Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits

By Stacie Morgan, October 20, 2016, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

Who’s ready for Halloween?!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Hello, Halloween Orange!

This week’s recipe uses zero energy, contains only a few ingredients, and it takes minutes to put together. This spooky-and-sweet parfait is a great dish to make with the kids, as you get to pull out some food coloring and get a little wild with the yogurt.

I love the flavors of fall, especially the combination of apples, walnuts, and cranberries. The yogurt-covered cranberries and caramel apple dip added to the yogurt create a delectable taste sensation! Even better – you can tweak the proportions slightly to personalize how you enjoy the ingredients.

The ratios in the ingredient list create 4 big parfaits, and it’s pretty easy to do the math to make more of them! I definitely suggest trying to find yogurt-covered cranberries, but you can also substitute in yogurt-covered raisins or regular dried cranberries for an equally delicious treat.

If you have a red food coloring allergy or want to make this parfait at a non-Halloween time of year, just skip the food coloring, and it will be just as enjoyable! And while I add a little almond extract into my vanilla yogurt with this dish, you could also use pure walnut extract to enhance the flavor of the walnut pieces.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

A whole lotta chopping, but no real electricity usage.

Feel free to get creative when making your parfaits and add anything extra you have on hand. My top suggestions include almonds, hazelnuts, dried apple chips, or a cookie crumble for some extra crunch!

Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits

Ingredients:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Yes, this recipe does require some store-bought items, but it’s definitely simpler than preparing those yogurt-covered cranberries by hand.,

  • 32 oz. Vanilla yogurt
  • ½ tsp. Pure almond extract
  • Red and yellow food coloring drops
  • 1 Large apple (Fuji used in the pictures)
  • 1 c. Caramel apple dip (store-bought)
  • ¾ c. Walnut pieces
  • ½ c. Yogurt-covered cranberries (or raisins)
  • ½ c. Greek yogurt flavored baking chips (can also use white chocolate chips)

Directions:

1) Measure out the ingredients as directed, including cutting the apple into small chunks.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

We recommend a whisk for this recipe as it’s better for stirring in the food coloring thoroughly.

2) Add the yogurt to a mixing bowl.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Hooray for vibrant colors!

3) Add the almond extract, about 8 drops of red food coloring, and 5 drops of yellow food coloring.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

This step is either the most fun or the most stressful, because once you add in a drop of food coloring, you can’t remove it.

4) Whisk the coloring into the yogurt. Slowly add more of each color as needed to create the vibrant orange color of Halloween.

5) If the caramel dip is not easily spreadable at room temperature, microwave it for a few seconds in a microwave-safe container to reach a spreadable consistency.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

You might be tempted to add extra caramel to the glass. We wouldn’t recommend it.

6) Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of caramel dip on the base of the glasses.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Think those apple chunks are too big? Cut them down to the size of your walnut chunks!

7) Sprinkle some of the walnuts and apple pieces on top of the caramel.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Pro Tip: Don’t use all of those yogurt-covered cranberries in these parfaits. Save some for late-night snacking.

8) Pour the yogurt into the glass, and top with any combination of the other toppings.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Halloween Caramel Apple Yogurt Parfaits | Bounce Energy Blog

Sure, the color of these treats are Halloween orange now, but feel free to tweak the food coloring proportions to create a Thanksgiving orange next month!

If you like your parfait extra sweet, buy a second apple, slice it into quarters, dip each slice in the caramel dip, and place one into each parfait glass as a yummy garnish.

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

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