Vegan Pumpkin Parfaits

by Valerie on December 9, 2010 · 8 comments

Ever since A Gluten-Free Holiday, created by Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, was announced last month, I have been mulling what I wanted to submit for the Breakfast and Brunch intallment, hosted today by Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl. Initially, I thought of tweaking and improving my Salty Almond Chocolate Oatmeal Bars.  Then I thought about maybe a baked savory dish.  And then I realized, what I really miss at breakfast and brunch is yogurt.  Fage was a breakfast, brunch, lunch, anytime really go-to for years before I had to cut out dairy.  So I decided to use this event as an excuse to try something new.  A vegan yogurt parfait that does not involve store-bought vegan yogurt (way too sugary for my taste) or culturing your own vegan yogurt (something I want to try when holiday busy-ness has passed) or using tofu, since I know many of my gluten-free readers are also soy-intolerant. 

Instead, I went for a yogurt-like experience with a coconut, chia and pumpkin base.  Meet the Vegan Pumpkin Parfait:

parfait 009

I know, I know – everyone is sick of pumpkin by now.  Even I, after going through a whopping 5 oz of pumpkin pie spice in a few weeks am a little burnt out on it (and so very thankful I can purchase it by the pound).  But, the idea came to me as I was spooning more canned pumpkin into a smoothie and was eating some off the spoon.  Plain canned pumpkin has no real taste.  And it would be the perfect way to add lightness and texture to the base I had already decided on, coconut milk and white chia seeds.  I know, I know, it sounds odd, but look at the picture – that parfait looks scrummy, doesn’t it? And it tastes scrummy, and like yogurt.  Even my husband, who has had yogurt far more recently than me, vouched that this parfait was more of a yogurt-like experience than a pumpkin experience. 

Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free)
Makes 4 yogurt parfaits

  • 2/3 cup chilled coconut cream from a 15oz can coconut milk (see note below)
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups pumpkin puree or 1 15oz can pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 cup white chia seeds (see note below)
  • 20 drops vanilla stevia
  • 3 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups gluten-free granola of your choice, or other blend of nuts and/or seeds and/or gluten-free cereal (see note below) plus a little extra for decorating.

At least 12 hours before serving, combined coconut cream, pumpkin puree, white chia seeds and stevia in a bowl. Whisk ingredients together in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.  After 12 hours, the mixture should be very thick (if it is not, add another tablespoon of chia and let sit an extra hour).  When almost ready to serve, blend mixture in a blender with lemon juice until air and smooth.  I recommend adding the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time and taste testing as you go along, until you get the sour tang that reminds you of yogurt.  Use one fourth of the pumpkin coconut mixture and 1/2 cup granola per parfait.  Layer yogurt mixture with granola, starting and finishing with a yogurt layer.  Decorate with additional granola or seeds.

A few notes: 

  • I used white chia seeds for this recipe because I did not want the color of gray/brown chia seeds to detract from the prettiness of the parfait.  You could use gray/brown chia seeds if you cannot find white chia seeds.  Also, next time I will experiment with grinding the chia seeds to make the texture of the yogurt smoother.  
  • For easy coconut cream, place a can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours.  When you open the can, you will see the milk has separated into water and a thich white creamy substance – that’s the coconut cream you need.  I find a 15oz can yields about 2/3 cup of coconut meal. If you have extra, put aside to use in a soup or smoothie.  
  • Regarding the gluten-free granola, I used a mixture of dehydrated buckwheaties, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, but I have also been eyeing this granola recipe by Ellen . I have to tweak it to adapt to my food and sugar sensitivities (I need to leave the dates out), but it is a scrummy-looking recipe.  You can of course use a store-bought gluten-free granola. I know Udi‘s is very popular.  

Finally, be sure to check out Carrie’s wonderful blog and her Gluten-Free Holiday post today. She is giving away The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam, as well as copies of Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone, and of Diane Eblin’s e-book The Gluten Free Diner. Diane hosted last week’s Gluten-Free Holiday (which was Week 4 of the event), and I submitted a Festive Chard dish.  During week 1, I shared some of my thoughts on staying healthier through the holidays, while for Week 2, I submitted this lovely Pumpkin Ice Cream, which is vegan and gluten-free and low in sugar and for Week 3, I made Chocolate Banana Cream Cups.

In addition to submitting this recipe to Gluten-Free Holiday, I am also going to submit it to the Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesday for December 15, 2010, as I know Linda is soy-free as well as gluten-free and dairy-free.  

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