Berry Nutty Breakfast Parfait from the AICR


In its ongoing effort to promote healthy, cancer-preventive lifestyle choices, the American Institute for Cancer Research puts together dishes from their test kitchen that are both nutritious and delicious. This week's entry is a Berry Nutty Breakfast Parfait.

The folks at the AICR write:

We all know we shouldn’t skip breakfast. But deciding how to serve a healthy breakfast with taste and flair can be challenging, especially for those with children at home. Of all the meals we serve in our homes, breakfast can be the one that gets us most in a rut—think cold cereal, pancakes and eggs over and over. When you create this dish, though, it is not only something a little different, but it will taste like you are having dessert for breakfast.

The berries are packed with nutrients to power you through your day. And, they taste great. The yogurt adds a creamy base to the dish. Its nutritional value has been known for centuries. Indeed, yogurt dates back to the 3rd millennium B.C., when shepherds fermented milk in sheepskin bags to conserve it. Today, it is consumed worldwide with almost an infinite variety of flavors. For our purposes, though, just plain yogurt works well, but if you prefer a slightly sweeter parfait, you can use vanilla yogurt.

Good plain granola adds a great crunch. So do the walnuts. Granola has been around a long time. In fact, American cereal companies developed a whole range of cold cereals in the mid and late 1800s, but by the middle of the 20th century, most had become loaded with sugar and mainly marketed to children in advertisements on TV cartoon programs.

In the 1960's when the health food market revived granola with toasted, whole-grain ingredients, younger health conscious groups, including the “hippie” movement, enthusiastically adopted them. But today, many commercial granola cereals have too much added sugar or honey for flavor. Granola with dried fruit - instead of added sugar - has more cancer protective phytochemicals along with natural sweetness.

This breakfast recipe uses granola without dried fruit to show off the fresh berries, but you can use granola with dried fruit too. Either way, choose a granola with little added sugar and fat. Put all ingredients together and the end result is layered goodness. Parfaits are an easy and fun way to begin the day. And, these parfaits just might inspire those breakfast skippers in your family to start the day in a healthier way.

And of course don't forget that all AICR recipes are vetted by a registered dietitian (RD).

Berry Nutty Breakfast Parfait

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. honey, softened by placing the jar in a pan of water over low heat
  • 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat granola
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped walnuts (pecans or almonds can be substituted)


Place berries in mixing bowl. Drizzle with softened honey and toss gently to coat.

Spoon ¼ cup yogurt into four parfait glasses (tall, narrow wine glasses will do) and top with layer of berry mixture. Repeat layers with remaining yogurt and berry mix. Top with granola and nuts. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 257 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 41 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 118 mg sodium.

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