Breakfast, Lunch
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The Perfect Parfait, Hazelnut Granola

I love greek yogurt parfaits. I can not get enough! These are not “Oh, I’ll just have yogurt” parfaits –  these are sweet, creamy, badass parfaits.

IMG_4440There are a few things that take my parfaits to the next level that I am going to share with you today.

I always start with Total FAGE 0% Greek Yogurt — a thick and protein-packed base that will definitely fill you up. This all-natural strained yog is made from hormone-free cows and no added sugar. In a heaping cup of this yogurt, I zest a little lemon. May sound different, but it adds a lot of depth and flavor to the yogurt. I love it!

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Then, I top it up. My favorite fruit to use in my parfaits are cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and mangos. The only fruit I wouldn’t recommend is banana because of texture with the yogurt — too mushy. And this is not your momma’s parfait.

Once I do that, I like to top it with chia seeds, a chopped date, and crushed almonds — that’s usually my go-to. But if I happen to make almond milk that week, my parfaits are upgraded with homemade granola — made from almond pulp leftover from the nut milk. After my toppings I like to put just a little bit of almond milk on top for texture and a creamy consistency.

Perfetto.

This week, it’s roasted hazelnut granola with date paste, rolled oats, almond pulp, unsweetened shredded coconut and PB2 (Haven’t heard of this? It’s powdered peanut butter that you blend with water or milk and it is delicious, all-natural and has the protein from the nuts without the fat from the oils.)

This granola is packed with protein and fiber, sweetened only with a drizzle of raw honey and caramel-like dates. I recently watched the documentary Fed Up on Netflix and I was inspired to make something with hardly any honey. I usually make granola without processed sugars, but I felt challenged to replace some of the honey with something even more nutritional. Alas, date paste. Soak the dates in a little bit of warm water — if they’re fresh medjool dates you only need to do this for a few minutes — drain, and process. The result is a thick paste that can substitute for any sweetener in many recipes. Or even on bread with a drizzle of nuts and honey — think fig jam.

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After roasting the almond pulp to dry out any liquid, toss with date paste, rolled oats, chopped hazelnuts, a few tbsp of PB2, a tsp of vanilla extract and unsweetened shredded coconut — toss back in the oven at 350 until golden brown. Spray with a little coconut oil and you’ve got feel-good granola in your pantry.

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