Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
  • Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters
Posted on September 24, 2014

There are things about living on a floating home that are a bit different than living in a regular home. One: don’t ever drop your keys or your phone in the “yard”. Two: it’s best not to piss off your neighbors or they may poop on your deck. And three: be prepared for copious amounts of spiders.

Over these past couple years I’ve learned to deal with the spiders. Usually they don’t bother me too much. I’m not someone that gets majorly freaked out by bugs. BUT then something bad happened…

I just wanted a cup of tea. I hadn’t made tea in weeks, as it’s been fairly warm around these parts. So I heated up the water in my kettle, poured it into my mug and noticed that a little something came out of the spout. I looked into my mug and discovered that it was a HUGE spider! It was dead of course because I had just boiled it’s brains out. But still. Guys! A spider was living in my tea kettle!!

What do I do now with my tea kettle? It’s one of those ones that only has a spout and no top lid that comes off. So I can’t get a sponge in there to scrub it. HALP! I think I might just have to throw it out and buy a new one. I’m so grossed out. Yes, I know that boiling water kills things. That’s not the point. I need to SEE that it’s clean and I can’t. Tea might be ruined for me forever now…

So now I have to enjoy my breakfast sans tea. Which is actually OK because I’ve been having some really delicious breakfasts lately. Less tea = more room in my belly for these yogurt parfaits! Creamy yogurt layered with sautéed spiced apples, crunchy nut clusters and a drizzle of apple cider syrup is my idea of breakfast heaven.

OK, now I bet your looking down at that recipe and thinking “that’s a lot of steps for 7am”. It is. You’re right. So do all the parts the night before if you want (or even 2 days before!). Store the apple cider syrup and sautéed apples in the refrigerator and the maple-nut clusters at room temperature. Then just assemble the parfaits in the morning and you’re ready to take on the day (or something cheesy like that).

Oh and this is my favorite spider video ever (um…said no one ever). Watch it. It’s so funny and it’s not creepy at all. I would not lie to you.



Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters

Serves 4

Apple Harvest Yogurt Parfaits with Maple-Nut Clusters


  • For the Apple Cider Syrup
  • 4 cups fresh apple cider

  • For the Maple-Nut Clusters
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (use less if starting with salted nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • For the Sautéed Apples
  • 2 apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • For the Parfaits
  • 6 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped


  1. Make the apple cider syrup. Simmer the apple cider in a medium saucepan for approximately 1 hour, or until the cider is reduced to about 1 cup, stirring occasional. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, the apple cider syrup can be stored in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
  2. Make the maple-nut clusters. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds until they become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Watch them closely and stir frequently so they don’t burn. Add the salt and the maple syrup, stirring until everything is well coated. Remove from the heat and spread the nuts out onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, the nuts can be broken down into clusters and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
  3. Sauté the apples. Combine the chopped apples, cider and spices in the same skillet you used to cook the nut clusters. Simmer over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until the apples are slightly softened (you want them to still have a little bite to them). Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled, the sautéed apples can be stored in a airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  4. Assemble the parfaits in this order: Greek yogurt, sautéed apples, nut clusters, apple cider syrup. Repeat this layering one more time, finishing with a sprinkle of chopped dates on top. For a single parfait, I typically use about 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of sautéed apples, 1/3 cup nut clusters and 2 tablespoons of apple cider syrup. But do what tastes right to you! This recipe yields enough to make approximately 4 parfaits.


  • Adorable, from the jars to the clusters to the festive flavors. Loves it!


    • Thank you so much! Too cute to eat even!

  • Yikes Liz! I’m sorry to hear your spider story! I totally can understand not trusting the tea kettle anymore! At least these parfaits look delicious 🙂 I love fall flavors!


    • Thanks, Karen. Yeah the tea kettle might be going in the trash today….

  • Oh my gosh! I would throw it away entirely! I’m not too squeamish about spiders either, but if I can’t scrub it with bleach, it’s dead to me 😉 LOL


    • Ha ha. Glad I’m not alone in these feelings. I’m majorly creeped out!

  • I make a variation of these….but man, those maple nut clusters have sold me!


    • They are highly addicting!

  • So, I use an electric kettle (mainly because we make so many cups of tea here). Have you thought about one? There’s a fine mesh on the spout, so it prevents things from getting inside.


    • That would be a good thing to have. I was wishing I was going to win the tea kettle at the sur la table event….

  • These parfaits are so gorgeous, they look so tasty! What a lovely way to bring fall to the breakfast table! So, in other news, I was just reading your About page. You are quite the interesting person, Doctor! It’s crazy how your background is now somewhat unrelated to what you are doing. That happens a lot! Not that there is no science involved in cooking… but anyway. And you literally do live on a Floating Kitchen, nuts! Is it a houseboat of some sort? So cool! I enjoyed learning more about you.


    • Thanks Meggan! You’re right: science and cooking are so similar. I use the same processes almost everyday in my kitchen that I used to use in the laboratory – and I don’t even realize it most of the time! And I know a lot of scientists who are amazing cooks! And yes, my kitchen does float and so does everything else. A floating home is kind of like a house boat, except it’s a bit more stable (moves just a little when the weather is bad). And it’s connected to a dock, so I have hook-ups for town water/sewer. It’s a pretty unique lifestyle that you can only have in a few places in this country.

  • THESE LOOK SO LEGIT. I love the maple clusters – I’d eat those plain!


    • Yes! The maple clusters are highly addicting!

  • Ahhh! What a frightening experience. I might even fear tea and tea kettles now just reading this! On a very happy note, however, the fall flavors (especially sauteed apples) in this yogurt parfait looks amazing!!! Can’t wait to try it!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.


    • Thank you, Luci! Yeah tea kettles may be ruined for me forever now….:-(

  • oh my gosh I HATE SPIDERS TOO! I get them all the time in my apartment… so UNCOOL!


    • I mostly try to ignore them so I don’t get too creeped out. But when they are in my tea cup, it’s hard to look away!

  • First, you had me at maple nut clusters! What a great way to start the day. And yep … I’d be tossing that kettle 🙂


    • Ha! Glad I’m not alone in this decision!

  • Yummy! This looks so good!!
    College Cheese | You Only College Once.


    • Thanks, Wendy! I hope you try it out!

  • Such a beautiful presentation! Sounds so delightful! Perfect for autumn!


    • Thank you, Valentina!

  • The maple nut clusters have stolen my heart! Pinned 🙂


    • Yeah they are dangerously addicting. I could eat the whole batch in a second! Thanks, Marla!

  • I am so intrigued by this apple cider syrup! What a fantastic idea! It’s like caramel + apple all build into one awesome sauce. Fabulous recipe. Love love love!


    • Thanks, Allison! I make apple cider syrup every year and use it on all kind of things (it’s especially good on ice cream). I’d say it’s more like a balsamic reduction than a caramel sauce. Super concentrated cider flavor and a little bit thickened. So good! If you try it, let me know you to like it!

  • Damn girl…had no idea you literally lived in a floating home. You’re brave! These look beautiful btw! Love the little jars.


    • Thank, Katya! And I’m not too brave…at least not when it comes to spiders!

  • I hate to say it but I would totally throw that kettle out. I don’t blame you for being grossed out at all! Ew. Nasty! But these parfaits, on the other hand… they look amazing! I love the idea of apple cider syrup! 😀


    • Thanks, Allie! Glad to know I’m not the only paranoid one!! XO

  • Oh my gosh these look delicious, and so perfect for fall. I’ll definitely be trying them out!


    • Thanks, Melissa. Let me know how you like them!

  • Oh loving this gorgeous breakfast! I love parfaits! And maple nut clusters? Sounds delicious!


    • Yeah the maple-nut clusters take it over the top. They are addicting! Thanks, Jessica!

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