I absolutely love making parfaits! Why, you may ask? Well, they are easy to make and can be a really nutritious and delicious meal or snack. For me, there are three components to a yogurt parfait.
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Homemade granola
The Greek yogurt and fruit are store bought and the homemade granola is really easy to make. My go-to granola recipe is really simple and only has 4 ingredients. Oats, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, and maple syrup. The great thing about this recipe is that it is nut free (great for those with allergies)! You can definitely play around with these ingredients and either replace or include additional ingredients including other seeds (sunflower, chia) and/or nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans).
When choosing which fruit to add to this parfait, you can be adventurous and try different things. I will typically use either berries or a soft and juicy fruit like mango. Now, full disclosure, mango is definitely one of my favourite fruit…and I’m not someone who easily picks favourites! The reason why I really love mango, especially with this granola is that it complements the other ingredients so well. Coconut, pumpkin seeds and mango are great together, try it and I’m sure you’ll agree. The other reason why mango works really well is because of its texture. It is smooth, soft and juicy which adds even more flavour to the yogurt and granola.
Here is a breakdown of the nutritional content in the key players in my homemade granola:
Rolled oats are whole grains and whole grains are definitely a nutritious addition to this granola. What’s a granola without oats? When making homemade granola, you have the option of choosing the less processed oats (large flake oats) which may take a little longer to cook, but are more nutritious than their instant oat counterparts.
Whole grains are high in fibre and contain other nutrients including B vitamins, vitamin E and other minerals. The specific type of fibre found in oats is soluble fibre. This type of fibre can help improve blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels! Fibre is also beneficial for healthy weight management.
Shredded coconut is a great addition to any granola recipe. Coconuts are quite versatile and found in many different recipes. Coconut can be used as a beverage, (cooking) fat and/or snack. Depending on where in the world you live, you may or may not be accustomed to eating coconut, but that’s okay. This recipe is simple and a great way to slowly introduce yourself to this ingredient. Remember that you want to use unsweetened shredded coconut to avoid the extra unwanted sugar found in sweetened shredded coconut.
In terms of nutrition, coconut is high in fibre and contains different nutrients including magnesium and potassium. However, you should also know that coconut does contain medium-chain saturated fats which may offer some benefits like raising your HDL cholesterol (or “good cholesterol”), however, this is not yet confirmed (insufficient research). As with any fat source, coconut should be consumed in moderation.
Pumpkin seeds are a great addition to this granola recipe. They are crunchy and a good source of fibre, protein, and healthy fats as well as magnesium and some iron. Use raw pumpkin seeds to avoid the added salt and oil that is added to roasted and salted seeds.
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓-1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt (optional)
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Mango (sliced)
- For the granola, mix all the ingredients well in a medium bowl.
- Line an oven tray with foil or parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture.
- Bake at 400°F for approximately 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- Once the granola has cooled, start to assemble your parfait. Yogurt, granola, fruit...repeat!