While the idea of letting oats sit overnight in yogurt to create a soft, rich texture sounds less than romantic, the result is more decadent than not – a sure win for oatmeal lovers and a surprising win for those who are not. Make this overnight yogurt parfait for a delicious breakfast that is VERY easy to prepare in advance, healthful and filling. And, since eating breakfast at home each morning is a must for me (otherwise I reach near-desperation mode before getting to the office), this parfait is perfect to enjoy while getting ready when pinched for time.
Think of this as more of a concoction rather than a recipe; the ingredients and respective amounts of each are personal preference. Customize the parfait with any flavored yogurt – regular works better than Greek-style – along with fresh and dried fruits, nuts, seeds and more.
You will often find parfaits similar to this in gourmet markets offering pre-prepared dishes. I dabbled with my own creations after first grabbing one years ago at Marvelous Market in Washington, DC. Since then, I have found vanilla yogurt to be a nice choice to highlight rather than masque the flavor of other parfait components. Look to lemon to create a healthy breakfast that tastes almost dessert-like (with the addition of cacao nibs!). For layering, I typically go with seasonal fruits, and then add raisins for a sweet, chewy texture and slivered almonds or chopped walnuts for a crunch. When berries are off-season, consider their frozen counterparts (thawing and draining as much liquid as you can) or switch to pomegranate and even chopped apples. The options are endless! Do share your favorite combinations in the comment section below.
Overnight Yogurt Parfait
Makes 1 serving
6oz fat-free yogurt
¼ c old-fashioned oats (quick oats are better if making morning of)
Slivered Almonds or Chopped Walnuts*
*Subsitutions encouraged to suit your tastebuds
1. Mix together yogurt and oats.
2. Layer 1/3 of the yogurt mixture on the bottom of any container you have on hand – a short drinking glass (about 12oz) or small bowl works well.
3. Sprinkle with preferred combination of fresh and/or dried fruit and nuts *I often like to add a bit of flax seed for added nutritional benefits
4. Twice repeat the above two steps to make more layers of the yogurt and fruit/nut mixture, ending with a colorful display on top.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It will be ready for you in the morning!
*The overnight aspect of this is meant for morning convenience. You can still prepare it morning of by giving the oats at least 20 minutes to absorb liquid from the yogurt. Particularly if using quick, the oats will soften enough in this amount of time to make for an enjoyable consistency.