Shades of parfaits

By KatherineGamby

Parfaits are sweet and healthy desserts that serve many different purposes. They can be a casual afternoon treat or served at a formal party, dressed with lavish condiments.

For a healthy parfait, it would be advantageous to use yogurt that contains live cultures to help with the digestive system.

Start by pouring the yogurt into a clear parfait glass, which can be easily purchased at local retailers. Pour just enough to cover the bottom of the glass and then add some organic granola to completely cover the yogurt. The trick with parfaits is to always fully cover each layer with the next so the presentation will be clear and concise.

After the granola, add your choice of fruit, and because it’s the holiday season, cranberries or pomegranate would make for a great holiday parfait.

Once you add the fruit, repeat the process until filled to the top of the glass. Once the glass is filled, top off your parfait with graham cracker, granola or mint sprinkles.

Dessert parfaits leave room for imagination. When I was a child, I would make strawberry and whipped cream parfaits because those were two of my guilty pleasures growing up. Now I make chocolate-strawberry ice cream parfaits.

Start off by using a light layer of vanilla ice cream on the bottom of the parfait glass. Next, add a layer of halved strawberries, remembering to cover the ice cream.

Have some fun and play around with the ingredients, adding your favorite fruit or ice cream flavor. Once the strawberries are added, repeat until the glass is completely filled. Pile on the whipped cream as high as you like and add chocolate shavings.

This type of parfait works wonders when you’re trying to impress your guests at a dinner party or relatives who don’t have faith in your creative cooking skills.