Breakfast Parfait with apples and oats

Breakfast Parfait

After a weekend of traipsing through the fabric markets of Shanghai and eating nothing that was good for me I spent a 4 hour train ride reading Mark Bittman's VB6.  It had been a hot and steamy weekend that left me feeling drained by a lack of water and over consumption of junk food.  The book proposes a vegan lifestyle before 6 pm.  At night you can be a carnivore.  It is not a limited diet, more of a mindset change which has given me perspective on a better way of eating.  A change that would not hurt anyone to incorporate into their lives.

One of my takeaways was this breakfast parfait recipe.  It is a great make ahead meal that can sit in your fridge for days and double as dessert.  I have added a bit of yogurt for a better gut and nuts because a variety of texture in my meals always seems to leave me satiated.

apples for breakfast

  • 1 apple, chopped (I love honey crisp for this)
  • 1 tsp Russian Mulling Spice or cinnamon/nutmeg
  • ½ cup Muesli or other low-sugar, high-fiber cereal 
  • 2 ripe medium bananas
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (optional)
  • 1/8 cup of chopped nuts (optional)


breakfast parfait with apples and oats

Toss apple pieces with mulling spice and microwave for 1 minute.  Put the bananas in a medium bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over all.  Mash and stir the mixture with a fork or potato masher until it’s as smooth or lumpy as you like.

Assemble parfaits in short, wide glasses in alternating layers of spiced apple, cereal and mashed banana/tofu until you use everything up.  Top with nuts.  Serve immediately.

More simple and healthy breakfasts;

breakfast parfait

Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini

Cherry Pecan Bread

Sliced Cherry Pecan Bread

I love making bread.  On ordinary days I experiment.  On special days I pull out tried and tested recipes.  Certain meals and special occassions call for specific recipes.  This one is my go to loaf for a Sunday brunch. 

The combination of Chinese 5 Spice, pecans and sweet/tart cherries is outstanding. A subtle combination of sweet and spice. You can serve it with eggs, a cheese plate, platter of cured meats or on it's own.

Honey drizzled Cherry Pecan Bread

Thoroughly combine flour, salt and yeast.  Add the whey or water and 1 tbsp honey.  When mixed the dough will be sticky.  Cover loosely and allow to rise in a warm environment for 12 to 18 hours.

Dust a piece of parchment with flour and remove dough from the bowl.  Stretch the dough and spread 1 tbsp honey over it.  Dust with Chinese 5 Spice and sprinkle on Pecans and Dried Cherries.  Roll up dough, then fold it back together, leaving the crease resting on the paper.  Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours.  You can either bake it in this form or twist it in to a circle and place in your cast iron pot. 

Rolled Cherry Pecan Bread

After 90 minutes of the rising time place your pot or baking stone in an oven that has been preheated to 475 f.  When the dough finishes rising, sprinkle with salt and carefully slide it into the hot pot or onto the stone.  Bake 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Check to see if the internal temperature is 200 f.  If it is and the bread has browned to your liking it is finished.  Should you want a darker crust put it back in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.

Finished loaf of Cherry Pecan Bread

You can make it with traditional all purpose flour instead of the sprouted spelt.  I adapted it from the basic recipe in Jim Lahey's, My Bread.  Honey was added because it helps the spelt to rise better, you do not need it when using traditional wheat flour. 

Berry nice additions to a Sunday Brunch:


Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini