I am going to cut right to the chase. I'm not going to bore you with more details of my summer, of how I cannot believe how quickly it has flown by, and how frizzy my hair has been for the past few weeks. Nope. Let's get straight to the parfait.
This parfait is equal part healthy and delicious. It could possibly be the single healthiest dessert you could make this summer. Zero processed ingredients, and all raw goodness.
We've talked chia seeds before, but just as a reminder these little seeds are incredible and should be a part of everyone's diet. Did you know that chia seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3s, in fact, they contain more Omega 3s per serving than salmon! And if that is not enough of a reason for you to want to have chia seeds every day, they also help fight food cravings, make you feel fuller, and help control your blood sugar.
Cherries are our friends too. They are super high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In the height of summer they are plump, ripe, delicious, and you can find them just about anywhere.
So all of that is great, but who wants a healthy dessert ... unless of course it tastes just as good as a not so healthy dessert. I don't know about you, but in the summer on a hot day when I've stuffed myself with all of the ears of corn and fish tacos I can get my hands on, the last thing I want is a hot and heavy dessert. That's why raw desserts in summer are absolutely the best.
This dessert takes a little bit of preparation since you have to soak your cashews and let the chia pudding set, however, you can make this long enough in advance (it keeps for about a week), so it is well worth the effort. Feel free to try this with other fruits besides cherries. It's fun to make this for a summer dinner party because guests will think it is indulgent, and you can surprise them with the healthy talk later.
cherry chia seed parfait
about 6 people for dessert
for the chia pudding:
1 cup of chia seeds
3 cups of almond milk
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of cherries, pitted and diced
for the cherry "cream":
1 cup of cherries, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup of cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours or overnight
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
- Start by preparing the chia seed pudding. Combine all of the ingredients in a small baking dish. Give it a good stir to combine all of the ingredients and then set it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until the mixture thickens and is no longer liquidy.
- While the chia pudding is setting, prepare the cherry "cream". Blend the cherries in a high-powered blender until you have a smooth puree. Then add the soaked cashews. Blend until the cashews are liquefied, and have a smooth texture. Add in the vanilla and maple syrup and continue to pulse until everything is well combined.
- Then, you are going to assemble the parfaits. In several small to medium sized cups, glasses, or mason jars, alternate layers of the pudding and the cherry cream being sure not to make the layers too thick or too thin (about 1" for each should do). Continue to do this in until you have no more pudding/cream. It is best to allow them to set for another hour or so in the refrigerator before serving. Or, you can also make these a few days ahead of time. It is great to make these in mason jars because you can cover them with a screw top to store and it also makes for a nice presentation at a lunch or dinner party or even as a gift.