Can I just take a sec to talk about living with hungry dudes? Have I told you about my little brother Brock’s obsession? He’s a huge fan of smoothies, parfaits, and any other stuff like that. Basically, if it’s got yogurt and/or fruit involved he’s into it. He’s at that early teen boy stage where his appetite seems to be increasing daily from growing so he’s becoming yet another always-ravenous wild animal around the house.
It’s both good and bad because I love that he’s more interested in trying my creations than he used to be, but at the same time…..he’s more interested in trying my creations than he used to be and I therefore have to occasionally fend him off any recipes or food photography projects in progress like a naughty puppy.
This same thing happened with Chase when he reached his teens. Hehe, I’ve got this theory that when boys hit that age there’s a survival instinct or something that gets switched on to take in as much food as possible which then makes them more open to tasting new foods in order to keep up with demand. The truth is that it’s great from my standpoint because it gives me more space to experiment and test out recipes since I can count on them to make it disappear into whatever bottomless pit they put it all in.
Of course, when that survival instinct kicks in it must overpower any thought to health and nutrition that may have been there before ’cause I think they’d try living on chocolate and bacon if left alone. It’s actually pretty hilarious to imagine based on how helpless they can be in the kitchen. Okay, but the point I’m getting to here is that I’ve been doing my best to find new foods that are on the healthier side to satisfy their hunger before they go in for the chips. I’ve discovered that it’s easiest when you start with stuff they love, like parfaits with granola!
I’ve made chia pudding before but I couldn’t remember if it was something I’d ever tried to get the boys to eat so I decided to give it a go the other day to see. Moment of complete honesty here, they weren’t so thrilled about it. It wasn’t the combo, they loved the flavors and the granola and said it went perfectly together. Yeah, but the texture of the chia seed pudding kind of threw them I think. Hey, but I’ve got good news if you feel the same way about it as they do, you can blend it up like magic into a super creamy smooth pudding that you’d never guess was dairy free! When I did this I got two thumbs up from everyone, so to blend or not to blend is totally up to you.
All right, the texture of chia pudding may or may not be your thing, but Stovetop granola you guys, it’s my new favorite thing….in the world……like ever!!!! Fine, so I’ll probably have a new favorite thing in about 5.9 seconds, but still this stuff is life-changing in a big, big way.See, I love making homemade granola and it’s so easy too, but for some reason whenever I think about doing it I never seem to feel like turning on the oven and dirtying dishes just for granola because it’s so simple. I don’t even know why either, isn’t that dumb?
I mean, we’re talking about me here, a girl who’s been known to heat the whole oven for only one clove of roasted garlic or dirty every dish in the kitchen for a single meal, so why I rarely make granola doesn’t make any sense. Whatever the case though, this stove-top granola solves it all because it’s fast, simple, and only uses one pan! Can I get a round of applause for this? YES!
These parfaits are a great breakfast to have ready when you’re crunched for time. They also make great snacks for any time you want them or eat them for a healthy dessert that you’ll feel good about afterwards. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter when you want to eat these, you’ve just got to try them!
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
- 2 cups almond milk (or dairy milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole cashews
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tablespoons raw (turbinado) sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 2 large mangos, peeled and cubed
- 4 medium kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
- Stir together the coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, then pour into a container with air-tight lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let it thicken. You should be able to store it for up to 3 days.
- If you prefer the texture of a smooth pudding you can blend the it in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. This can be done either before or after the chill time, but I find it's creamier when blended after it's been allowed to thicken.
- Melt the oil in a small to medium skillet over low heat and add the oats, coconut, and cashews. Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Stir the syrup, sugar, water, vanilla, salt together in a small glass and pour over granola. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger and continue stirring until the sugars are starting to candy and the granola is very dry, about 5 minutes (watch carefully at this point not to let the sugar burn.) As soon as it's crisped and brown, remove pan from heat and allow the granola to cool in the pan for at least 30 mintutes.
- Once cooled you'll have a skillet shaped granola bar that's stuck to the pan (don't worry though!) Now you're going to place the pan back over the heat for just a moment to loosen the granola and it should come out in one piece. Place your giant round granola bar on a large cutting board and chop into small chunks (Alternatively you can put in a ziplock bag and break it up with a hammer or meat tenderizer).
- Once the chia pudding is thick and chilled it's time to layer the parfaits. Cut up your fruit and grab 4 large glasses or jars of your choice. Fill the jars with alternating layers of pudding, granola, and fruit in any order you'd like until full. Serve immediately or store in fridge for a quick breakfast or snack for up to 24 hours (I've actually left them as long as 48 and they were still good.)