It’s Strawberry Season! A Strawberry Shortcake Style Yogurt Parfait

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It’s strawberry season!  Aside from strawberry ice cream, I loooove strawberry desserts and I’m really excited about the prospect of possibly going strawberry picking this summer.  I just need to find the right farm that’s not too far away, bring a floppy hat, and wear some comfortable pants and shoes and I’ll be good to go!  I’ve never been strawberry picking before and I want to so much.  The thought of bringing home a mini truckload of strawberries makes me giddy because it’s one of the few “pickable” fruits that I’m not allergic to!  I went cherry picking once when I was little down in Niagara, before my cherry allergy developed, and I remember having such a fun time, holding my little basket and filling it to the brim with plump cherries. 

We’ll see if the strawberry picking trip pans out, but in the meantime, I’m celebrating the strawberry love with a strawberry shortcake style yogurt parfait!  What we have here: vanilla yogurt, sliced strawberries, crunchy honey granola, and white chocolate chips.  I completely forgot about the graham cracker crumbles for this concoction, but it was yummy nevertheless because strawberries and white chocolate are meant to be and any excuse to use white chocolate is a good one.  

I’m going to keep my eye out for any and all strawberry fests in town over the next little while and although this is wishful thinking, I really hope Il Fornello will bring back their special strawberry themed menu from two years ago.  I never got the chance to try anything off of it and would love to go crazy and indulge in a 3-course meal chock full of stawberries!  There were so amazing strawberry dishes on that menu, both sweet and savoury, and you can bet I’d be posting up a storm here if I got the opportunity to take advantage of it the second time around.  So, with baked goods and savoury eats in mind, here’s to many delicious strawberry goodies over the course of the summer! 

All Dressed Up and Only One Place to Go: My Tummy! Berries and The Yogurt Parfait Breakfast Cocktail Party

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I call this concoction the Yogurt Parfait Cocktail Party!  For those of you who know me by my online pseudonym, you get the significance.  On the menu for yogurt parfait breakfast number two: peaches n’ cream yogurt topped with diced fruit cocktail of pears, peaches, pineapple, and maraschino cherries, drained (remember, I can only eat these particular fruits canned or cooked!), strawberries, blueberries, crunchy honey vanilla granola, and shredded coconut.  Words of wisdom: if the parfait is not colourful, it’s not good enough, and there is no such thing as too much granola and coconut.  The combination soaks up any excess moisture (nobody likes a soggy parfait) and they just taste good together.  I went back for multiple fistfuls throughout the meal – like my yogurt mountain wasn’t big enough as it was!  In the end, all dressed up and only one place to go: in my tummy.

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.