Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Breakfast Fruit Parfait

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day but a typical continental breakfast made up of eggs, ham, sausage, bacon and toast might not be the ideal meal for someone looking to get healthier or lose weight. A good alternative is a breakfast of fresh fruits. However, the meal doesn't have to be a monotonous motion of just picking through a bowl of boring old fruits. You can jazz up your fruit-based breakfast with some ingredients that will add welcome sweetness and creaminess that mesh very well with the tartness of citrusy fruits.

What we have here is a yogurt-based fruit parfait. The typical parfait is often served as a dessert to cleanse one's palate after a meal. It can be made with custard, ice-cream or flavored gelatin. Increasingly, we are now seeing a healthier alternative where the parfait is served with yogurt, granola, nuts and of course, fruits. And the best thing is, it is easy to put together as long as you have all the ingredients on hand.

First, choose the fruits that you would like in your parfait. I usually go for Mandarin oranges, peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew melon and blackberries, a good mix of sweet and sour elements. Cut them all into small cubes. Then it is time to concoct the yogurt parfait and it's very easy. Simply mix together yogurt, mascarpone cheese, fine sugar and vanilla essence. Yes, that's it! Or to reduce it further, buy vanilla flavored yogurt and just add mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone is the main ingredient in the Italian dessert, tiramisu and is very milky and creamy. It mixes easily with the yogurt and adds a creamy finish to the parfait.

To put it all together, scoop a little of the yogurt parfait onto the bottom of a serving glass. Add the fruits, scoop more of the parfait on top of the fruits and sprinkle granola over the layers. For decoration, you can garnish with a sprig of mint.

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