Holidays

Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Happy 4th of July!! [to my American readers, that is… to everyone else, yay Friday!]

I never used to be a huge fan of the 4th when I was a kid. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was deathly afraid of fireworks. When my family would watch them, my mom would put earplugs in my brother’s and my ears so that we wouldn’t freak out.

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I’m still kind of afraid of fireworks, mostly because I know the damage that they can cause if they go wrong… but they’re undeniably beautiful. These days, I love the 4th of July. It could be that said fear of fireworks has decreased, or it could be that I’m of legal drinking age. Either/or, I dunno.

That said, I still love to get a little something healthy in my body before all of the afternoon and evening indulgences. But I still love to be festive. Enter: granola and yogurt parfait. Remember when I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox? There was this stuff on the detox called “banola.” It’s basically grain-free granola, sweetened with bananas. I decided to make a blue granola based on this recipe, and what better ingredient to add a little US of A color than blueberries? That’s a rhetorical question.

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You could really put this granola on whatever you wanted, but just take into account that it’s not overly sweet. There’s a lot of natural sugar from the blueberries, but if you find that you want it sweeter, just add some honey or maple syrup. I decided to make a fun parfait with some strawberries to get the full flag of color into the jar. If you want to keep breakfast light today or over the weekend, this is the perfect, USA-inspired dish.

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Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Banola adapted from The 21 Day Sugar Detox
Makes approximately 4 cups of granola

Ingredients

For the blueberry granola:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1/3 c. egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 c. almond meal

For the parfait:

  • 2/3 c. blueberry granola
  • 2/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 6 medium strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 c. blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender, process bananas, blueberries, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until smooth. There will still be a few pieces of blueberry skin that won’t blend, which is fine.
  3. Prepare a cookie pan with either parchment paper or non-stick spray (I used parchment paper. If you use non-stick spray, expect the granola to brown more.
  4. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients with the blended ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Spread the mixture on the pan into as thin a layer as you can.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until some pieces turn golden, breaking up and flipping every ten or so minutes.
  7. After the blueberry granola cools, assemble the parfait. Layer 1/3 c. greek yogurt, half of the strawberries, the blueberries and 1/3 c. blueberry granola, in that order. Follow with the remaining greek yogurt, strawberries and granola.
  8. Top with a little more yogurt or fruit, if desired.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Questions of the Day:
>> What are your 4th of July plans? Weekend plans if you’re not celebrating?
>> What are your favorite parfait additions? 

Spill It Sundays: All About Birthdays

I’m linking up with Arman today for a special edition of his Spill It Sundays series – the birthday edition – dedicated to the best twerker I know, the big man himself. Happy Birthday Arman! I hope that you get down to some Juicy J and eat only sugar all day. But now let’s focus on me. 😉

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1. When is your birthday
I was born on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a pretty sweet ass day to be born, if you ask me. I talk about my most recent birthday celebrations here and here.

2. What would your ideal birthday ‘day’ look like?
Hmmm well ideally I’d want to eat a whole chocolate cake with vanilla frosting on it. That would probably make me sick, though, so I guess my perfect birthday would look something like: hot yoga class in the morning, chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, cake and baby carrots for lunch, a nice dinner out (at some trendy restaurant because I’m sooooo hip) and then out to a bar for like, one glass of good wine because my next birthday is 23 and that requires more class. If I met a Pittsburgh Penguin and he fell in love with me that day too, I wouldn’t mind. 

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3. When was your most memorable birthday?
My parents threw some awesome birthdays for me. The best one was when the coordinated two of our relatives to dress up as Belle and the Beast and act like they came out of the woods across the street from their castle. I flipped out. I think I mentioned that + other cool birthday parties in this post.

4. When was your worst birthday?
Honestly? I don’t remember ever having a really terrible birthday. I’m sure I had a bad one in there somewhere, probably in high school and something stupid and dramatic happened.

5. What is the best birthday present you’ve received?
My car! My aunt is so generous and wonderful. I wouldn’t have my 1989 Toyota Camry (named Norm) without her. He’s lasted more than five years, but I’ll have to be retiring him soon. I’ll try to get a pic of him up here sometime.

6. What is the worst birthday present you’ve ever received?
I truly do appreciate every thought and gift I’ve gotten throughout my life – I’m a lucky girl. But my pet peeve for presents, I must admit, is when people buy me clothes that either 1) are completely not my style or 2) don’t fit AT ALL. I’d rather get a gift card. The thought is still behind it, in my opinion.

7. What is a health related gift on your wish list?
Bah! I don’t even know. Maybe just like a kettlebell? And a few sets of free weights. It’d make home workouts more effective.

8. What is a food related gift on your wishlist?
Mom and Dad (and Adam!) have been killin’ it with food presents as of late (see Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2013), but next on my list is a juicer (I think). I want to be able to make my own in the mornings!

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9. What is your birthday cake of choice?
Chocolate with vanilla frosting!

Question of the Day:
>> Answer one of the ?s above!