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Pumpkin Breakfast Parfait

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Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a. fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A single serving of pie-inspired goodness, filled with warm spices and layers of tangy yogurt.

I’m an incorrigible food snoop. Whenever I’m at work or on a plane ride, for example, and I see someone has packed a lunch, I always peer over to try to decipher what it is that they’ve brought. When I’m flipping through a furniture catalogue and there’s a plate of something sitting on a side table, I stop and pull the catalogue right up to my nose so I can squint and make out what it is (croissants and toast! petits fours! olives and some kind of canapés!). I spend more time doing that than looking at the furniture.

More: Pack one of these desserts for lunch and you're sure to get a few stares.

Anyway, a few years ago I was working on a research project for which we had a series of trainings that started early in the morning. They provided us with coffee and some food, but my friend Christina packed a breakfast with her every morning, and every morning I had to check out what it was. One morning in particular I couldn’t stop glancing over at her food. It looked like she was eating smashed up pumpkin pie. But -- this being a nutrition research team -- I knew I was probably the only one in the group who would actually eat pie for breakfast (I would eat pumpkin pie for breakfast every day if I could), so when we had a break I asked what it was. It turned out to be a parfait made with yogurt and pumpkin purée.

It’s such a clever and simple switch at this time of year, when berries and other summer fruits have lost their luster. Sure, you could make a parfait with apples or pears, but whether or not we’ll admit it, we all want pumpkin -- its hunter’s orange color, its plush texture, and its mellow, sweet flavor -- as much as possible this time of year. We all want to lace pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg and sneak it into every meal. So why not just go for it? And why not start with a parfait, where the brightness of yogurt energizes the laid-back pumpkin with a little slap on its mellow orange bum. No, it’s no pumpkin pie, but it’s easier to eat for breakfast every day.

More: Feeling inspired? Try making your own yogurt.

Pumpkin Breakfast Parfait

Serves 1

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (I use canned)
1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus more to taste
2 pinches ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or vanilla if you prefer)
Granola for sprinkling on top, if desired

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Yogurt, Breakfast, Snack, Fall, Weeknight Cooking, Everyday Cooking