If you’re struggling to stay on track with whatever new eating plan you started after the holidays – whether it is a whole new diet, or just readjusting to your old (pre-holidays) one – starting the day with a good breakfast is the best way to stay on track. At least, that’s what all the health magazines tell you.
In reality, it may not be the best way to stay on track, but if you don’t start the day with a healthy breakfast, you’re going to be struggling for the rest of the day. So, do yourself a favor and start the day with something that’s appealing, and slightly fancy, enough to make you forget that Starbucks carries muffins.
I strongly recommend a yogurt parfait. You can make it with any kind of yogurt you like – regular, Greek, coconut, or other dairy-free version – and it’s still a healthy, hearty vehicle for whatever you put on it (not to mention the protein and major dose of probiotics it provides, but that goes without saying).
Flavor it with vanilla extract, date paste (which you can buy pre-made, or make at home by pureeing dried medjool dates with a little bit of water), fresh raspberries, and chewy calimyrna figs. Finish it off with a drizzle of honey, and you’ll enjoy your breakfast so much that you won’t even notice that you’re sticking to your new year’s diet.
- 2 cups plain yogurt of choice (regular, Greek, coconut, or other non-dairy)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon granulated monk fruit sweetener or granulated stevia (like Norbu or Natvia), optional
- 3-4 Tablespoons of date paste see note
- 3-4 dried calimyrna figs, stems discarded and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried
- 2 Tablespoons almonds, roughly chopped
- Honey to taste (omit for vegan version)
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla and sweetener (if using).
In the bottom of a small bowl or glass, layer 1/4 cup of the yogurt, followed by half the date paste and another 1/4 cup of yogurt.
Repeat in the other bowl/glass, using the remaining yogurt and date paste.
Top each bowl or glass with sliced figs, fresh raspberries and chopped almonds, then drizzle with honey before serving.
You can buy taste paste at middle eastern supermarkets, or in the "ethnic foods" aisles of some major supermarkets, or you can make your own at home by pureeing 6-8 large pitted medjool dates in the blender or food processor with just enough water to create a smooth paste.
You can make these the night before and store in the refrigerator overnight, covered tightly with plastic wrap, but they keep best without the honey, which should be added right before eating.
Yield: 2 parfaits
Thank you to Melissa’s Produce for sending me the figs that I used to make these parfaits. Melissa’s, a Los Angeles-based company which specializes in unique, seasonal produce (and other foods), sends dried Calimyrna figs and a variety of other seasonal fruits, vegetables and specialty foods grown in the USA straight to your doorstep.
If you’re interested in trying some new flavors for yourself – and hopefully making this parfait! – you can visit Melissa’s at www.melissas.com. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep A Clean Bake up and running.