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

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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.

When You’re Under the Weather – Eating and Drinking Comfort in a Mug

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I couldn’t escape it this winter.  Although I have certain ailments that I’ve dealt with throughout my life (migraines, for example), I pride myself on being one of the lucky ones who skirt the mega colds, flus, and bugs.  Aside from a bad bout of bronchitis almost two years, I’ve been sick-free since.  My luck has run out though.  I mentally cursed when that feeling of achiness started creeping in last night and by morning, it was official: I was under the weather.  Arming myself with a hot mug of tea with honey and a throat lozenge, I shuffled my way around the house in fuzzy socks and a sweater willing my body to stop aching.  It didn’t listen.  Oh, the tea helped.  And so did the throat candy.  But alas, I sit here with aches in my shoulder blades, lower back, and legs, only temporarily distracted for an hour while I watched Iron Chef America: Battle Deep Freeze (how appropriate for the winter!) on Food Network.  At least my flaming cheeks don’t feel like hot plates anymore.

I had plans to show you all another wintry scrapbook layout today, but because of my aches I could not sit still and had to give up a quarter way through.  I shuffled around long enough to gather my scrapbook supplies and I sat down long enough to crop my photos and cut out my cardstock.  Then I gave up and retreated to my living room couch and proceeded to fidget and sulk in my blanket as I watched television for the rest of the day.  Sigh.  How pathetic.

So instead of the pretty scrapbook layout, I’m posting about what makes me feel better when I’m not feeling well: ginger ale, tea, toast and jam (when I had bronchitis, I ate 4 slices of toast with jam in one sitting!), and food and drink in a mug.  I have taken quite a liking to eating and drinking my breakfasts and snacks out of my giant orange mug and the best part is having something warm and cozy in my hands straight out of the microwave. 

My current obsession: vanilla almond cereal with sliced almonds in almond milk.  I swear to you I’m not an actual almond in human disguise!  If someone told me several years ago I’d be in love with almonds, I would scoff and then laugh.  Even though almonds are technically seeds or drupes as opposed to true nuts, I’ll refer to them as nuts for argument sake.  In all my life, I have never really liked cow’s milk or eating nuts of any kind.   Over the past year though, I’ve fallen in love with almond milk (which I prefer much more than cow’s milk) and I’ve found myself truly enjoying almond baked goods and actual almonds. 

After hearing about almond milk from vegetarian and vegan friends, I gave it a shot and loved it.  I’ve been taking advantage and integrating more vegan options into my diet (I have an allergy to soy milk so it’s almond milk all the way!) and my mum took advantage of a few sales at the grocery store, so I’ve been able to slurp it up more often now.  I feel really lucky not having nut allergies like so many of my friends do, so nuts are something I don’t take for granted anymore.  

My feel-good remedy besides tea and toast with jam?  Pouring some almond milk into a mug, nuking it for 30 seconds, and making a mountain of vanilla almond cereal (Oatmeal Crisp or Special K will do the trick!) in it with crunchy sliced almonds on top.  Even if it doesn’t banish the germies, it’ll make you feel warm and cozy all over.