Your first meal of the day should leave you energized and refreshed with a clear mind to tackle the world. Breakfast parfaits are nothing new. This is what we have been eating as part of our weekday rotation for the last 22 years. The best part is the convenience. Prepare this the night before and you have something fast and nutritious that you can eat on the go. Fresh fruit, yogurt, citrus, raw honey, peanut butter and grain-free organic granola.
Fruit and Granola Parfait with Kumquats
As strange as it sounds, winter is the peak of citrus season for many of these vitamin C laden gems. The trick is how to incorporate citrus fruit with your morning meal. I picked up some kumquats, which are typically sold in eight ounce clamshell containers. They are small about the size of a grape or a large olive. It doesn’t look like a lot, but just a few kumquats go a long way.
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The upside is the long shelf life and versatility with different cooking applications. I used some in my citrus loaf quick bread and a citrus salad. They worked well garnishing steamed fish, raw fish and a roasted chicken dish. At the end of the week I stared at the clamshell box. It felt like I didn’t even crack a dent. I hate wasting anything so, why not add them to our go-to breakfast?
Kumquats are a highly nutritious citrus (it’s technically Fortunella in the scientific community ) fruit that resemble a miniature oval shaped orange. They have a very thin skin making the entire fruit edible. The only thing to be aware of are the seeds. Slice them very thin with a sharp paring knife and add the seeds to your compost bin.
Kumquats have a very vibrant sweet sour flavor. The tartness comes from the rind while the sweet is a result of the tiny juicy pulp on the inside. They are usually available all year with a limited supply in the fall months. However, the main Kinkan-Marumi, Nagami, Meiwa and Fukushu varieties are seasonal. You may find these from winter through spring. The most common variety in local markets is the Nagami kumquat.
Kumquat trees and other varieties can be found online or in Farmers’ Markets. It’s even possible that your neighbor has a small tree if you live in a warmer growing region.
Health Benefits of Kumquats
Kumquats are amazing. These tiny fruit can add a lot of brightness to any dish. Think yuzu fruit, but the orange version. I have never tried using it to flavor a broth, but something to think about. They are also great dried, pickled, used in marmalades, chutneys and jellies, baking or dessert applications. I’ve never seen a kumquat ice cream or macaroon. That would be pretty cool.
Adding kumquats to a balanced diet does wonders. They can help with preventing heart disease, cancer and provide a nice boost to your immune system. As a low fat, low calorie fruit, they are pretty well loaded with antioxidant vitamins. They are also rich in potassium, calcium, iron and a good source of fiber.
I not sure what the official name would be. It’s a fruit parfait with the essential ingredients of yogurt and granola. They have been around for decades at local cafes, coffee shops and many online recipe renditions. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that my family were pioneers with the yogurt parfait. This is the time way before cell phones, electric cars and the internet.
Growing up breakfast needed to be quick especially with the morning traffic that took almost an hour to get to school. My parents would prepare bowls of fruit covered in yogurt and granola or cereal the night before. Convenient, healthy and fast. If we were late, you could always take these to go. I probably never appreciated it then, but I truly embrace these today. THE FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY IS TRULY IMPORTANT. It sets the tone for focus and concentration throughout the rest of the day.
Building the parfait
I put these in a glass for the purpose of illustration. Bowls work fine without the extra added layers. Sometimes I add banana almond milk or cashew milk mixed with the yogurt and granola for a quick muesli. I found these cool reusable on the go containers for your yogurt parfait.
Parfaits are great because you can mix everything together or eat individual layers one at a time. I always believe that ingredients are everything. Make sure that you have fresh fruit that is washed and dried including your kumquats.
We like Chobani Greek Yogurt because it doesn’t contain a lot of sugar. Purely Elizabeth makes a grain-free granola in different styles. Our favorites are the Maple Almond and Maple Walnut with probiotics. For the honey we used Nate’s Pure Raw unfiltered honey.
At the bottom of your parfait glass layer 2 ounces yogurt.
Add 1/3 of a sliced banana.
Apply 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a smooth layer. One of our favorite brands is Justin’s all natural peanut butter from Colorado.
Chop granola if you have larger clusters, then add 2 tablespoons.
Next layer, add 1/3 cup strawberries with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Apply another even layer of 2 ounces yogurt and 2 tablespoons granola.
*Tasting Notes: Adding lemon juice will create some liquid in your yogurt parfait. We like the brightness and acidity that it adds. Lemons are an antioxidant that contains vitamin C, help the body absorb iron, reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease, provides potassium and aides in the prevention of kidney stones.
Add 1/3 cup blueberries.
Apply last layer of 2 ounces yogurt.
Top with 3 thin sliced kumquats. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey and top with remaining granola.
Eat immediately or refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!