Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yogurt Parfait

I've been doing a lot of searching lately for healthy recipes for breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day ya know! I pack my own breakfast and lunch almost every day when I go to work, and I get bored very quickly if I start eating the same stuff. When I start out eating on Monday, I'm really into it ... but by Friday, I can barely stand to eat it one more time!
I also need my meals to be quickly prepared and still edible if not quickly eaten. Working in child care can really put a damper on your meal choices. I don't know how many times I have thought of something great to eat for breakfast/lunch only to make it and then only get a bite or two in before I have to stop and perform work-related tasks. Of course, 10 - 15 - or 20 minutes later when you finally get back to it; it doesn't taste very good anymore! So frustrating!
I am not one of those people that likes to get up 2 hours before I have to go to work so I can spend 30+ minutes making my meals for the day. I like my sleep. I like to savor every last second I can curled up in bed. So ideally, my meals are something I can throw together the night before so all I have to do is grab my containers and go. Having all of these 'rules' for my meals really limits me on what I can make and enjoy.
Then I thought of yogurt. Really, how perfect?! It comes in a million different flavors so I shouldn't get bored with taste ... it's already prepackaged and easy to throw in my lunchbox so that makes it super fast to prepare ... and it stays cold for quite a little bit so if I have to stop while eating it, it's not awful to go back to. Problem solved, right? ... WRONG! Yogurt can be expensive and believe it or not - I got bored! Turns out when you can't stand all those chunks of raunchy 'fruit' in your yogurt, you're limited to just a few flavors. Bummer. So I went on to eat other things for breakfast ... eggs, waffles, cereal, bagels ... but it just wasn't working for me. I wanted to go back to yogurt.
Then I was introduced to a new way of eating yogurt ... making your own! It's delicious, it's cheap, it's so easy to change the flavor to anything you want, and it keeps me feeling full ... it's perfect! So now I eat a cup of yogurt every morning for breakfast and I love it.
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it doesn't TASTE like traditional yogurt! My mom doesn't like yogurt but she eats this for breakfast as well!
I thought I would share my recipe so that others, who feel the way I do about breakfast, can have a go-to recipe for a great start to your day! I make a batch of this on the weekend and it gets me through the entire week. Hope you enjoy!!

Yogurt Parfait
1 - 32oz container light Vanilla yogurt
1 - 8oz container fat free cool whip, thawed
1 small box sugar free instant White Chocolate pudding
1/2 - 3/4 cup Orange Juice
honey to taste
your choice of fruit, fresh or frozen
granola - I use the Kashi Go Lean Crisp toasted berry crumble or the honey almond flax

Pour pudding powder into large mixing bowl. Add orange juice and whisk until it starts to thicken. Drizzle honey over the mixture and whisk again until combined. Empty contents of yogurt container into pudding mixture and stir with spoon until combined. Gently fold in container of thawed cool whip. Refrigerate. When ready to serve add yogurt to your choice of fruit and top with granola. Enjoy!

*My Notes*

This is a recipe that could be changed a thousand different ways! I like the vanilla yogurt and white chocolate pudding but you could use any combination of yogurt and pudding mix that you wanted ... and there are TONS of different types of granola that you can buy. You can change the flavors of the ingredients to suit your own tastes. Fresh fruit tastes delicious in this recipe when it is in season. I use frozen fruit a lot, which is also quite delicious ... and some mornings, I don't use any fruit at all! There are so many things you can do with this recipe, so I never get bored with it and it's fun to play with different combinations of flavoring!

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