Parfaits and I go way back to my early days in Canada. It was a sinister love affair- as I sought them desperately hoping for a healthy alternative to college desserts & sugary pub breakfasts. But it was sinister exactly because I was consuming sugar & dairy nicely rebranded and served to me cold. There was so much sugar & hormones present in cow dairy yogurts, and the granola in the parfait was über sugary, too. Yet there I was gulping them by the spoonful thinking they were somehow “good” for me, or at least better than other choices. I often wonder how many of us still out there are easy prey to that marketing trick. If you eat parfaits for the love of parfaits- this is not a critique. But if like my old self; you’re eating parfaits because you think yogurt, granola & fruit will get you somewhere healthy- think again.
As I write this post, I start craving one… I often eat them at night, too- and guess what? The way I prepare them now is perfectly guiltless & delectable. I love to serve them to friends and family as dessert- and they feel they’re having something indulgent, which can only imply a good thing.
I like to use unsweetened coconut yogurt in all my parfaits; and add a drizzle of raw honey or pure maple syrup for good measure. Or you could also try the slightly sweetened vanilla or chocolate coconut yogurt flavored varieties, which don’t need any additional sweeteners. Coconut yogurt (unlike most believe) is not hard to find. Like, at all. From Whole Foods to Costco to your friendly neighborhood health store; it’s rapidly becoming pretty ubiquitous and more affordable. What I like about coconut yogurt is that it’s dairy free and it’s also replenishing your body with plenty of healthy cultured & live bacteria. Coconut yogurt does not have nearly as much protein as dairy-based yogurt, so one must compensate by adding chia seeds or sprinkling hemp hearts. On the upside, coconut yogurt is extremely high in fiber.
You can customize as you wish; here’s a few topping ideas:
- Homemade Granola (there’s a yummy maple pecan recipe on the blog, search “granola”)
- Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Peaches
- Raisins, Cranberries or Dry Cherries (in small amounts, dry fruit is very high in sugar)
- Chia Seeds or Hemp Hearts for Protein
- Cacao Nibs for that little chocolate & caffeine kick
- Coconut Yogurt or Coconut Ice Cream; depends if you want breakfast or dessert
- Chopped Banana
- Almond or Peanut Butter
- Sweeteners: Agave, Raw Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
- Dry Coconut Chips
I get to FINALLY return home next Thursday. Tomorrow marks 6 weeks since “The Grand Deluge”… My beloved bright kitchen is being painted yellow & I count the days to get back in there and settle into my old routine.