Friday, August 19, 2011

Blackberry Peach Mini Parfaits

Taking in the view in Athens

I fell in love with Greek yogurt... in Greece of all places, how apropos.  Four years ago, my best friend and her mother booked a trip to Greece and Turkey and asked my mother and I to join.  We of course jumped at the chance for a double mother and daughter duo.  The last time the four of us traveled together was my eighth grade class trip to Washington DC.  Ten hours on a bus.  Our mothers chaperoned, and we were mortified.  This was more promising.


We dusted off our passports, found our oversized backpacks, and rushed to buy whichever travel guide contained the largest spread of food photos.  We spent a week in April exploring the ruins of Athens and cruising the Mediterranean.  I was exposed to so many delicious eats during that week: deep bodied black olives, stuffed grape leaves, fried zucchini, the best olive oil I have ever tasted, and thick, creamy Greek yogurt.  This was before Greek yogurt was quite so readily available at home.  I ate it for the rest of the trip, drizzling it with obscene amounts of honey. Once I came home, my parfaits were born.         

My mom enjoying her breakfast, complete with Greek yogurt and honey

Parfait, which literally translates to' perfect' in French, is quite fitting.  This is my idea of a perfect breakfast.  It's a no-cook, assembly only treat I often enjoy as a post-workout snack mid morning.  These parfaits would also make a great starter to a larger weekend brunch.  I chose to display them in martini glasses. Whatever you choose, whether small bowls or cups, use glass so each layer is visible.

I make many versions of these parfaits using whatever fruit is in season.  Right now I'm enjoying the peaches and blackberries of late summer that provide a classically sweet and tart combination.  This parfait is really just a method.  It's quite simple actually.  Start with a layer of fruit, then granola, Greek yogurt, and top with mixed nuts and seeds.  Lastly, honey and fruit to sweeten and garnish.  I like to use a combination of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. Each has their own nutritional profile and I typically have all three of these in my cabinets at any given time.  Feel free to swap out the fruit or add different nut and seed combinations.  Customize it any way you like.  Yesterday, on a quiet morning, I indulged in a few of these mini parfaits with my heart still in Greece.

~Blackberry Peach Mini Parfait Recipe~

1 peach, pitted and cubed
8 tbsp granola
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 tbsp mixed nuts or seeds 
8 blackberries
4 tbsp honey

Divide the peaches into fours and place in small glass bowls or cups.  Add 2 tbsp of granola to each cup.  Top each with 1/4 cup greek yogurt.  Add 1 tbsp mixed nuts or seeds.  Add 2 blackberries on top and garnish with an additional peach slice if you like.  Drizzle each of the four cups with 1 tbsp of honey.  Serves 4.  (Note-if you wanted to make larger portions of this, you could divide the ingredients between 2 cups or bowls).

Me in Santorini


Anonymous said...

Ohhh Greece! I (like probably everyone else in the world) want to go there so, so much. In my trip to Europe at the beginning of the summer I had wanted to go there, but we didn't end up fitting it in the planning. My boyfriend and I did however spend a week in Istanbul. Is that where you stayed in Turkey?

I eat a small bowl of greek yogurt with honey every morning, but these parfaits look so nice with the addition of granola and fresh fruit. It really is a perfect breakfast.

It seems greek yogurt is really getting popular lately though-- I saw "greek yogurt" from yoplait advertised the other day, and it lists ingredients such as pectin, gelatin and gums. Yuck!

Stephanie said...

Wow Istanbul must have been amazing. We actually stayed in Ephesus, right on the coast. It was beautiful there. If you ever get the chance to go, Greece is a must! Probably one of my favorite 'food' places too!

Isn't it awful how you have to read the labels on everything these days? I always try to buy foods with the least amount of ingredients that I can actually recognize.

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love your presentation on these parfaits, they would look so pretty for entertaining. I agree with you about Greek yogurt...there is a local farm that makes one so thick and rich it tastes like frosting. My guilty pleasure is that I like the full fat version. Yum.