There’s nothing too original about putting some fresh fruit and yogurt together to make a parfait but sometimes the oldies make the best goodies. In this case, it’s the homemade granola you’ll be making for your favorite 4th of July fans that makes this simple dessert stand out.
This is what I call an “-ish” recipe— the ingredient are mere suggestions. You can mix and match these ingredients, adding some of your favorites, taking out others—all to your own liking. That’s my kinda living.
For Fourth of July Picnic Parfaits, layer red raspberries, blue blueberries and white yogurt and top with this granola. To stash in a picnic basket, put parfait ingredients in a recycled plastic to-go cup with a lid and bring some spoons from home. Easy peasy.
Ingredients for Homemade Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (Dessicated coconut is just a type of unsweetened, super-dry coconut where extra moisture has been driven out. I think it makes for a crunchier granola but if you can’t find it you can use regular flaked or shredded coconut. It’ll still be tasty)
1 cup sliced almonds (I really put a lot more nuts than this in my granola. Makes it hearty and helps me climb up these Colorado mountains a little easier.)
1 cup pecans (see above:-)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (fresh grating the cinnamon really makes it stand out)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (ditto)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey (I grew up in the south and my gramma used to put molasses on our buttermilk biscuits. I love the flavor so much that I actually prefer using it in my granola over honey. Some folks don’t like the bitter taste it imparts so a blend of honey and molasses might better suit their tastes, or just honey alone)
2 cups mixed dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries, currants, golden raisins, apricots, prunes, and/or dates (You’ll want to add these about half way through the cooking process. They can get a little too dried out if cooked the whole time and I think they’re better a little chewy)
Other things you can add: a bit of orange juice will make it zippy, a drop or two of vanilla makes it taste really breakfast-y and a pinch of salt will help balance the flavors.
Here’s the how to:
Put all dry ingredients in a big bowl (except the dried fruit) and stir until everything’s easily distributed.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Turn off heat and add sweetener of your choice (and juice if you’re using).
Add butter mixture and dry ingredients together. Spread evenly in a sheet pan—not too thick or it won’t get crunchy all over. Bake in an 350 degree oven until it turns toasty brown and smells up the entire kitchen, remembering to add any dried fruit you’re using closer towards the end of the cook process.