Yogurt parfait a healthy choice

Strawberry-Rhubarb Yogurt Parfait

With the push toward healthful breakfast choices, I see more and more ready-made yogurt parfaits offered in coffee shops and takeout places.

It’s no wonder: They’re easy to prepare and taste great. But there’s no reason not to make them at home.

You can use fresh fruit and pre-made granola, or you can make up a week’s supply of fruit compote and crumble and use it every day.

One of my favorite compotes figures into this recipe.

It’s versatile because it can be made with either fresh or frozen fruit. I love the tart taste of rhubarb, but if you prefer a sweeter combination, choose a mix of peaches and blueberries, or just experiment with whatever fruits you fancy.

The crumble is so good that I have to stop myself from eating it like candy. It, too, can be customized as desired. You can add toasted coconut, nuts or chopped dried fruits.

MAKE AHEAD: Don’t assemble the parfaits too far in advance. After about two hours, the fruit filling begins to bleed into the yogurt, and the crispy crumble loses its texture.

8 servings Ingredients For the topping

3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick (not instant) rolled oats

1/2 cup flour 3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 11/2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the compote 8 ounces trimmed rhubarb, fresh or frozen, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 ounces trimmed and hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen, small ones cut in half, medium ones quartered, larger ones cut in eighths

1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste

1/4 cup water Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)

11/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract For assembly

6 cups nonfat or low-fat vanilla yogurt

Steps Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

For the topping: Combine the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the honey and butter, and use a fork to mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 14 to 18 minutes, turning the crumbs after 7 or 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet, first breaking up any large clumps. The yield is a scant 2 cups. For the compote: Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Partially cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every minute or two, until the sugar has melted and the fruit has softened a little. Uncover and cook for 6 to 10 minutes, until the fruit is completely soft.

Stir together the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add the mixture to the fruit and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the filling thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Taste, and add sugar if desired. The yield is about 2 cups.

To assemble the parfaits, have ready 8 parfait glasses, sundae dishes or other dishes of your choosing. Place 1 generous tablespoon of the compote in each glass or dish and top with 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Top the yogurt with 11/2 tablespoons of the crumble mixture, then with 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Spread 2 tablespoons of the compote over the yogurt layer. Top with another 1/4 cup of the yogurt, placing it in the center of the compote so the fruit shows around the edge. Garnish each portion evenly with the remaining crumble. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Nutrition per serving: 320 calories, 10g protein, 59g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 3g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 2g dietary fiber, 45g sugar.