Best Toppings for Healthy Yogurt Parfaits

A yogurt parfait is a tasty option for breakfast or a delicious and healthy choice for dessert. Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein, and even many people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy the benefits of yogurt because the culturing process make it easy to digest. In fact, yogurt is good for the digestive tract, introducing the kinds of lactobacteria that support a healthy colon.

Yogurt made with skim milk will help keep the calorie count of your parfait low, but if you want a rich parfait that satisfies the need for a decadent treat use Greek yogurt instead. It has all health benefits of regular yogurt plus a thick, creamy texture that will make the humblest parfait taste like dessert.

Nuts and Nut Butters

A handful of chopped walnuts or almonds adds a serving of omega-3 fatty acids and heart-healthy unsaturated fat to a yogurt parfait while also adding a nice crunch, but if you want to keep the topping smooth, opt for a spoonful of nut butter instead. You’ll get the same nutrients in a creamy bite.

Fresh Berry Compote

Berries and yogurt are natural friends, but if you want something with a little more wow than plain blueberries sprinkled on top of your parfait, make an easy berry compote sweetened with agave nectar – a natural sweetener that measures low on the glycemic index. Chop about two cups of any combination of fresh or frozen/thawed berries, and place the fruit and juices in a sauce pan with approximately 1 tablespoon agave nectar, also called agave syrup. Cook on medium heat until the liquid boils – allow it to boil hard for two minutes then cool and refrigerate before serving.

Wheat Germ

Topping your parfait with a spoonful of wheat germ adds more than a delicious crunch; it also adds a serving of important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Black Strap Molasses

There’s no sweeter way to get a good dose of minerals in your diet, including almost 15 percent of your daily requirement for iron, than with two little teaspoons of rich, caramel-like black strap molasses. Crush some unsweetened, high-fiber cereal on top of the parfait, and swirl a small amount of black strap molasses over the top.

Cherries – The Super Fruit

Fresh, dried or frozen, tart cherries contain some of the highest amounts of antioxidants found in any fruit. Some studies even credit cherries for reducing heart disease, gout, arthritis, some cancers and diabetes. Sprinkling cherries on a yogurt parfait is one great way to add flavor to your dish and get more of this “super fruit” into your diet.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been found to help lower blood pressure, and, let’s face it, it’s chocolate. Look for dark chocolate chips or grate some from a bar to add the perfect topping to a healthy yogurt parfait.

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