(sugar-free) neapolitan parfait
I have had a sweet tooth for as long as I can remember. I constantly crave sweet things, but the cravings really hit hard after dinner. I love the concept of dessert, that there is this one special treat waiting for me at the end of the night, no matter what the day may bring! I grew up having a nightly dessert, whether it was a cookie, a scoop of ice cream or a special recipe that we would all make and enjoy as a family...dessert is totally my comfort food, and not something I am willing to sacrifice when it comes to my diet!
BUT, I cut sugar out of my life 5 months ago...which makes the whole dessert thing a little tricky. I love this neapolitan parfait! It hits all the right notes for me, sweet, creamy, chocolate-y and fruity. It reminds me of the Neapolitan ice cream I remember from when I was a child, but it is sweetened entirely with fruit! YES, FRUIT!! YAY!!
There are 3 components to this parfait. A strawberry chia pudding, an avocado chocolate mousse, and a vanilla coconut whipped cream. Each component is super simple, and I only used one tool throughout the whole recipe...a hand emulsifier. If you don't have one, you can use a food processor or a stand mixer :)
The avocado mousse is something that I never thought that I would enjoy. It is bizarre to think of combining an avocado with chocolate...in my mind it shouldn't work, but IT DOES! Just make sure there are no stand out chunks of 'cado hanging out in your mousse!!
DISCLAIMER: This recipe is absolutely sweet enough for me as is, but everything tastes sweeter to my taste buds since my sugar detox. If you haven't cut out sugar, or are working your way down, feel free to add powdered sugar to each finished component to taste, 1 teaspoon at a time!
Strawberry Chia Pudding
1 can organic coconut milk
2 cups strawberries (fresh, or frozen that have been thawed)
4 pitted medjool dates
6 tablespoons of chia seeds
Add coconut milk, strawberries and dates to a large bowl. Blend well with a hand emulsifier until smooth. Stir in chia seeds. Set aside in the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the parfait!
2 chilled avocados (make sure they are cold before you attempt this mousse! a half hour in the fridge will do)
3/4 cup nut milk
10 pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup Hersey's special dark cocoa powder
1/2 raw cacao
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and puree with a hand emulsifier until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula to make sure you don't miss any chunks!
1 can coconut cream
1 ripe banana (can be replaced with 1 Tablespoon of sweetener of choice if you don't like the hint of banana flavor this gives the whipped cream. I think it adds to the parfait personally!)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Freeze the can of coconut cream and peeled banana for a half hour. Once chilled, the cream with solidify and separate from the water in the can. Scoop out the hardened coconut cream into a large bowl, and discard the water (or save it for a smoothie which is what I do!). Add the banana and vanilla, and blend until you have stiff peaks.