Originally posted September 15, 2014. Updated June 2015.
Few things in life are certain, and one of them is a table of smiling faces staring back at me from the dinner table when I offer something sweet to eat after a meal. Fortunately, this could be the simplest version of a dessert imaginable but when I make a cool-looking, delicious and healthy combo like this one, I always come out looking like a superhero. (Insert John Williams music and an image of me dawning a red cape waiving in the wind!)
One of my favorite desserts to make at home and in my cooking demonstrations is a little something I call my USA Parfait. Not only is this a fun way to honor our amazing country and the beautiful colors of Old Glory, this dessert is easy to make, includes fresh ingredients and it tastes fantastic! I especially like showing kids this recipe because they can easily learn how to make this for themselves for breakfast or as a quick after school or weekend snack. Rather than eating packaged sweets that can be full of added sugars, processed oils and list of mysterious ingredients (which may include food dyes like Yellow 5 and Red 40 that may be associated with hyperactivity and allergic reactions in children. Click on hyperlink for information to Center for Science in the Public Interest’s report on food dyes), they can make something that is nourishing and tasty.
Here are a few fun facts about some of the ingredients in my USA Parfait:
- According to the California Strawberry Commission, one serving of eight strawberries has more immune-boosting vitamin C than a single orange and packed with beneficial antioxidants like potassium (which aids with blood pressure management) and folate (which helps prevent birth defects and may decrease risk of cancer).
- Blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C that helps keep our skin and gums healthy. The Blueberry Council reports that these tiny blue gems also contain manganese, which helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.
- Did you know that Greek yogurt is tolerated by most people who are lactose intolerant? According to Registered Dietitian and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, Toby Amidor, six ounces of Greek yogurt has only 4 grams of lactose compared with 12 grams in one cup of cow’s milk. The yogurt also has live and active cultures that help break down the lactose.
- Cinnamon has a long history as a folk medicine used to treat bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems and diabetes (Source: National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine). Despite the lack of high-quality clinical evidence to support its use for any specific medical condition, small studies have shown promise regarding cinnamon’s blood sugar lowering effects.
Time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 pound strawberries, quartered or chopped
- 1, 6 ounce container blueberries
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon 100% orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (extra for dusting, if desired)
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use morsels that are at least 60% cocoa)
- Rinse, hull and quarter or chop strawberries. Set aside.
- Rinse blueberries and pat dry. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine yogurt, orange juice, honey and cinnamon.
- In a clear cup, layer strawberries, yogurt mixture then blueberries with a few added chocolate chips. Start the next layer with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries then a few chocolate chips on top!
Nutrition Facts per serving: 1 parfait
Calories: 170, Total Fat: 4.5gr; Saturated Fat: 3gr, Trans Fat: 0 gr; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 35mg; Total Carbohydrates: 28gr; Dietary Fiber: 3gr; Sugar: 24 gr; Protein: 8 gr; Vit C: 60%; Calcium: 8%; Iron: 6%