Why do I call granola fruit parfaits sexy? Well, it all started years ago when a friend instructed me to bring a ‘sexy salad’ to a barbeque.
I didn’t have to ask her what she meant – she wanted something different, with visual and taste appeal, that would grab the attention of her guests, not the usual potato salad, three-bean or French salad.
So, I set about constructing a salad that involved roasted garlic balsamic glaze, wild rocket leaves, frilly lettuce, walnuts, cranberries, nectarines, feta cheese and edible flowers.
Since then, often when I’m making something a little different I think of her instructions to make food look ‘sexy’.
The appeal is in the layering, the choice of ingredients, the addition of a couple of edible flowers and within minutes you have something that will have people at the breakfast table passing you compliments.
These granola fruit parfaits sure beat a shake of cereal from the box and some milk and sugar. They can be also be super healthy, depending on the choice of ingredients.
You can make them with any type of granola you choose – some have dried fruit, some have nuts, some have both, but I tend to prefer the granola that has nuts only as dried fruit bits can be a bit hard and tasteless.
Fresh fruit is the best. Feel free to use whatever is in season or that you have on your homestead, or stored from the summer bounty in the freezer or on pantry shelves.
Plus its more sustainable to eat local instead of something that has been flown halfway around the world.
Basically, you will need individual glass jars, glass coffee mugs, dessert bowls or the old fashioned 1950’s parfait bowls for serving – I love glass as it shows the layering going on, making the parfaits more visually appealing.
Take a trip to your local thrift store, and see what you can pick up – the bowls don’t have to match, but you may want to coordinate the general look and feel.
These can be assembled the night before, especially if you have a busy morning ahead, and simply have the toppings added at the last minute before serving.
I prefer double cream Greek or Bulgarian yoghurt – the creamier it is, the less sugar in it. Low fat yoghurt manufacturers usually make up for the lack of flavor when the fat is removed by adding sweeteners.
Your choice, gluten-free, nut-free, or regular.
From the lists below pick just one or two types of fruit, nut and seeds, as well as one type of edible flower.
Pecans, walnuts, or almonds, unsalted.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, mulberries, cherries, nectarines, grapes (seedless) peaches, pears, kiwi, banana, apple, passion fruit.
Pumpkin (pepitas), sesame, flaxseed, chia, sunflower.
- Honey – raw, unheated pure honey – processed honey has the goodness in it destroyed by irradiation.
- Maple syrup
- Fringed dianthus
- Dandelion petals – discard the green part at the base of the flower as it is bitter
- Rose petals – chose small roses otherwise the petals are too big for the parfait
- Lavender flowers
I use the above edible flowers as a garnish because they are not very strong flavored, and pair well with this sweet treat rather than say nasturtiums, arugula or chive blossoms, which pair better with salads.
The basics are layers of granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt with a drizzle of honey, an edible flower or two, a pretty piece of fruit like a fresh cherry or strawberry, and a little sprinkle of nuts or seeds to finish off the top of the parfait, but let’s take it one step at a time.
Homemade Granola Parfaits Recipe
- 1 cup double cream Greek or Bulgarian yoghurt
- 2/3 cup granola
- 1/3 cup strawberries
- 2 teaspoons unsalted nuts chopped
- fresh fruit
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 2 edible flowers dandelion petals, viola, etc.
- Start with a layer of fruit because you want the last taste to be something special. For these I used some of the summer crop of strawberries that had chopped and frozen. I defrosted those I needed for just 30 seconds.
- Add a layer of double cream Greek yoghurt, or whichever yoghurt takes your fancy, and drizzle in a little honey or maple syrup.
- Add a layer of granola .
- Next comes another layer of yoghurt, drizzled with some honey.
- Add a second layer of fruit.
- Then add a granola layer.
- End with a layer of yoghurt.
- Decorate with a sprinkle of Paleo mix as I did here – it has flaxseed, sesame seed, almonds and coconut shreds – or use any nuts or seeds you choose.
- Finish up with some choice pieces of fruit. I used frozen blueberries here, but the choice is up to you.
- The final garnish for contrast was provided by some dandelion petals, because at the end of summer that’s all I had in the garden that was flowering. Violas or dianthus would look pretty.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.