Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

I love yogurt. No really - I LOVE yogurt. I could probably live on the stuff. I love it so much that I used to go to the effort of making my own when I lived in China where it was hard to get my hands on an inexpensive natural yogurt. Occasionally I would strain my yogurt to make it thick and creamy in the Greek style.  And it only occurred to me recently that rather than paying the high prices for Greek yogurt here in the US, I could just strain store bought natural yogurt. I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure that out, but better late than never. 

So if you are also a Greek yogurt lover and fancy saving a few bucks, grab yourself a coffee filter or a piece of muslin (cheese) cloth to line a sieve. Let the sieve rest over a bowl (make sure the bottom of the sieve doesn't touch the bowl). Scoop as much regular yogurt, such as Dannon natural yogurt, as will fit in the coffee filter. All you have to do now is pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours. The longer you leave it, the thicker the yogurt will become. In a short while you will see a yellowy liquid gathering in the bowl - that's the whey. Apparently it's best not to remove too much of this whey because it contains loads of protein and amino acids, as well as much of the good bacteria that makes yogurt so healthy (read more). The whey also gives yogurt it's delightfully tangy flavour. A couple of hours in the fridge removes enough that the yogurt is nice and thick and ready to be used for all sorts of things. Just the other day I saw TV chef, Chuck Hughes, use yogurt that had been strained overnight (suuuper thick!) for frosting on a carrot cake. Genius! At the moment we can't get enough of Greek yogurt parfaits piled with granola...

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

2 cups strained (or Greek) plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 tbsp strawberry jam
6 tablespoons granola or muesli

1. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, honey and vanilla until evenly combined.
2. In another small bowl, stir the jam through the strawberries so that they are well coated. If you have a sweet tooth you may like to add more jam at this stage.
3. In small glasses, layer the yogurt and strawberry mix. I like to put some yogurt in first, followed by the strawberries and then another layer of yogurt. 
4. Right before you dig into your parfait, sprinkle the top with the granola. Enjoy!

Makes 2-3 parfaits

The combinations for these parfaits are endless. What is your favourite way to use yogurt?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lucinda!
    Just wanted to let you know that I used your idea for yogurt parfaits for my parent meeting and it was a great success. I adapted it a bit just for ease of preparation in a short amount of time. We used lowfat vanilla yogurt and frozen mixed berries. The parents thought it was delicious and a healthy alternative for breakfast or a snack. We had enough yogurt and fruit left over so we made friut smoothies for the pre-k students the next day during their snack time. The overall consensus was that it was delicious and tasted like ice cream. There were only 3 children out of 16 that wouldn't try it. The 13 remaining loved it. I think it was VERY successful! THANKS!!! Jenny