Summer Berries Parfait

Summer Berries Parfait by Season with Spice

"What's summer like in Minnesota?" I asked Mark.

 I had visited the state many times, but only in the fall and winter.

"Good question. What's summer?" he smiled, but with a sincere tone.

I’ve been warned ever since that the summer season can be exceptionally short.

Blueberries and Raspberries for a summer dessert

But in the past two weeks since we moved to Minnesota, the summer weather has been, well, exceptionally perfect.

Relaxing by the lake, grilling for dinner, trying to decide between endless art & music festivals on the weekends.  I'm reminded by all Minnesotans that it won't last.  They are always looking over their shoulder as if a blizzard might catch them in their shorts, tshirt, and sandals.

I like the reminder though.  A reminder to make the best of my first summer in Minnesota.  To limit my time in the kitchen and get outdoors.  To save the baking recipes for dark winter days, and instead whip up quick and easy desserts to savor while sitting on the deck, flipping through a magazine.

A simple, light dessert like a Summer Berries Parfait.

Blueberry and Raspberry Parfait by Season with Spice

This summer parfait is just three layers.  A scoop of Greek yogurt combined with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Then a jumble of summer berries - like blueberries and raspberries - lightly sweetened with maple syrup.  And finally, a mix of crunchy, crushed nuts seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.  A spice in every layer for a healthy summer dessert. 

For other varieties, try it with slices of fresh mango, strawberry, banana, pomegranate, or peach.  And top the dessert with shredded coconut flakes - like a sprinkle of snowflakes to remind you to enjoy not only the dessert, but to enjoy every precious day of a warm Minnesota summer.

Greek yogurt parfait recipe by Season with Spice

Summer Berries Parfait by Season with Spice
Makes 4 servings

2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1 cup toasted mixed nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans or almonds)
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's ground nutmeg
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a bowl, lightly toss the berries with maple syrup or honey, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, crush the mixed nuts with a food processor or mortar & pestle, and then mix with cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Combine the Greek yogurt with vanilla extract.
4. In serving glasses, add the Greek yogurt on bottom, then the berries, and finally sprinkle the nuts on top. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

Blueberry and Raspberry parfait with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and pure maple syrup