Golden pineapples are a staple on my weekly grocery list throughout the winter. Their tropical sweetness seems almost summer-like at a time when vine-ripened strawberries and juicy peaches seem so far away.
For an extra serving of fruit first thing in the morning and convenient snacking throughout the day, I almost always have a bowl of freshly cut pineapple chunks in the fridge. Pineapple’s natural sweetness also provides bright, fresh flavor in a variety of savory dishes. A quick salsa is one of my favorite ways to perk up simply baked fish or chicken.
When Stonyfield requested a recipe for a project with Ball brand jars, I immediately thought of the following make-ahead breakfast parfaits. Not only is French vanilla yogurt a staple ingredient, canning jars are a convenient–and fun–option for storage and serving. These parfaits have been a family favorite seasonal version of overnight oats in our house for years, yet it’s one of the many recipes I still hadn’t gotten around to sharing..until now.
Blueberries add to the fruity appeal of this easy meal. Because frozen blueberries maintain their sweet flavor and plumpness once thawed, I always keep a bag or two in my freezer. When available, fresh berries may certainly be used. Shredded coconut plays up the pineapple’s tropical note, flax meal offers fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s, and toasted almonds provide a welcome crunch. Of course, those who prefer pecans or dislike coconut, for example, can make adjustments. Though we typically enjoy the parfaits as written, the recipe is absolutely flexible. (Like my recent swap of muesli for the rolled oats…SO good!)
My kids fall into the camp of those who aren’t especially fond of “mushy” stovetop oatmeal…although they’re making progress. : ) They do, however, love these. As an added bonus, you can make as many servings as needed, assembly-line style, and refrigerate for up to five days.
Fruity, Chewy, Creamy, Crunchy, Nutrient-rich, Make-ahead, Portable, Reusable jar…What’s not to love?
- 2 cups vanilla yogurt (I like Stonyfield low-fat smooth and creamy French vanilla*)
- 1 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (uncooked)**
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
- 4 tablespoons shredded coconut (I use unsweetened; sweetened be used instead)
- 1 - 1 1/3 cups frozen blueberries (no need to thaw; fresh may be used when available)
- 1 - 1 1/3 cups chopped pineapple***
- For serving: milk of choice (I add approximately 1/4 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk) and maple syrup (optional) to taste (I use 1 to 2 teaspoons per jar)
- In each of 4 (16-ounce) jars with lids, layer 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup oats, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon each ground flaxseed, slivered almonds, and shredded coconut in that order. Top with 1/4 -1/3 cup each blueberries and chopped pineapple. (I started making these with 1/4 cup each but tend to round the cups now. If you like them on the fruitier side, just be sure to leave room to stir. (But don't stir now!)
- Place the lids on the jars and refrigerate overnight (or up to 5 days) to allow the oats to absorb some of the moisture from the yogurt.
- Before eating, stir in the milk to reach the desired consistency and drizzle with maple syrup to taste.
- *This is "regular" yogurt, which has more liquid that Greek yogurt, and that's what is absorbed by the oats and ground flaxseed. If you prefer to use Greek yogurt, I recommend stirring in a drizzle or two of milk to thin it slightly before building your jars.
- **Recently, I substituted Bob's Red Mill's gluten-free muesli for the oats (using the same quantity), and it was delicious!
- ***Fresh pineapple is ideal, but in a pinch I have used canned chunks (drained) with good results. I like to cut the pieces fairly small to get a little pineapple in each bite.
When ready to eat, drizzle in your milk of choice, add a bit of maple syrup, and give the jars a good stir. I really like Stonyfield’s Lowfat Smooth & Creamy French Vanilla yogurt in this recipe. It offers subtle sweetness and the thinner texture compared to its Greek yogurt counterpart is perfect for combining with the dry oats. If you prefer to use Greek yogurt, simply add an extra splash or two of milk. Sixteen-ounce Ball Canning jars are just the right size to allow for stirring and are a fun option to a bowl…great for a breakfast-on-the-go, too!