Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cherry & Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfaits

I hope you're all getting ready to enjoy a lovely Sunday brunch...

Like the Mini Chocolate & Almond Croissants from my last post, I served these yogurt parfaits as a part of two menus this month. Once I used Stonyfield Farm yogurt as a base and the other time I used plain Fage Greek yogurt. Both are great brands, but for our purpose, the later was far superior. Because it's so pure and healthy and has gained a more prominent place in the grocery store in recent years, many of you have tried Greek yogurt. It certainly has a stronger, more tart taste, and I want to help you to make the most of those qualities. The thickness, strength of flavor and healthful properties mean that a smaller amount of this yogurt will satisfy your tongue and tummy faster than a yogurt loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Like me, most of you will still probably want to temper the flavor with some kind of sweetener, so try doing it with a high-quality, pure honey and by adding some fresh or dried fruit. My supermarket allowed me to sample the different granolas and dried fruits offered in their bins, so I was able to choose toppings with flavors that worked very well together- dried cherries and French vanilla granola with sliced almonds. Many of the granolas I tried would have been great, but I chose the vanilla, because its soft and pleasant taste provided the balance to the punchy yogurt flavor. These parfaits were popular enough at my home this week that I had to go back to the store to restock on ingredients!
Cherry & Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfaits
(4 servings)

4-6 cups Fage plain Greek yogurt
4 tbsp quality honey (I use Gunter's brand)
Dried cherries, for topping (I like mine as natural as possible so the cherry flavor is pure.)
French vanilla granola w/ sliced almonds, for topping (You can buy the almonds separately. If you can't find this granola, trust your judgment enough to improvise!)

Divide yogurt evenly into 4 small serving dishes (such as these ones from Crate & Barrel.) Stir about 1 tbsp of honey into each dish of yogurt until well incorporated. Top with desired amount of granola and cherries. (I like to use roughly 1/4 cup granola and 2 tbsp of cherries.) Serve alongside any breakfast or brunch menu. In a more casual setting, offer the ingredients buffet-style so your guests can choose exactly how much they want of each component.
Yummy with a pear and warm apple cider.

Honestly, does it get any easier than that?

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