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Granola-Yogurt Parfaits

I almost clicked on the “Weeknight Suppers” category for this post featuring Granola-Yogurt Parfaits because, to be completely honest, this is one of those breakfast meals that I’ve had more than a few times for dinner.  It is light, refreshing, and reasonably healthy so it makes a quick evening meal.  Of course, it is a wonderful breakfast, too, especially with all the gorgeous, ripe summertime fruit and berries coming into season.

The basic component of this is a granola recipe that I found in Bon Appetit and adapted to my own tastes.  Molly Wizenberg (aka Orangette) talks about a recipe inspired by one that she got from a spa that her mother had visited.  My mother wasn’t the spa-going type, and, as far as I know, never made her own granola.  I don’t even remember eating it when we grew up.  She did, however, make her own whole wheat bread from scratch for a stretch so I guess on the hippie scale of things, that sort of counts.

Golden Brown crispy, crunchy, sweet granola

I’ve had my own granola phase for a while over the past few years.  It is actually an excuse to make me eat more yogurt, as I generally don’t really like it very much, even though I know how good it is for me.  It also helps to get an extra serving of fruit, fresh or dried (in the wintertime I like dried cherries or cranberries with this) into my diet.  I just love the toasted, nutty, sweet crunch of this granola, and often have to stop myself from eating it plain and dry so that I can have enough to cover me for breakfasts during the week.

Granola Yogurt Parfaits

Serving Size: 4 portions

Prep Time: 10 minutes (minus time making granola)

Ingredients:

1 Mango, cut into small pieces

16 Strawberries, hulled and cut into slices

You can really use any seasonal fruit that you like in these.

8 Tbsp plus 4 tsp. plain Yogurt

1 cup Granola (recipe to follow)

Assembly:

In each of four wineglasses, parfait glasses, or, uhem, margarita glasses (like the above), place several pieces of mango and one strawberry’s worth of slices.  Top each with 1 teaspoon yogurt.

Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of granola, per glass over the fruit.  Top with more strawberry slices and mango pieces, distributing them evenly among the four glasses.

Put 2 Tablespoons of yogurt in each glass on top of the fruit.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tablespoon of granola per glass over top of the yogurt and fruit.  Serve immediately.

Granola Ingredients

Homemade Granola*

Serving size: Makes about 4 cups

Prep time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups organic rolled Oats (you don’t want the flakes to be small)

1 cup chopped Pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded Coconut

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds

1 tsp. ground Ginger

1 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Canola oil

1 1/2 Tbsp high-grand Maple Syrup

1 Tbsp Honey

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a large baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.  In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (oats through brown sugar), mixing them together thoroughly.

Pour the oil, maple syrup, and honey into a microwave-safe measuring cup in that order.  The oil will make for easier pouring and cleanup.  Heat liquid on beverage setting for 15 seconds.  It should not get overly bubbly.  Pour liquid over dry ingredients and stir to coat completely.

Dump out wet-dry mixture onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet.  Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the sheet.  Place in the oven to bake.  Set the timer for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, remove the tray from the oven without turning off the heat.  Stir up the mixture and redistribute it evenly over the sheet once again.  Place the sheet in the oven to bake for 10 minutes more.  Repeat this stirring, distributing, and baking step two more times, so that the mixture has baked for a total of 40 minutes.  This method might seem odd, but it keeps the mixture from clumping together and ensures a more even toasting overall.

As the granola bakes the scent of toasted nuts and oats and spices will fill the air, giving your home a well, homey feel to it.  This is why it is so hard to resist snacking on it when it comes out of the oven, but you must.  At the 40-minute mark, remove the tray from the oven and it set aside so that the granola can cool down.  To store, pour granola into an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.  It should keep for at least a month.

Buon appetito!

*Kitchen Witch Tip

This would be an easy and tasty recipe to get kids involved in the kitchen, as there’s lots of measuring and pouring.  If you cut up the pecan pieces for them (or buy them pre-chopped), then there are no knives needed in the preparation.  They would need assistance with the microwaving and baking part, but in the end, they could feel as though they’d helped out by putting all the initial ingredients together.