Monday, January 19, 2015

mason jar yogurt parfaits

It's a new year and I'm feeling good and inspired, as probably most people do.

Since last March I've focused on my health a lot and have made substantial progress in doing more healthy things for my body. While I love my craft beer and dinners out (that is what Chicago is made of afterall), I have been evaluating what I eat and am trying to be more conscious in all of my decisions.

With the new year and "fresh start," my sister Heather and I started another round of 21 Day Fix. While I've lost weight on my own, this program has boosted me during those off times. I love the workouts and continue to do those while not actively doing the full-blown eating program. The way the eating portion of the program is set up is something I love though. It's controlled and everything fits into a category. (I love organized thoughts!)

These make ahead mason jar yogurt parfaits are inspired from my meal planning during the 21 Day Fix, although wouldn't fit in the program perfectly. Greek yogurt for breakfast is my usual, but this adapted recipe is going to be my regular from here on out. I was able to prep all 5 mason jars on Sunday and they stayed fresh all week. It was so nice to be able to grab and go and know that I had something good planned to start my day.

Here's the recipe:

Mason Jar Yogurt Parfaits
Yields 5 mason jar servings
"21 Day Fix - 1R, 1P, 1O"

What You Need
- 1 32 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-5 tablespoons agave syrup
-2 regular sized containers of strawberries, tops cut off and cut into small pieces
-slivered almonds
-sunflower seeds
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon all spice
-5 mason jars or other containers

I kept things simple and worked on each layer with the 21 Day Fix in mind. I had my purple container for fruit, red container for yogurt, and orange container for nuts/seeds. I used each to measure each component.

The first step is to prepare each layer before assembly.

First comes the yogurt layer: Whisk together the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and agave syrup.

The next layer is the seed/nut mixture: I used my orange container and measured 2.5 containers of almonds and 2.5 containers of sunflower seeds into a bowl so I would have 5 total containers worth of seeds to divide and use. Add the cinnamon and all spice to the mixture and combine.

The last layer is the fruit layer: Cut and prepare fresh strawberries. (You could use other fruit whether fresh or previously frozen. I did try using thawed frozen mixed berries for a few, but loved fresh strawberries the best.)

With each layer prepared, grab your 21 Day Fix containers to use and measure for mason jar assembly.

Measure out each layer into the containers. Then assemble with a layer of yogurt, seeds/nuts, then fruit. Repeat layers until ingredients are gone. 

My jars ended up with three layers a piece and everything held up even through the end of the week. These are seriously the perfect make ahead breakfast -- simple, easy, and really good flavor.