I was raised on sweets. My grandparents had a colossal candy cabinet and bowls of colorful sugary goodness all over the house. It's almost part of my DNA, the sweets. So even though I have shifted into a greater awareness of what I put into my body, there is no need to ignore my pal, Mr. Sweet Tooth. I have played around with many recipes and have finally Frankensteined the tastiest Banana Pudding Parfait (cue the lightning bolt). This recipe incorporates all natural, enzyme-rich ingredients that your body wants, including natural sugars, so take any guilt and kick it out the door.
There are three main components to this recipe: Crumble Topping, Vanilla Whipped Cream and Banana Pudding. The Vanilla Whipped Cream is optional, but super delicious if you are up for opening a young coconut, which is easier than it sounds. Also, I am calling for all raw ingredients in this recipe, but you can improvise as you wish to make it your own. I can usually get all ingredients at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and/or the “healthy” aisle at some regular grocery stores.
What you need for: Vanilla Whipped Cream(optional) Meat from 1 young coconut 2 tbsp raw agave nectar 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews (soak for 2hrs) 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 3 tbsp raw coconut butter (preferably coconut butter with flesh, substitute 2 tbsp raw coconut oil if no coconut butter) Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt (can use regular Sea Salt instead) 4 tbsp of fresh young coconut water (psst...it is already inside your young coconut)
What you need for: Crumble Topping I soaked and then dehydrated the walnuts and pecans ahead of time. This is an extra step you can take (if you have a dehydrator) that will help your body optimally digest the nuts. It is NOT necessary, however. 1/2 cup raw pecans 1/2 cup raw walnuts 4 Medjool dates 3 tbsp ground golden flaxseed 1 tbsp raw agave nectar 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt Pinch of cinnamon pinch of nutmeg
What you need for: Banana Pudding 4 organic bananas (almost over-ripe) 1/2 cup of fresh young coconut water, filtered water or store-bought coconut water 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup of soaked raw cashews 1 tbsp raw agave nectar (optional)
Let’s get started: Vanilla Whipped Cream(optional) Jump down to the Crumble Topping if you won’t be making this part of the Banana Parfait.
Lay out a Large knife (cleaver-style) and a serrated knife. We are going to open a young coconut, folks.
With your serrated knife, shave off the husk around the top of the coconut until you hit the shell. Then take the heel of the large knife and tap into the shell until you break through. Continue cutting into the shell 3/4 way around the top of the coconut. There is water in the coconut so you may want to do this over a large bowl. Peel back the newly-made “lid” from the coconut.
Pour the water from inside the coconut into a bowl. You can then strain the water through a cheesecloth, tight strainer or nut milk bag(shown here, right) if pieces of the husk made their way into the water. Set water aside, you will eventually use some for the Whipped Cream and the Banana Pudding. Feel free to take a sip of it too, it's delicious.
Use a spoon to scoop out all the coconut meat. This is an immature coconut, so the flesh should easily separate from the coconut shell. It's texture is very similar to the white of a hard-boiled egg.
Now assemble all of your Whipped Cream ingredients...
and dump into the blender.
Blend until super creamy and set aside.
Crumble Topping Remove the pits from the Medjool dates by slicing lengthwise into the date. If you don't have dates you can substitute a cup of sundried raisins for the dates. Just soaked the raisins for 1 hr in filtered water, then drain them.
Place dates and remaining ingredients into the food processor.
Pulse until crumbly (see bottom right). Do not over-process.
Transfer Crumble Topping to a bowl and set aside.
Banana Pudding Easy-peasy. Put all ingredients in the blender minus one of the bananas and mix until creamy. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Assembly Time: Slice the one remaining banana and arrange slices, Crumble Topping, Whipped Cream and Banana Pudding for assembly. Find a nice glass or dish that you can create your masterpiece in. I started with a wine glass.
Spoon some Crumble Topping into the bottom of the glass and press lightly.
Add a layer of Banana Pudding and then a layer of banana slices.
Add a layer of Whipped Cream and repeat process until the glass is full.
Spoon some Whipped Cream into a plastic bag and squeeze down into the corner. Snip off the corner and “voila”, you have a piping bag! If you have a proper piping bag, you can of course use that instead of the homemade version pictured here.
Get fancy and swirl some Whipped Cream on top, add a banana slice and spinkle some Crumble topping on it all.
You can use small votive glasses to make tiny servings of Parfait too. My co-workers will be getting treats on Monday. There you have it. Enjoy!
This drip that missed the glass looked really pretty.
And this is the cold, hard truth to makin’ Raw Banana Parfait, folks. It just doesn't look as purty as the photos above. But then it kinda does, eh?
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