So I go on these breakfast kicks where I’ll have the same thing for breakfast every weekday. The things that I eat have varied over the years but I always come back to my old standby… yogurt and granola. Lately I’ve been eating about ¾ of a cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with about a quarter cup of berries, 2 tablespoon of granola and about ten almonds. This breakfast comes in at under 300 calories, but is surprisingly filling with almost 20 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. And it’s much tastier than those yogurts that come with the fruit already in them. Those can add heaps of sugar, which no one needs that early in the morning. It’s just setting you up for a mid-morning blood sugar crash which can cause you to over eat at lunch.
This breakfast fits in with my morning routine because it’s quick and easy. I’ve been getting up at 7, going for a 30-45 min run, depending on how quickly I can get dressed and put my sneakers on and also on my motivation levels. I come back and get ready quick, throw my yogurt together and am out the door by 8:20. I’ve been trying to ride my bike to work, I usually end up riding it a few days a week, but sometimes it’s raining or I’m just running too late.
Any who, this weekend I decided to jazz up my morning usual into a festive parfait that is definitely Father’s Day brunch worthy. I should also take a moment to wish my Dad a happy father’s day… he’s been really great lately, putting up with my texts and calls pertaining to the new apartment.
I just made a few changes to my standard “recipe”… I took my berries (which I got at the Geneva Farmer’s Market on my lunch break on Thursday) and simmered them in a few tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of blueberry jam, so they got all syrupy and delicious. I even did that the night before and put it in the fridge so the flavors could meld. I also chopped up my almonds and toasted them in the oven. And last but not least, I mixed in some ricotta cheese into the yogurt to change up the flavor a tad, bear with me… it’s good. I saw it on Giada on the food network a while ago, (ok maybe like 2 years ago, but it stuck with me). Her recipe was the inspiration for this but I tweaked it a bit. She just used jam, no fresh fruit. I can’t find her recipe anymore, but I know Mark and I used her version 2 summers ago.
½ pint of strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup of blueberries
2-3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of jam, I used wild blueberry
¼ cup of almonds, chopped, or you can buy pre-sliced
1 cup of yogurt
½ cup of ricotta cheese
½- ¾ cup of granola, I used Kashi Go Lean Crunch that I got on sale
Add the cut up strawberries and blueberries to a small sauce pot, add the water and jam. Put the pot over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, turn it to low, and stir it occasionally. Also keep an eye on it, I was on the phone with Mark while I was making it and I turned my back and it boiled over a little bit. Let it simmer for 15 mins or so until the fruit starts to break down, and get all mushy and syrupy. Remove from the heat and put into a container to store. I put mine in a gravy boat. Let it cool, cover it and place in the fridge overnight (optional but recommended).
Preheat the oven to 400, chop the almonds and place them in an even layer on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. Bake until golden brown. This will take max 10 mins. Keep an eye on these as well; they can go from golden to burnt in a matter of seconds.
Mix the yogurt and ricotta in a bowl with a whisk; it helps get the lumps out. To assemble, get 2 nice glasses. At the moment I only have 4 tall round ones total, but feel free to use pretty ones. This would look cool in a martini glass. Place a few tablespoons of the yogurt into the bottom of the glass; pour a tablespoon or two of the fruit over the yogurt. Use enough that it spreads to the edge of the glass and so that it can be seen as a distinct layer. Top with a tablespoon of granola, and 2 teaspoons of toasted almonds. Repeat until the glass is filled.
** you might have some fruit syrup left over… this would go great over ice cream or shortcakes (or both).