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How to Make Yogurt Parfait

High in protein and dietary fiber, healthy yogurt parfait makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. But not all parfaits are created equal. In this post, you will find three easy recipes and detailed instructions on how to build your own healthy parfait.

Yogurt parfait in glasses on marble background.

What is Parfait?

Parfait is a French-style dessert made from ice cream or custard layered with fruit. It’s often served in tall glasses to show off the layers and topped off with whipped cream.

What is Yogurt Parfait?

Yogurt parfait is a yogurt-based small dish presented in a similar way as a dessert parfait by layering the ingredients in a glass. It’s usually made with oats or granola, fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds.

Is Yogurt Parfait Healthy?

The answer to this question is – it depends on the ingredients it’s made with.

Yogurt parfait can be very healthy if it’s made using healthy, nutritious ingredients. And it can be quite an unhealthy choice if it’s made with ingredients that are full of sugar, fillers, and artificial coloring.

Mixed berries yogurt parfait in a glass with a silver spoon.

Healthy Yogurt Parfait Ingredients

Here is a brief overview of the ingredients you will need to make healthy yogurt parfaits:

1. Yogurt

For a healthy yogurt parfait, choose plain yogurt without any added sugar or other unnecessary ingredients. When shopping for yogurt, check the ingredient list. All you want to see are milk products and bacterial culture.

I prefer 2% plain yogurt. If you like 0% yogurt, check the ingredients to make sure there are no fillers.

Greek yogurt has a thicker consistency and a very creamy texture and is perfect for making a Greek yogurt parfait.

To make a vegan yogurt parfait, use your favorite dairy-free yogurt.

Homemade yogurt is also a great option.

If you make dessert parfaits and prefer them to be sweeter, you can use lightly sweetened vanilla yogurt. However, in general, I prefer to sweeten the yogurt myself because I can control the quantity and quality of the sweetener.

Yogurt is the main ingredient in yogurt parfait and will mostly determine the flavor. For this reason, choose the yogurt you enjoy eating.

2. Oats

You can use regular rolled oats, crunchy granola, or muesli to make a healthy yogurt parfait.

If you choose to use oats, use regular rolled oats without any added sugar. If you don’t like the taste of plain oats, you can lightly toast them in the oven just until they start to turn golden.

Instead of plain rolled oats, you can also use homemade granola. If you don’t want to make granola yourself, you can buy good quality granola at a grocery store. Just make sure it doesn’t contain too much sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.

Muesli can also be used instead of granola or plain oats. You can make homemade muesli or buy it at a grocery store.

3. Fruits or Berries

When it comes to fresh fruits and berries, choose whatever is in season in your region.

My favorite berries to add to yogurt parfait are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. If you prefer fruits, try apples, banana, mango, peaches, plums, pears, pineapple, etc.

You can also use frozen fruits or berries.

Low sugar purees such as unsweetened apple sauce or pumpkin puree are also a great choice.

Dried fruits and berries can also be used to make a healthy yogurt parfait. My favorites are raisins, dried apricots, dried cherries, and prunes.

4. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds add healthy fats and make a simple yogurt snack more filling. Choosing your favorite nuts and seeds is a great way to customize your yogurt parfait.

Raw nuts and seeds are always a great choice, but lightly roasted nuts and seeds can also be used.

Whole or chopped nuts will add some crunch, and you can also use nut or seed butter.

My favorite nuts and seeds to add to a yogurt parfait are almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp hearts.

5. Sweetener

I prefer to make my yogurt parfait without any sweetener if I am going to eat it as a snack. But sometimes it’s nice to have it as a dessert or, if your taste buds haven’t adapted yet to a low sugar lifestyle, you might want to sweeten it a little bit to make it taste better. In this case, use your favorite natural sweetener.

My favorite natural sweeteners are maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar. I prefer to add the sweetener to the yogurt and mix it up. I find that this way, it’s evenly distributed, and I only need a small amount.

6. Aromatics

You can take the flavor of your yogurt parfait to the whole other level by adding aromatics.

The most popular is, of course, vanilla. You only need to add a few drops to the yogurt to make it appeal to almost anyone.

You can also add spices such as cinnamon, allspice, or even nutmeg or infuse it with citrus flavors by adding some lime, orange, or lemon zest.

A few fresh mint leaves will add a note of freshness and some bright color to the parfait.

Collage of ingredients for a healthy yogurt parfait.

How to Sweeten the Yogurt

If you decide to sweeten the yogurt, here is what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup, coconut sugar, or honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Just mix all the ingredients and enjoy!

Healthy Topping Ideas

I’ve mentioned a few toppings above. But they are so important that I thought it would be helpful to list them here one more time:

Berries and fruits (fresh or frozen):

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries
  • apples
  • banana
  • mango
  • kiwi
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • pears
  • peaches
  • plums
  • oranges
  • etc.

Dried berries and fruits:

  • raisins
  • dried apricots
  • prunes
  • dried cherries
  • dried apples
  • etc.

Purees and sauces:

  • unsweetened apple sauce
  • pumpkin puree
  • raspberry sauce
  • blueberry sauce
  • etc.

Nuts and seeds:

  • walnuts
  • cashews
  • pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • hazelnuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • ground flax seeds
  • hemp hearts
  • coconut flakes
  • cocoa nibs
  • etc.

Nut butter:

  • almond butter
  • cashew butter
  • sunflower seeds butter
  • hazelnut butter
  • tahini
  • mixed nuts butter
  • etc.

Oats:

  • plain rolled oats
  • granola
  • muesli

Sweetener (optional):

  • maple syrup
  • coconut sugar
  • honey

Three yogurt parfaits in wine glasses on marble background.

How to Layer Yogurt Parfait

There are really no rules that determine the way of layering a yogurt parfait.

You can just put everything in a bowl, stir, and enjoy it on the couch while watching Netflix in your pajamas. And I am the first one to admit that I often do just that.

But if you want to make it a little fancier, you can layer the ingredients in a tall glass or mason jar.

Somehow the colorful layers make a healthy yogurt parfait very appealing. And you might even notice that your picky family members will eat the pretty version out of a glass but won’t even touch it if you just put everything in a plain bowl.

So, if you decide to serve it in a clear glass, here is how I layer the ingredients:

  1. half of the yogurt
  2. oats, granola, or muesli
  3. the rest of the yogurt
  4. fruits, berries, purees, or sauces
  5. nuts and seeds
  6. sweetener or mix the sweetener with the yogurt (optional)

Another popular way of layering a yogurt parfait, which works especially well when you use a puree or sauce, is to put the puree on the bottom to create a “fruit on the bottom” effect.

Mixed berries yogurt parfait in a glass with the ingredients listed.

Can I Make Yogurt Parfait the Night Before?

Yes, you can make yogurt parfait the night before, and it might taste even better than a freshly prepared parfait. Meal prep yogurt parfaits are perfect for busy mornings.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to make yogurt parfait in advance:

  • If you use frozen fruits or berries, they will thaw during the night, releasing delicious juices that will make your yogurt parfait even better;
  • If you like your granola or oats on the soft side, add them to your parfait the night before. They will soak overnight just like overnight oats do, and you will have a softer parfait;
  • If you like your granola or oats crunchy, leave them out and add them just before eating because they will get soaked in the yogurt if you leave them in the parfait overnight.

Fruit and nut yogurt parfait in a glass on a marble background.

Can I Make Yogurt Parfait with Frozen Fruit/Berries?

Yes, you can make yogurt parfait with frozen fruits and berries.

You can either thaw them first or, if you are making the yogurt parfait the night before, you can add them to the parfait, and they should thaw during the night. (This would depend on the temperature in your fridge, so you might want to experiment and see if the frozen fruits or berries thaw fully overnight).

Yogurt Parfait Formula

It’s totally fine to experiment with quantities of the ingredients when making a parfait. If you add more of one thing or completely skip the other, you will still end up with a yogurt snack that most likely will taste just fine.

But if you are like me and prefer to have a guideline to follow, here is my yogurt parfait formula that works every time:

  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp oats, granola, or muesli
  • 1/3 cup chopped fruit or berries or 1/4 cup fruit puree
  • 2 Tbsp nuts and seeds or 1 1/2 Tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon or 1/8 tsp other spices (optional)

Recipe Ideas

There are many ways you can make a delicious healthy parfait. Just think about all the fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and spices you can use to create your unique flavor combination.

But for those who prefer to follow a recipe, here are three parfait ideas to get you started:

1. Mixed Berries Healthy Yogurt Parfait

Let’s start with the classics.

Berries make any dessert better, so why not add them to a yogurt parfait! You can use fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and/or other berries that are available in your region.

You can also use frozen berries if you don’t have fresh ones on hand.

The other ingredients in this Mixed Berries Yogurt Parfait are oats, walnuts, pistachios, and hemp hearts.

Fruit and nut healthy yogurt parfait in a glass.

2. Apple Pie Healthy Yogurt Parfait

There is something special about the combination of apples, cinnamon, and raisins. Whether it’s apple crisp, apple pie, or apple strudel, this classic flavor combination is familiar and comforting.

For a filling Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait, you will need oats or granola, unsweetened apple puree, raisins, cinnamon, nuts, and hemp hearts.

Apple pie yogurt parfait in a glass.

3. Fruit and Nut Yogurt Parfait

You only need a small piece of fruit and a few nuts to make this Fruit and Nut yogurt parfait. You can also make it with a fruit salad if you have it on hand.

Experiment with adding different fruits. For example, make a tropical fruit parfait or peach parfait. Add any nuts or trail mix, and you’ll have something healthy to eat for breakfast or as a snack.

For this Fruit and Nut Yogurt Parfait, you will need mango, kiwi, walnuts, hemp hearts, and shredded coconut.

Fruit and nut yogurt parfait in a glass.

Now It’s Your Turn

A few weeks ago, I decided to update an old yogurt snack recipe that used to live on this page. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had written a complete guide to making a healthy yogurt parfait.

There are just too many ways of preparing this simple dish that I thought teaching you how to create your own version is more useful than just giving you one single recipe.

So, what do you think? Do you find this post helpful? Will it help create your own flavor variation? Do you prefer eating it for breakfast or as a snack? Let me know in the comments below!

More Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:

If you are looking for more healthy breakfast ideas, check out these recipes:

Healthy Yogurt Parfait - 3 Ways

Healthy Yogurt Parfait - 3 Ways

Yield: 1 yogurt parfait
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Make the best homemade yogurt parfait for a nutritious breakfast, a healthy snack, or a simple sweet treat. Try the Mixed Berries Yogurt Parfait, Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait, or Fruit and Nut Yogurt parfait. You can also create your own flavor combination following the detailed instructions provided in the blog post.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup 2% plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

For the Mixed Berries Yogurt Parfait:

  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup mixed blackberries and raspberries
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped walnuts and pistachios
  • 1/2 Tbsp hemp hearts

For the Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait:

  • 2 Tbsp granola
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple puree
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 Tbsp hemp hearts

For the Fruit and Nut Yogurt Parfait:

  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped mango and kiwi
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 Tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. If you are making a sweetened yogurt parfait, mix the yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Then layer the ingredients in this order:
  • half of the yogurt
  • oats, granola, or muesli
  • the rest of the yogurt
  • fruits, berries, purees, or sauces
  • spices (if using)
  • nuts and seeds

Notes

  1. Try Homemade Granola or Muesli instead of oats, or Healthy Blueberry Sauce or Raspberry Sauce instead of the apple puree.
  2. Nutrition information is a rough estimate and was calculated for the sweetened version of the Mixed Berries Yogurt Parfait made with 2% plain yogurt, fresh raspberries, and walnuts.
Nutrition Information
Yield 1 portion Serving Size 1 portions
Amount Per Serving Calories 272Total Fat 14.1gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0.1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 15mgSodium 97.1mgCarbohydrates 24.3gFiber 4.7gSugar 12.5gProtein 13g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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