Dec
28

The cookies are gone.

The pie has been eaten.

The Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread can no longer be made into french toast for breakfast. Tragic!

Now that the holidays are almost over, we’ve got to get our skinny on. Let’s get obsessed with oats, nuts, and fruit!

Granola is the picture of health, right?

Before we put our skinny jeans on, let’s laugh over Christmas stories.

How was your Christmas? Santa was good to me. He brought me two aprons, a donut pan (yes!), a fluffy white robe, and some warm pjs. He also brought me a really awkward looking night-shirt with a horse on it. It would never be acceptable to wear this unless I want to end up on The People of Wal-Mart website. I’m glad Santa knows my humour though, because baking pies while wearing night shirts just happens to be hilarious.

So on Christmas eve, I drank rich red wine with my family and baked a pie in my new horse mystic night-shirt.  We sang songs from the Sound of Music and ate way too much apple & pear pie. We’re totally weird and I love it. 

Singing songs and baking pies in horse night shirts… Whatever!

On a serious note: Christmas morning got even better when my Grandma gave me a hummingbird pin. She’s super cute. Another highlight? Making banana bread into french toast! Love.

Here’s the thing about the holiday and indulgence. You start craving Christmas colored M&Ms and pie for dinner. This can’t be a good thing! 2012 is coming, it’s time to make those promises to be healthy and happy. Starting the year off right is important.

My cycling instructor informed me that the next thing to look forward to is bikini season… I can’t decide if that is exciting or completely scary.

Before I know it I’ll be drinking margaritas, painting my toes pink, and making strawberry shortcake. I need to get summer out of my head for a bit though.

We need to put our healthy pants on!

The only thing I can suggest is eating butterless breakfasts and forgetting the large movie theatre popcorn.

I made us something to start off our day right. It’s got whole grains, fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Fruit and yogurt granola parfaits!

Maple syrup and apple sauce make this granola sweet without adding extra sugar.  Pecans and almonds keep it crunchy and nutty. 

I also added a bit of coconut on top which became a toasted golden brown when baked. Delicious.

Granola party!

McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfait has nothing on these. Make sure you say goodbye to sugar overloaded cereal from the grocery store.

This granola is skinny!

Make it your own.  Add toppings of your choice like pumpkin seeds, white chocolate, and dried blueberries or apples.

Pile it into a glass and layer with greek yogurt and fruit. Absolutely healthy.

Skinny Maple Granola Yogurt Parfaits

Granola adapted from Serious Eats

3 1/2 cups rolled oats

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup of coconut flakes

plain or vanilla fat-free greek yogurt

bananas or other fresh fruit of choice

 

To make granola:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Add cranberries, raisins, pecans and almonds to bowl. Stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin and apple sauce until well combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated. Spread granola in a thin layer over baking sheet. Sprinkle coconut on top.

Bake granola until golden, stirring oats halfway through baking, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before making parfaits.

 

To make parfaits:

Slice 1 banana and set aside.  Place 1/2 cup of greek yogurt in glass. Top yogurt with 1/4 cup of granola. Add a couple of banana slices.  Place another 1/4 cup granola on top of bananas. Add a tablespoon or two of yogurt on top of granola. Sprinkle a bit more granola on top and add more bananas. Drizzle honey on top if desired.

Repeat for each parfait you wish to make.

Store granola in airtight container.

Enjoy your new favorite breakfast!

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