipe is for a big batch so it’ll last you a while. This recipe is totally adaptable. Little one can’t have nuts? Leave ’em out and add some more oats/seeds/wheat germ. Don’t have pumpkin seeds? Swap in sunflower seeds or whatever you have on hand. Don’t use coconut oil? Use a different oil. Looking for a granola that is the kind of sweet you can only achieve with adding brown sugar? Oh, wait. This recipe isn’t for you.
Maple Cinnamon Granola
Makes 7 cups
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almonds, chopped*
1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*I chop the almonds for the benefit of Meghan. If you are not making this for kids, or if your little ones are now big ones, you can leave the almonds whole and eliminate a chopping step.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg until they are well combined. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, bring the apple sauce, maple syrup, honey, oil, and vanilla to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and pour over dry mixture. Stir, stir, stir until all of the dry ingredients are wet.
The granola is ready when it is nicely browned and crispy. Stored in an air-tight container, the granola will keep for about 2 weeks.
Now that you have your granola made, you can assemble your parfait.
Makes 1 parfait
1/2 cup blueberries (or other fruit of choice)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
1/4 cup maple cinnamon granola
In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, vanilla, and honey, if using. Assemble the parfait in a bowl or small glass. Add your blueberries, top with prepared yogurt, and finish with granola. Serve right away, or store it in the fridge until ready to eat.
For the record, if you get a yogurt parfait at Starbucks, you are eating 350 calories and it is loaded with 35 grams of sugar, which includes refined sugar. This recipe has 245 calories and 24 grams of sugar with the honey, 18 grams without, and none of the sugar comes from refined sugar. Even better, yogurt parfaits make my family really, really happy.