Ahh, winter. The season of savoury and cinnamon-spiced aromas, crackling indoor fires, and... pomegranates! Take in this lovely little fruit. And say it out loud with me... ARILS. Little red diamonds filled with antioxidant superpowers, with a name that is at once creepy (thinking tendrils and tentacles) and cute! Yum yum! Pomegranates pack a punch of vitamin C, provide a specific type of antioxidant found in red wine, and contain natural compounds that prevent breast cancer. See more wonderful tidbits of information on pomegranantes at Dr. Fuhrman's website here.
Trouble removing the arils? See this Youtube video for the most fun way to de-aril a pomegranate!
Retreating away to Canmore this week (thank you to Keri Lynn - check out what she does here), I am in the middle of a winter wonderland of snow-capped mountains and sparkly air. I thought I would honour the season by highlighting and photographing one of my clients' MOST FAVOURITE quick breakfasts, the Pomegranate Parfait.
It is so worth it to craft your own granola. The mix I have listed here can be dressed up with cinnamon and allspice or a good dusting of cacao powder and cacao nibs, but I found that the hint of vanilla from the yogurt substitute was complemented just find with the recipe as follows.
I've been receiving Manitoba Hemp Hearts in the mail to sample on behalf of my clients. Also, loving the new label and suggestions of how to use hemp hearts right on the front of the packaging! Since I've run out of Vega Protein, I've been using hemp hearts to infuse protein into my smoothies and lazy vegan meals. I split 1/4 cup between my husband and I. However, Canmore has some sweet deals on Vega powder, so I picked up some NATURAL Vega Protein (also a new flavour) at a whopping 7 dollars off to amp up the protein in the granola recipe. And so hemp hearts have resumed, in my mind, their rightful place in a homemade granola. I am not a fan of sesame seeds in sweet things, so hemp seeds takes their place as a cute tiny seed (that does NOT get stuck in your teeth!).
Well, without further ado, the parfait. As I prepped my recipe-making arena, the oven went to 400 F on a "roast" setting, praying that I wouldn't burn the pecans in an oven I'm not familiar with. Wondering how I was going to mix protein powder into the granola without making it too powdery, I settled on mixing it into the melted coconut oil. My mix of granola this time around contained whole organic rolled oats, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and of course hemp hearts. The honey was melted and mixed in afterwards, so that I didn't get my mixing spoon too sticky with protein powder.
I watched the toasting granola like a hawk, and found lovely vanilla-like smells wafting toward me as I picked out the perfect pomegranate tendrils for photographing at about the five minute mark. At this point, some of the pecans were burning, so I gave the granola a bit of a stir. Three more minutes and I had chewy, yet toasty granola.
The toughest part of this prep was mixing full fat coconut milk into Yoso vegan yogurt. I've heard Thai kitchen canned coconut milk is the bomb, and so I grabbed that off the shelf from the Canmore Save-On Foods, however the fatty portion was almost as solid as when you'd refrigerate the coconut milk. I suppose leaving at room temp for a few hours might help, or shaking the can vigorously before opening, but alas, I am your guinea pig. I ended up having to whip in the coconut fat and yogurt together with a spoon for a good three to four minutes - too lazy to break out the magic bullet or a whisk. If you're willing to do more dishes and be a different kind of lazy, I guess you could use either of those more modern tools, but I prefer to use muscle when mixing to subconsciously choose the more physically demanding task (and keep more active even in the unplanned exercise times of day!).
Phew, finally we're ready! I assembled the parfaits layer by layer in wine glasses to up the fancy factor. Order was yogurt - granola - pomegranate arils. And oh my word. It was so delicious. You. Have. Got. To. Try.
Coconut Pomegranate Parfait
2 cups organic whole rolled oats
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 scoop Vega Natural Protein Powder
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup Yoso Vanilla Cultured Coconut Yogurt
2 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk (or light)
2/3 cup pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix together the rolled oats, seeds and nuts. Melt coconut oil over stovetop or in microwave for 30 s and stir protein powder into coconut oil. Pour over seed-nut-oat mixture and stir well. Melt honey in microwave 15 seconds, then mix into granola. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread granola on top. Bake for 5 minutes, stir, then bake 3 more minutes and remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool. Store in jars in the fridge to keep fresh.
Whisk together the yogurt and coconut milk. Make sure to blend in all the coconut fat!
Layer in clear one-cup glasses a few spoonfuls of yogurt, then granola, then pomegranate seeds. Layer until you've reached the top of the glass. Enjoy by the heaping spoonful!
For more breakfast ideas, see the Recipes page!
Comment below to let me know how this recipe went for you! Did you change up the granola? How do you like Yoso yogurt substitute?!