Make-Ahead Granola Parfaits
Preferring my granola crunchy, I was skeptical the first time I tried this. After resting in the fridge overnight, I was pretty sure the granola would lose its appealing crunchiness. To my surprise, and though the granola does absorb some of the moisture from the yogurt, the end result is quite pleasing.
My kids actually love these healthy parfaits, which are reminiscent of Bircher muesli or overnight oats, as much as I do. They will gladly eat one for breakfast or as a snack, and I sometimes grab a jar as an on-the-run lunch. The combination of Greek yogurt, fruit, and oats offers a satisfying balance of vitamins, protein, and carbs while tasting great.
Your favorite store-bought granola may be used (I have tested these with Cascadian Farms oats and honey granola to great reviews), although we really love this chunky homemade version. Out of season, frozen fruits work quite well–my personal favorites are plump blueberries and tangy red raspberries—and should be added while still frozen. Larger berries, like strawberries, as well as peaches and mangos may be cut while still frozen. Once the frozen fruit has sat at room temperature for a couple of minutes, it can be easily cut with a sharp knife.
Consider preparing several at one time, as the parfaits will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain Greek yogurt (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup granola (slightly rounded)
- 1/3 cup berries or chopped fruit of choice (slightly rounded; frozen fruit works well)
- Optional toppings: toasted almonds, walnuts or nuts of choice; shredded coconut; cinnamon
- Mix together the yogurt and the maple syrup. (If you happen to be using a 6-ounce, single-serve yogurt cup, you can do the mixing right in the yogurt cup.)
- To a tall glass or 12-ounce Mason jar, add 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Add 2 slightly rounded tablespoons of the fruit, and then top with 2 slightly rounded tablespoons of granola.
- Repeat this layer. Then add the final 1/4 cup of yogurt, followed by a rounded tablespoon each of the fruit and granola. If using a 12-ounce glass or jar, this will fill it almost exactly.
- If desired, top with a sprinkle of nuts or other optional toppings. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerator for up to three days.
I use plain, fat-free or 2% Greek yogurt. For me, two teaspoons of maple syrup per 6 ounces of yogurt is perfect, but you may adjust up or down, as desired. If you prefer to use sweetened yogurt, you may wish to omit the maple syrup entirely.