Sweet, cooling, creamy, and balanced. A few words to describe my newest breakfast and snack time obsession: acai + coconut parfaits. Impressive enough to serve at your next brunch soiree or gathering, yet simple enough to whip up on a Tuesday morning a home.
This recipe was inspired by one that appeared on Faring Well last year (one of my very favorite food blogs). I just love how Jessie transforms simple ingredient combinations into something totally novel, and this dish is no exception. We make a lot of acai bowls/smoothies/desserts around here and I couldn't believe I had yet to think of a parfait.
In this SOLFUL rendition, I opted to replace the yogurt with whipped coconut cream. If you have access to home-cultured yogurt (or better yet, you make it yourself), this makes a fabulous option. I, however, do not most times. And I find store-bought brands (even seemingly "healthy" plant-based versions) to never taste quite right, and to contain way more sugar and additives than I feel comfortable with. So for most recipes that call for yogurt, I sub in coconut cream. It's virtually sugar- and additive-free, and lends the dreamiest flavor and texture.
Creating the "whipped cream" effect is ultra simple, and has ended up becoming a staple in my kitchen. Everything just tastes better with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Especially this acai smoothie. I created the base recipe to mimic the acai bowls that everyone can't get enough of, without the added refined sugars. With that said, the recipe is still pretty sweet, so feel free to use less fruit for a more mild variation. Either way, the rich, creamy whipped coconut lends the perfect flavor balance to temper the sweetness.
I also added a scoop of tocos and collagen to the cream, as both as rich sources of skin-nourishing nutritives and that's an area of focus for me at present. They make a seamless, taste-less, and health-elevating addition. (I go into more detail about the benefits of collagen here.)
ACAI + COCONUT PARFAITS
- 1 frozen, unsweetened acai packet
- 1 frozen banana (or 1/2 frozen avocado)
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1/2 cup mango
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup coconut water or unsweetened nut milk, plus more for blending
- 1 BPA-free can of full-fat culinary coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 tbsp tocos powder
- 1 scoop collagen powder
TO MAKE: Place all ingredients (except for coconut cream, tocos, and collagen) in a high-speed blender. You'll want the smoothie to be on the thicker side (think ice cream consistency), so be patient, as it may take a solid five minutes. You can add small splashes of liquid as needed, keeping in mind the less liquid used, the thicker and creamier the consistency.
Once the smoothie is blended smooth and no chunks remain, divide it into between two glasses or jars. Place in the freezer while you prep the whipped cream.
Remove the chilled can of coconut milk from the refrigerator, being sure not to shake it up. Once opened, you should find a semi-hard layer of thick coconut cream at the top, with all the coconut water/liquid at the bottom. Scoop out the cream and set aside, reserving the liquid for another recipe (smoothies!!!). With a standing mixer, hand mixer, or blender, "whip" the coconut cream until it's light and fluffy (resembling whipped cream). Add in your tocos and collagen (if using), and whip for another 15-30 seconds until blended.
To assemble, remove acai-filled jars from freezer and top with a generous dollop or two of whipped cream. Option to top the whole situation with raw honey, chia seeds, bee pollen, nuts, granola, etc.
Makes two servings.
I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx