Breakfast, the first meal of the day, sets the mood for the rest of the day. A nice and healthy breakfast can be filling and blissful.
At times, we want to savour something spicy or salty, and on some days we crave something sweet for breakfast. That is when this popular French dish can enter the scene.
Meet yoghurt parfait. Imagine layers of yoghurt contrasting a rainbow of fruits, berries, nuts, seeds and honey. Not only does it stir the tastebuds, but it also has many health benefits, one of them being that it is highly satiating due to its high protein content.
Krutika Nanavati, a dietitian and nutritionist practising in Auckland, New Zealand, says, “Although yoghurt parfait is commonly enjoyed as a breakfast dish or an afternoon snack, it can be eaten at any time of the day due to its light and refreshing properties. It can also make for a healthy dessert option or as a pre-or post-workout snack.”
Health benefits of yoghurt parfait
Isaac Robertson, co-founder, nutritionist and fitness trainer at Total Shape, Indiana, USA, says, “Greek yoghurt, one of the main ingredients of yoghurt parfait, includes protein which helps in muscle repair and satiety.”
There is a bonus! Greek yoghurt not only provides protein, but it is also rich in probiotics that support our gut health and can boost our immune system, he adds. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that regular consumption of yoghurt can also take care of our arteries. And that is not all.
Nanavati adds that Greek yoghurt is rich in calcium which is essential for bone and oral health.
Robertson proposes an unflavoured variety of Greek yoghurt as it is lower in added sugar. For those watching their calories, he suggests going for low-fat or non-fat varieties. Nanavati adds that Greek yoghurt is thicker in texture than regular yoghurt and this adds to its satiety factor.
Next in the layers are berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, all or any of them according to your liking.
Berries are abundant in antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. This means that they reduce the risk of chronic health conditions. Also rich in fibre, they can further support gut health and prevent constipation. Berries can also help with skin vitality since they are rich in vitamin C, says Roberston.
A professional’s tip – Add seasonal fruits to the mixture to gain some more benefits.
Do you fancy some crunch in your yoghurt parfait? “Sprinkle some chopped nuts and seeds like almonds and chia seeds,” recommends Robertson. The benefits of nuts and seeds are well known, and are the reason why many nutritionists and dietitians suggest eating them every day. You can thank the healthy fats in nuts and seeds which contribute to maintaining our heart health. Experts, however, advise portion control with nuts and seeds.
How to make it
Scroll down for a simple and delicious yoghurt parfait as concocted by Isaac Robertson.
- Plain Greek yoghurt – 1 cup
- Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) – 1/2 cup
- Chopped almonds – 2 tablespoons
- Honey – 1 tablespoon
- A pinch of cinnamon powder (optional)
- In a long glass or bowl, pour half the quantity of the Greek yoghurt.
- Put in half of the mixed berries (with bananas if you wish) and half of the chopped almonds. (you can also add soaked chia seeds and pumpkin seeds at this point)
- Drizzle some honey over the layers.
- Repeat the layers in the same pattern.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top for extra flavour.
Adding cinnamon can also add to the health benefits. Cinnamon works as an antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and can also lower cardiovascular diseases, indicates a study.
Nanavati takes it further. She suggests that one can add granola chunks to make the yoghurt parfait tastier and more fulfilling. As Robertson apply says, “It is all about balance and enjoying your food while nourishing your body.”