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Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits

>> Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm back for my first post in, err, a while.  I'm suprised Beth hasn't fired me yet!!!  We are moving into our new house in a little less than a month, so I hope to post more regularly then.  The past 10 months of living in a 2 bedroom apartment haven't been too terrible, but I haven't had much motivation to cook or craft in our small space.  The lighting is also terrible, so I haven't been able to take good pictures of any recipes I have made.  Over the next 3 months, I plan to do lots of DIY decorating of our new home, including a nursery for our baby girl due in July!!, and lots of cooking in my new kitchen and stocking my freezer in preparation for baby.  I hope to post about a lot of those things. 

I have also been terrible about responding to comments on our posts, but I appreciate them all.  I got several supportive comments on my motherhood vs. career post, and it's great to know other ladies can relate.  Just today there is a news story about a commentator attacking Mrs. Mitt Romney for "not working a day in her life".  I don't know much about the Romneys, but apparently she's raised 5 sons.  Sounds easy to me! (insert heavy sarcasm) Anyway, my point is that in a nasty world of women attacking each other and putting each other down, I am grateful for those who took the time to comment in such a positive way!

I am always looking for quick, healthy snacks my kids can grab from the refrigerator.  I am pretty much the pantry police, because my oldest son always heads there when he is hungry and I am always trying to direct him towards either a healthy pantry choice, or preferably something from the refrigerator.  I really don't have alot of candy, sweet things, or junk in my pantry -- I am much more likely to bake a cake than buy snack cakes or cookies or chips -- but still most items in my pantry that don't require preparation are inferior to choices in the fridge.  For some reason, my son doesn't choose unsweetened applesauce from the pantry!  Anyway, I love to make these and the kids love them too.  I have long been a fan of McDonald's yogurt parfaits, so that's kind of the idea behind these.  See what I mean about terrible lighting?

Choose your favorite yogurt.  I tend to use Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt for the kids.  For myself, I try to use Greek yogurt for the extra protein (kids won't eat this kind).  I am addicted to the little Chobani Champions in Berry flavor.  I tried them in the store, and although they are meant for kids, I keep buying them and hiding them in the back of the fridge hoping no one else notices them.  Layer your yogurt with the fruit topping.  I like putting them in these glass jars and it makes them more attractive to the kids for some reason.  Before eating them, add granola if you want.  You could also layer it within the parfait, but I like mine crunchy and the kids don't like it at all.

Fruit Topping:  (blueberries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries)
2 cups fruit (I use frozen right now, may use fresh this summer as it is in season)
sugar -- amount depends on your taste.  The recipe I adapted called for 1/4 cup, but I use half of a 1/8 measuring cup.  Sometimes I use a couple of tablespoons and then 1 tablespoon of splenda.  Adjust this to your taste and to your preferred sweetener.
Place these in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the frozen fruit starts to break down a little.  In a little bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon cold water, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice together.  When it is smooth, pour it in the saucepan.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your taste, and a little vanilla.  Bring mixture to a boil and then quickly reduce to a simmer.  Stir a minute or two until thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool.

For cherry, I reduce the sugar a little more and use a tablespoon of brown sugar.  I also add about 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the mixture and omit the cinnamon.  I love the addition of the almond flavor to the cherries.

The parfait above has cherries and blueberries.  The strawberries make for a much prettier presentation, but this is probably my favorite flavor combo.  Don't skip the cinnamon. Just a little gives the fruit such a great flavor.  I keep these for 3 days or so in the fridge.  After that the fruit starts to get watery.  This fruit topping would also be good over pancakes, french toast, or frozen yogurt.

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