Chef Sarah: Her Berry Parfait With Homemade Granola + Tips For Shopping Organic
With the focus on eating to create a healthy complexion, this parfait recipe is incredibly delicious with lots of natural ingredients that are high in antioxidants.
We realize buying organic isn’t always possible and it can definitely get pricey. The Environmental Working Group has a fantastic list called EWG’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, that names the fruits and vegetables that are highest and lowest in pesticide residues. Keep it handy for easy access when shopping or, even better, download their app to your smartphone. The EWG guide lets you know which conventionally farmed produce is OK to purchase, so you can save money and still shop healthy. Also, it tells you when it’s really important to buy organic and splurge a little.
Sarah’s Note: “There are many ingredients you can find in your kitchen that will promote healthy cell growth, creating beautiful hair, skin and nails – from the inside out. The secret to glowing skin and shiny hair isn’t in your makeup bag, it’s in your diet.”
A breakdown of the health benefits:
Nuts and seeds – such as sunflower seeds or flax seeds contain essential fatty acids that can add sheen to your hair from the inside out. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. Not having adequate amounts of zinc in your diet can lead to hair shedding.
Berries – Trying to heal damage to your hair, skin and nails? Berries like blueberries and raspberries are loaded with potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Not only do these nutritious fruits slow free radical damage (caused by sun, pollution and stress), they also boost your body’s immune system.
Dairy and non-dairy yogurt – Dairy can aggravate acne so if you have problem skin, substitute with soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. Coconut is a little higher in fat but has a host of great nutrients and benefits.
Granola – Although some commercial granolas are healthy, many are full of refined sugar and trans fats, making for less-than-nutritious eating. But it’s easy to make your own healthy version with whole-grain oats, natural sweeteners, and ingredients such as dried fruits and nuts.
Chef Sarah’s Berry Parfait with Homemade Granola
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 1/4 cups regular rolled oats
- 1/4c chopped nuts (walnut, almond, cashew or pecan)
- 1/8 cup flax meal
- 1/4 c sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/4 c apple juice
- 1/4 c apple sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 c dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots, strawberries, mango, etc)
- 1c greek yogurt (or substitute with coconut or soy yogurt)
- 1/2c blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease baking sheet with cooking-oil spray (or line baking sheet with nonstick foil). In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flax meal, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. In a small bowl combine the oil, apple juice, maple syrup, honey, and optional brown sugar. Mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the mixture is fully combined and moist. Spread the mixture on the greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir, breaking the large chunks into smaller pieces. Bake for an additional 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool. While still warm, stir to break up any remaining chunks. When completely cool, store the granola in an airtight container.
- Layer yogurt, berries and granola – Enjoy!
For 15 years, Chef Sarah Schier, has worked as a professional chef in fine dining restaurants, catering and as a private chef for many celebrities in Los Angeles.