Pomegranate Vanilla Parfaits

Pomegranate Vanilla Parfaits

By: Olena Osipov

How about pomegranate vanilla parfaits for dessert this Holiday season? Wait, here’s an even better idea: how about a parfait for the kids’ (and parents!) after school snack? These parfaits aren’t just full of healthy fats, free of refined sugar and loaded with gut healthy bacteria – they are also festive enough to serve to guests and easy enough to be whipped up for a quick snack.

December is known as “Cookie Extravaganza” month, and when it comes to clean and healthy eating, my middle name is “balance”. Years ago, I adopted a food mantra: if I don’t want or need to eat it, I don’t buy or cook it. At this time of year, I’m committed to cooking healthy meals at home. After all, I can always grab a decadent cookie somewhere else!

Making a healthy version of traditional treats makes the entire family feel satisfied instead of deprived. I’m sure that sometime before the 31st, a shortbread cookie will have found its way into my hands, but hey, remember what I said about balance?

These pomegranate vanilla parfaits are a new addition to my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner menu. Trust me, they are that good. They taste like a no-bake cheesecake. Full fat Greek yogurt adds a touch of creaminess to this dessert and makes it full of protein and healthy fats. The bottle of Bio-K+ not only makes the filling even more cheesecake-like, but also adds a hefty portion of probiotics. These good bacteria can be a true lifesaver during the Holidays, as many of us consume more sugar than usual. Since excessive sugar consumption can promote the growth of bad bacteria in the gut, a daily dose of probiotics acts like “a fire extinguisher” and adds good bacteria to the gut flora, thus strengthening the immune system. Adding to this healthy party are the nutrient-filled pomegranate arils. They’re literally bursting with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. What really pushes this dish into “dessert with benefits” territory, however, are the crumbs, a mix of toasted almonds, maple syrup and molasses that resembles a traditional graham crackers cheesecake crust.

These delicious, decadent pomegranate vanilla parfaits are an obvious choice for your holiday dessert menu.

Happy Holidays!

Pomegranate Vanilla Parfaits

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooling Time: 120 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups raw almonds

5 tbsp honey

1 tbsp molasses

1 1/4 cups plain 10% fat Greek yogurt

1 bottle Bio-K+ original

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 pomegranates, peeled & separated into arils

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat small skillet on low heat and add almonds. Toast until fragrant, about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

Transfer to a food processor and add salt. Process until fine crumbs form. Do not over-process – turn off as soon as you see fine crumbs. Add 3 tbsp honey and molasses; pulse a few times, until combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, Bio-K+, 3 tbsp honey and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

To assemble parfaits, divide nut mixture among four 6-8 oz glasses. Top with equal amounts of yogurt and add pomegranate on top.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. Refrigerate covered for up to 24 hours.

TIPS

Use molasses instead of honey.

Do not use 0% Greek yogurt because parfaits will lack flavour. Fat content above 5% is ideal.

To save time, buy already peeled and separated pomegranates.


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