Happy December, all!
After months of unseasonably warm temperatures, things have finally cooled down here in Louisville. And while I loathe being cold, I just cannot get in the holiday spirit when it’s 60+ degrees out. Someone might even be able to talk me into doing a snow dance right now. I KNOW. What has happened to me?!
Along with being in full-blown holiday mode, I’m all about my favorite seasonal flavors, especially cranberries and oranges. I love the cranberry/orange combo almost as much as chocolate and peanut butter. It’s just the perfect mix of sweet and tart while also being so bright and bold.
I baked a cake centered on these flavors last year and dream about it often. I’ve also been toying with a few more cranberry-orange dessert ideas that may be coming your way soon if I can get them just right.
Anyway, back to today’s recipe. A few weeks ago, Peace Cereal offered to send me some of their Maple Pecan Clusters & Flakes granola/cereal to try. If I tried it and liked it, they were hoping that I would come up with a couple of holiday-themed recipes that incorporated the granola/cereal duo. Well I tried the Maple Pecan Clusters & Flakes and loved them, so I more than happily agreed to dream up some ways to use them in holiday recipes.
Just a few things that I love about Peace Cereal’s Maple Pecan Clusters & Flakes:
- It’s good for you without tasting like lots of other adult cereals (AKA this cereal tastes nothing like cardboard!). You can feel good about eating it without sacrificing taste.
- It’s got good, strong maple flavor with hints of cinnamon. Perfect for this time of year! I’d happily eat this cereal outside of using it in a recipe.
- The texture is spot-on! Crunchy enough without trying to break your teeth. Plus the combo of clusters, flakes, and pecans was just right.
- An ingredient list that I can get behind.
Immediately after trying the cereal, I knew that it would work perfectly in a pretty, holiday-themed yogurt parfait, especially one that used bright cranberries and oranges. And voila! These Cranberry-Orange Yogurt Parfaits were born.
I whipped up a quick and easy cranberry sauce to add a slightly-sweetened cranberry component to the parfaits; stirred orange zest into the yogurt to give it a little pop; added pieces of fresh oranges and cranberries for added vitamins, antioxidants, and interesting texture; and topped the whole thing with sweet, crunchy granola and cereal pieces. The final result was a beautiful, bright breakfast/brunch parfait that was even tasty enough to sneak in as a dessert item.
I see these being served for breakfast and brunch all holiday season long. They would be especially pretty for a Christmas morning brunch spread (or brunch spread for any holiday that you’re celebrating this season!).
I hope that you enjoy, friends!
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed (could also use frozen)
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons (more or less to taste) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup halved fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup orange pieces (I sliced out segments and then quartered each segment)
- ¼ cup crushed granola or cereal pieces (I used Peace Cereal Maple Pecan Clusters & Flakes)
- 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce (recipe below)
- Add cranberries and orange juice to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and allow to cook for 8-10 minutes until cranberries have burst and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool (sauce with thicken more as it continues to cool). Once sauce is cool enough to taste, stir in ½ tablespoon of sugar at a time until your desired sweetness is reached. Cool completely.
- In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and orange zest.
- Layer yogurt, fruit, granola, and cranberry sauce in small glasses or bowls as desired. (I try to make pretty layers for photos or guests, but when it’s just me, I like to swirl everything together so that I get a complete bite each time.) Serve and enjoy!
These parfaits can be made a day in advance, but if you choose to do so, I would recommend either holding off on adding the granola/cereal until before serving or add the granola to the top of the parfait like I did here so that the granola doesn’t get soggy.