You really can’t go wrong when making a yogurt parfait.  Easy to assemble and are a perfect quick lunch or snack. Yogurt parfaits are sort of like smoothies – you can make them your own by adding in whatever ingredients you choose.  There is no right or wrong way to make a parfait, only YOUR way.  But if you need some inspiration, here is a yogurt parfait that not only is appetizing and delicious but also provides several brain healthy ingredients.

Let’s start with the wheat berries.  Wheat berries are a whole wheat kernel meaning they contain all three parts of a grain kernel – the bran, germ, and endosperm.  This makes them a true whole grain food! Unlike refined grains, which are stripped of at least one of the three parts of the kernel, wheat berries are loaded with brain boosting B vitamins, vitamin E, cell-protecting antioxidants, and magnesium.  In addition, a one-half cup serving size of cooked wheat berries contains 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Look for wheat berries in your grocery store’s grain aisle. Side note: A fond memory I have of growing up on a Kansas wheat farm is playing in a load of freshly harvested wheat in the backend of a large semi-truck. Very itchy, but lots of fun!

A yogurt parfait wouldn’t be complete without some berries – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or even strawberries. When it comes to brain health, berries are at the top of the list. Their brain-healthy superpowers come from carotenoids and flavonoids, both phytochemicals possessing antioxidant and inflammatory properties supporting brain health and cognitive functioning.

Walnuts are another ingredient I used and what a brain booster they are – in fact, they really should be eaten each day (about ¼ cup).  What makes walnuts special for brain health is they are one of the nuts highest in certain antioxidants that studies have found may help slow age-related cognitive decline, including that associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Now that you know what this parfait is composed of and how it can improve brain functioning, here’s the recipe on how to make it.

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussato

Brain Boosting Wheat Berry Yogurt Parfait – serves 1

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 300; Total Fat – 7 grams; Carbohydrates – 42 grams; Fiber – 6 grams; Protein – 18 grams; Sodium – 60 milligrams

Ingredients:

1 single container (about 5-6 ounces) of nonfat or low-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt

1 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/2 cup cooked wheat berries (use package instructions)

½ cup mixed berries

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1-2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (or other nuts such as pecans or sliced almonds)

Directions:

  1. Cook the wheat berries. This may take up to one hour.
  2. Combine yogurt, honey and lemon zest in a bowl

2. Layer the yogurt, cooked wheat berries (cooled), and berries in 2 glass serving dishes and top with the sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia, found on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

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