Jan 5, 2011

Healthy Parfait

What better way to either start or end your day with a healthy fruit and yogurt parfait (who knew we could make such lovely rhymes to accompany our food)! We took the idea of a parfait using fruit, yogurt (instead of ice cream) and granola, then we ran with it in two different, yet delicious ways. Monica made a fresh berry compote and Caitlin baked pears and apples - both were accompanied with yogurt, granola, and different toppings. These would make a nutritious and yummy breakfast in the morning, or a sweet and low-fat treat after dinner. Either one you choose, whether for breakfast or an evening treat will be a yummy addition to your day.

Caitlin: I love making (and eating) parfaits; especially nutritious ones with yogurt and granola. I decided to use apples and pears simply because I had extra ones I needed to use before they went bad. I baked them with a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon; however you can also saute them in a little butter if you don't mind the extra calories. Then I layered Greek vanilla yogurt, Kashi almond clusters (but regular granola would work), honey, the apple and pear mixture then sprinkled a teensy bit of brown sugar and sliced almonds. YUM! An alternative to the healthy version would be to saute the fruit in butter and add just a bit of rum or brandy for extra flavor.
Caitlin's Version with Apples & Pears
Monica:  Parfaits are as versatile as they are delicious. I like to look at parfaits like versions of healthy sundaes. I love berries of all sorts, so while visiting my local market I found some juicy fresh blackberries and blueberries and decided to use those as my fruit portion.  I decided to jazz up the flavors of the fruit a bit by making a version of a compote.  The typical berry compote usually contains butter, but since this is the beginning of the year and after the holidays, I kept my compote free of any butter.  I just drizzled some honey and let the fruit boil a bit to let the juices and honey combine to form a thickened syrup texture. I layered that with the yogurt and added some almonds, cashews, and pecans to top my delectable treat.
Monica's Version with Berries

Ingredient List and Method

If Making the Apple and Pear Version (serves 3-4):
1 large Apple, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large Pear, cored and cut
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup Greek Yogurt, vanilla
Kashi Almond Clusters, or regular granola
Sliced Almonds

Preheat the oven to 400. Core and cut the apple and pear then put in a baking dish with 1 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for about 15 minutes ir until the fruit is soft, but not overbaked.

In a parfait glass (you can also use a wine glass), spoon some yogurt, granola, drizzle of honey, and fruit - then repeat another time. On the last layer of fruit, sprinkle a little brown sugar and sliced almonds. Serve and enjoy!

If Making the Berry Compote Version:
6 oz blackberries
6 oz blueberries
2 - 3 tbs honey
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (per serving)
Handful of almond, pecan, and cashew clusters - roughly chopped
Honey (to drizzle if desired)

First, make the compote in order for it to have time to cool.  Heat 1/4 cup of water and honey over medium heat for few minutes to heat and develop a little bit of a syrup texture. Add berries and cook for an additional 2 -3 minutes, gently shaking the pan to coat the berries with the "syrup". Set aside, and cool. You may substitue sugar for the honey, however, to keep a bit healthier, I opted for the honey.

To compose the parfait, layer sauce from the berry compote on the bottom of a parfait glass, sundae glass, or wine glass/goblet (about a tablespoon).  Then spoon 3/4 cup of yogurt, spoon more sauce (you can add berries if you like), the remaining yogurt. Top with the berry compote and sprinkles of the nut clusters. You can drizzle a bit of honey on top as well.  Enjoy!


If you are making the berry compote and don't come across nice, fresh berries, you can opt to use good quality frozen berries (since you will be cooking them).

Caitlin: I listened to a little Lauryn Hill.
Monica: I ate this for breakfast before work, so I needed some music to ease me into the work day.  
1) Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney & Wings 
2) I Hear a Symphony - The Supremes
3) Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
4) When Your Mind's Made Up - The Swell Season
5) Once Around the Block - Badly Drawn Boy

Drink of Choice
Caitlin: I ate mine at night after dinner so I had a hot cup of tea.
Monica:  Since this was breakfast and quite fulfilling, I opted for some hot green tea with squeeze of lemon.

A Recipe to Remember?
Yes, you can be quite creative with parfaits.

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