Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Granola, and a Fruit & Yogurt Parfait!

I love sleep.  Which is why it’s probably a good thing that I’m a pretty low maintenance gal.  On weekdays I sleep in as long as possible, then after the 3rd or 4th Snooze button, I crawl out of bed, slink into the shower, and hope the hot water will help me wake up.  My morning routine is about 30 minutes from getting up to getting out of the house. 

Meaning I don’t usually have time to eat breakfast at home, so I take my breakfast with me & eat it at the office.  Ergo, my breakfasts need to be portable, easy to throw together, and of course, hearty enough to stick with me. 

Somedays it’s oatmeal with a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips thrown in. (An idea I learned from Pinterest.  God bless Pinterest.)

Somedays it’s a hard boiled egg, an orange, and half a bagel with some peanut butter.

Oh, and coffee.  Every day.  Of course.


(I have this magnet on my fridge.)


But one of my favorite breakfasts is a yogurt parfait.  It’s like dessert for breakfast!

They DID just open a McDonald’s on my way to work…


…however, a parfait from MickeyD’s will run about a buck-fifty with tax, and with a 5.3oz serving, you get:

160 calories, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 21 g sugar.

Not “bad”, but not great either. And certainly not enough to stick with you all morning.


I prefer to make them at home & have total control over the ingredients, and the price.


Step 1. Buy Greek yogurt in bulk: A 32-oz container of Greek yogurt typically runs about $4 at Walmart.  I personally love Chobani brand, and they offer 50 cent off coupons on their website.  With a 6-oz serving size, that gets you about 5.5 servings for 72 cents/serving.

One serving of Greek yogurt has about 100 calories, 7g sugar, 0g fat, and 18 g protein.  That’s like 3 eggs—but without the cholesterol & fat.

If you’re not quite hardcore enough to get the plain greek yogurt, you can get the vanilla, which adds a little bit of sweetness & cuts the tart flavor of the yogurt.  But I find that the fruit & granola add enough sweetness for my taste.


Step 2. Buy unsweetened frozen fruit, or make it yourself: You can either stock up on your favorites when they’re on sale, or buy a bag of frozen fruit.  I picked up a 16oz bag of blueberries at WallyWorld for about $2.  At 1/2 cup (4oz) per serving, that’s about 50 cents per serving…if you keep an eye out you can get much better deals.  Farmer’s markets sometimes have a frozen section—I used to regularly be able to find 2-3 lb bags of blueberries for about $3. Or the next time you see a roadside stand with a guy selling a half-flat of strawberries for $10, slam on your brakes & stock up. Cut 'em in half and freeze what you can't eat right away. (Same goes for peaches, berries, whatever. I love me some roadside stands. There were a lot more of them in Louisiana than here.)

Blueberries have about 42 calories, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar per 1/2 cup serving.

Half a  cup of strawberries will set you back 37 calories, 2.5 g fiber, and 5 g sugar.

Either is way better than the syrupy stuff they use at McD’s.


Step 3. Make granola!  A box of granola, even the generic kind, is rarely less than $2-3 at the store.  We can do better, and cheaper.

The nice thing about making your on granola is that it can be totally customized to a) what you like, and b) what you have on hand.  The basic rule of thumb is to remember The Golden Granola Ratio.

Yes, I made that term up.  But it works.  Remember to have 7 parts dry ingredients to every 1 part wet ingredient.

For your wet ingredient, you can use honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, molasses, or any combination of those. 

Here’s my favorite recipe:


3 cups rolled oats

0.5 cup shredded coconut

0.5 cup wheat bran (I keep this around the house for adding into cookies, oatmeal, & other baked goods--it's full of fiber, iron, & a bit of protein, and it doesn't change the flavor of things.)

0.5 cup dry roasted almonds, unsalted

0.5 cup black walnut pieces

0.25 cup light brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

0.5 cup Acadiana honey

1 tbsp olive oil (it gives a nice shine & helps bind)



Preheat oven to 350F. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl, & add honey & oil.



(Layers of flavor!)

Mix thoroughly, making sure all the dry ingredients are well combined and coated.

Pour onto a lightly sprayed cookie sheet in an even layer.



Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing once about halfway through.

When your kitchen starts to smell unbelievable, it’s time to pull your masterpiece out of the oven! At this point, if you like, you can add dried fruit (or wait until fully cooled & add chocolate chips, yogurt buttons, etc.)




Makes 16 0.25 cup servings.

In one serving, you have 148 calories, 6g fat (mainly from the nuts, so 4.6 of that is unsaturated fats),  163 mg potassium, 4g fiber, 15g sugar, and 3 g protein.


Step 4: Assemble your parfait.

6 oz greek yogurt

1/2 cup blueberries

1/4 granola (Sometimes I double up on the granola to make it more of a meal, so it sticks with me longer, but if you wanted to have it as just part of your breakfast, stick with 1/4 cup granola)




Nutrifacts for Parfait: 12 oz serving (over twice the serving size of the McD’s one)

Calories: 290 (24 calories/ounce—the McD’s parfait has 30 calories/ounce)

Fat: 6g (4.6g unsaturated) – slightly higher than the McDs parfait, but that’s because of all the awesome unsaturated cholesterol-lowering fats coming from those walnuts & almonds.

Sugar: 27g  (The McD’s parfait has almost that just in 5 ounces!)

Protein: 21g – This parfait just kicks McD’s butt on that one, with their piddly 4 grams

Fiber: 6.5g – more than THREE TIMES what the McD’s parfait offers.

Calcium – 24% daily value


So hopefully this does you some good—lord knows it’s hard sometimes to get up & go in the morning!  This is super easy to throw together.  If you’re using frozen fruit, I typically scoop the yogurt & fruit into a small container the night before & refrigerate, then add in a scoop of granola in the morning on my way out the door.  That way the fruit is fully thawed & the sugars have time to integrate into the yogurt, and the granola stays crunchy!

Shared on 33 Shades of Green's Tasty Tuesdays

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