In French, parfait means perfect, which is quite an accurate descriptor for this light, layered and beautiful dish. Taking this parfait part-ay a step further, let us recall Donkey’s famous words to Shrek: “Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!”
Originally a dessert with a base of custard or ice cream with syrupy, sweet fruit toppings, our Test Kitchen Manager Chef Michelle takes this simple parfait to the next level. By using yogurt instead of ice cream, her recipe makes for endlessly customizable (and healthy!) breakfast options. Check out this basic equation to get you started, followed by four of Michelle’s favorite combinations:
YOGURT + GRAIN/NUT + FRUIT + SWEETENER = PARFAIT PERFECTION
The OGP (Original Gangster Parfait)
Ingredients: Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Granola, Mixed Berries, Honey
This is my go-to breakfast any day of the week. I love a really thick and creamy Greek yogurt that has no added sugar—that way, I can customize the amount of sweetness in my yogurt based on the extras Add in mixed berries when in season. Otherwise, bananas are the definite move. A little drizzle of honey to kick up the sweetness never hurts, but totally optional if your fruit and granola are sweet enough.
The PSP (Pumpkin Spice Parfait)
Ingredients: Pumpkin Greek Yogurt, Pecans, Apples, Cinnamon
This parfait has a great mashup of popular fall flavors. Think pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie… basically just think about pie. I like to toast the pecans and toss them with some maple syrup so that they get a bit candied. I also chop up the apple and sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. You can cook it a bit for more of a soft texture. And, of course, drizzle that maple syrup for good measure.
The PWP (Pineapple Walnut Parfait)
Ingredients: Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Walnuts, Pineapple, Toasted Coconut, Mint/Other Herb
For this one, I chop up the walnuts, pineapple, and fresh mint. Then, I toast the walnuts and toss them with a tiny bit of maple syrup to help offset their sometimes bitter taste. I like to mix the pineapple and mint together—the combination reminds me of a fruity mojito! For an added crunch, toast some unsweetened coconut flakes. All the sweetness and herbal mint will cut through the rich yogurt and make for a flavorful treat.
CCP (Chocolate Coffee Parfait)
Ingredients: Coffee Greek Yogurt, Granola, Dark Chocolate Chunks, Banana
I need at least 2 cups of coffee every morning, so this combination kills two birds with one stone. I love the flavor combination of coffee and chocolate (mocha, anyone?), especially when paired with the creaminess of Greek yogurt. You can buy a chocolate granola, or throw some chocolate chunks right into your favorite granola. I added banana because the natural sweetness works well with the intense flavors of coffee and chocolate. Plus, chocolate-covered bananas for breakfast are always a good call. If you want to get really fancy, you can top this one with chocolate-covered espresso beans, or just more chocolate. Always more chocolate.
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