I’m a chef, but for the moment, I don’t have a kitchen! I’m in the first leg of my cross-country road trip, and while I’m exhilarated, it was hard to say goodbye to my stove. What’s the alternative, I thought? Will I be forced to eat fast food for a month? Perish the thought!
Fortunately, my worries didn’t last, because it’s simple to put together healthy meals that require little to no cooking—like this Patriotic Yogurt Parfait! It’s quick to assemble, even if all you have on hand is a disposable knife, spoon, and cup.
A major benefit of yogurt is that it contains probiotics, which help support digestion. There is even said to be a link between your gut and mind. Ever had a “gut feeling?” Actually, a network of neurons line the stomach and act as a second brain. So the healthier your stomach, the better you may feel in both your body and mind.
Be sure to use good-quality yogurt, as many brands contain lots of sugar and additives. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy (like me), you can even make your own Coconut Yogurt with minimal effort.
Patriotic Yogurt Parfait
1 6 oz. container of plain yogurt, divided
1 tablespoon sprouted cereal, plus a pinch, divided (I use Ezekiel brand)
2 strawberries, diced small (approximately 1 heaping tablespoon)
1 heaping tablespoon blueberries
Mint sprig (optional)
- Remove 1 heaping teaspoon of yogurt from the container and set aside. Scoop half of the yogurt into the bottom of a small glass jar or cup. Smooth into an even layer.
- Top with 1-1 ½ teaspoons of cereal, then top the cereal with the strawberries.
- Add the remaining yogurt from the container and smooth into a second even layer. Top with another 1-1 ½ teaspoons of cereal and the blueberries.
- Finish the parfait with the reserved teaspoon of yogurt and a pinch of granola. Add a fresh mint spring for garnish, if desired.
- Fruit & Yogurt Parfait. Omit the cereal and just layer with fruit.
- Strawberry-Banana Parfait. Replace the blueberries with approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of diced banana.
- Yogurt Parfait with Honey. Before you assemble the parfait, add a bit of honey to your yogurt to taste. Stir well, then proceed to step 1. The honey adds just a bit of natural sweetness.
The circumference of your glass jar or container may vary. Therefore, if you have a larger surface area, you may need more fruit or cereal in each layer. Conversely, if your jar is narrower, you may want to add more layers. It’s totally up to you!
Maintaining proper digestion is always important, but it’s even more essential to monitor this when you’re traveling. Travels can lead to dehydration and overeating, which can wreak havoc on your health. If you’re going on a summer vacation this year, make sure you get enough water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals from fresh fruit, whole grains, and fermented foods. If it’s hard to find healthy options during your trip, you may want to consider starting a course of probiotics. (Just be sure to speak with your physician or naturopath first.)
Parfaits are incredibly versatile, so use your culinary imagination. Add extra fruit or cereal. Replace the cereal with a layer of granola or nuts. You can even try a fruit compote instead of fresh fruit. Make your yogurt—and your mornings—a little more interesting!