Cherry Yogurt, Granola, Coconut, and Crunchie Munchie Cereal – Yogurt Parfait Mornings and Lunches

Leave a comment

I love breakfast.  I think I’ve said this more times than I can remember.  But it’s my favourite meal of the day and I enjoy celebrating it with good food and nice photos.  Egg breakfasts, waffles, home fries, tofu scrambles, I love it all and I can never get enough, via my tummy and my eyes.  Ever since I stumbled on blogs like {365} Breakfasts and 365 Days of Breakfast, I’ve become even more inspired to capture those early morning “me” moments, mid-morning munchies, and lunchtime food extravaganzas.  Aside from my post and photos of vanilla almond cereal in almond milk, I haven’t posted any more of those quiet, pensive “it’s just me with my thoughts and bowl of cereal” moments and figured it was as good a time as any to start jazzing things up with some photos of my beloved yogurt parfaits! 

I’ve gone through many food phases over the past year (vanilla almond cereal in warm almond milk, Fruit Loops in warm almond milk, and peanut butter on toast with almond milk – can you tell you I like almond milk?!), but the one thing that has managed to stick around has been my fruit and yogurt and I’ve discovered some fabulous tasting combinations because of it. 

I never used to like yogurt when I was little.  I hated it.  It was either too goopy, too watery, or it was just plain awful and tasteless.  Strawberry yogurt my butt.  Then something magically happened when I started university.  Yogurt suddenly tasted great.  It didn’t become my be-all, end-all favourite thing to eat, but it did go from “ew” to “yum” somewhat overnight.  I don’t know if it was just me or the brands I started eating or both, but yogurt finally clicked for me and I found myself getting parfaits every week at school, getting the yogurt & berries from Timmy’s for breakfast, and eating it with my lunch at home on days I didn’t have school.  And so began the Adventures of Yogurt Parfaits.

It was also my foolproof way of getting in some healthy dairy and fruit into my meal without labouring over eating everything separately.  I am a very slow eater so there are times where I just don’t want to eat anymore because I’m just tired of chewing so putting things together makes my life, personally, easier and less labourous.  It’s so easy to blow fruit off at the end of the meal because you’re already full and can’t eat another bite, and the same goes for yogurt.  The idea of sitting around, slowly spooning yogurt the same way you’d spoon baby food into a baby’s mouth is unappealing and unappetizing.  So you put the two together when you know you’re hungry, you add the crunchies munchies and maybe a little sweet treat here and there (dark chocolate chips, anyone?), and you eat it for breakfast or with your lunch (I repeat, with your lunch, not after because that’s the excuse-making danger zone) and have yourself a jolly good time.   

It’s so much fun making them!  I switch things up all the time, accessorizing my different flavours of yogurt (lemon meringue!  Berry berry!  Raspberry crumble!  Mango pineapple!) with fruit, cereal, granola, nuts, seeds, and some sweet additions from time to time.  Since I’m allergic to so many fruits in their raw state, I take advantage of whatever I can.  Bananas, drained canned peaches, blueberries, strawberries, whatever we have on hand.  What we have here: cherry yogurt with sliced bananas, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal in vanilla almond, granola, unsalted sunflower seeds, and shredded coconut to make it look extra pretty!  I love having texture in my food, especially in my yogurt, so the crunchier and munchier the better!  Next up on the list: maybe something with chocolate.  Mmmm.

Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom! Chick Peas, Sunflower Seeds, and Other Crunchy Munchies at Freshii

2 Comments

If you couldn’t tell by the scrapbooking and my love for adorable decor in foodie places, I LOVE working with themes!  Themes get my creative juices flowing like crazy and it’s especially fun applying it to my meals!  I think it’s really great when an eatery fills their own niche, has their own personality, and is cohesive in their decor and menu.  Call me a food nerd, but when I look over a Freshii “menu” (the little white checklists attached to the cute little clipboards which you can view here), I start thinking of how I can put together a meal centered around a common theme and how I can make it really fun 😀  I look over all the toppings and ingredients and think, “Ooo, this would make a good ‘breakfast’ themed meal!” or “oh yum, if I put these ingredients together, it’ll taste like a Mediterranean pizza!”  and “hey, I could make this into a Chinese take-out box!”  I guess this is part of the fun in eating at Freshii, being able to truly customize a meal in whatever way you like.  I feel excited when I come to eat here not just because I enjoy the food but because it’s almost like a creative outlet.  And you know, creating a themed meal makes it that much more fun to scrapbook, ha.

The theme for this meal was crunchy munchie!  I thank my friend Maree for the inspiration for this term 😀  I know I can eat anything from salad to wraps to burritos to soup here, but I love the brown rice bowls so much that I’ve never deviated from this since I first ate here during the fall season of 2009.  I know, shocking considering how much I harp on trying different things, right?  I do want to eventually try their soup with rice noodles, but brown rice bowls at Freshii are one of the few things that I stick with on a consistent basis and I’m pretty content with that for the time being.

I wanted to go full out with the flavour and the texture, so what I have here is a brown rice bowl with baby spinach, avocado, shredded jack & cheddar cheese, sliced mushrooms, chopped celery, corn, cilantro, edamame beans, chick peas, and sunflower seeds with yummy caesar dressing.  The spinach, celery, chick peas, sunflower seeds, and edamame made me crunch-a-munch like crazy and I absolutely adored this combination.  The combination of cheddar and caesar dressing made it flavourful and rich and the whole thing was just fun to eat!  Your jaw might get a bit sore by the end of the meal, but I totally recommend this combination of ingredients and toppings!  You never know if certain flavours will mesh well with one another (I’m hesitant about putting mandarin oranges with chicken, eh) but I’m glad that this meal turned out delicious.  I think next time I’ll try out my Meditteranean pizza idea!

Freshii is also offering a Spring Fling menu for the season with special menu items like the santa fe salad, sprouter bowl, and buffalo chicken burrito.  Click the link up top for more info on what’s in each of these menu items.  If I can get around to it, I think might be interested in trying either the santa fe salad or the sprouter bowl.  Happy crunchy munching everyone!

*****

Freshii in Toronto serves 11 locations in the city with one also serving Mississauga.  Click here for a list and map of specific locations, as well as more information on Freshii’s menu, goals, and mission statement.  The Yonge and St.Clair Freshii is located at 1560 Yonge St., just north of St. Clair Ave. on the west side of Yonge.