healthy + seasonal recipes that are gluten & dairy-free

Blueberry Chia Parfaits with Crunchy Nut Clusters

Blueberry Chia Parfaits with Crunchy Nut Clusters

These parfaits combine a few simple but really delicious parts in a serendipitously delightful combination - eaten together, the blueberry compote, crunchy nut clusters, chia pudding made with cashew milk, and coconut whip taste unbelievably good. Simple, healthy, and a total winner for breakfast, an afternoon treat, or dessert. 

blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen

I'm writing this post from the airport because I'm going to Morocco! I have an overnight flight ahead and my carry-on is stuffed with everything I could think of to promote a restful sleep on the plane (is that even possible?). Seriously, there's lavender essential oil, the most luxurious eye mask, a spritzing toner and other skin care minis, ear buds, melatonin, sleepy time tea, a large blanket scarf, warm socks, my travel pillow and a good book. Fingers crossed it works ;) Honestly, I very much wish that I also had one of these parfaits in my bag but I ate the last one for breakfast yesterday. So good! 

So over the next week and a half, that's where I'll be. I'm going with one of my closest friends and I am a stressed out mix of excited and nervous. Getting ready has been total madness. I always feel a little guilty being away from work, like I need to complete all the work that I would have done if I was there before I leave. It's both irrational and sort of true, unfortunately. But we all deserve vacations, right? This feels like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip for me, so we have a few really special splurges planned. I'm obsessed with Moroccan decor and can't wait to shop in the medina, eat tangine, visit the painted blue city and see goats in trees!!! Keep up with me on instagram if you want to see what's going on! 

I also wanted to just leave a quick note because it has been way too long since I posted here last - March 17! I'm sorry for that. The past while has been a bit of a blur. I wasn't feeling well for a pretty long time, then this trip became a possibility and then all I found myself doing was reading blog posts of what women should wear in Morocco and how to ask for gluten free food. I'm so happy to be back though, and I have plans to get things much more regular around here. Thank you so much for reading! xoxo

blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen
blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen
blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen
blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen
blueberry chia parfaits with crunchy pecan clusters (gluten free, vegan, paleo) by my natural kitchen

Blueberry Chia Parfaits with Crunchy Nut Clusters

Serves 4. If you happen to have any of Tara's golden honey elixir from her cookbook, it is an absolutely fantastic addition here, and a real favourite of mine. 

for the chia pudding:

1 1/4 cup water

heaping 1/4 cup raw cashews

3 tablespoons chia seeds

Add the water and cashews to a blender and increase the speed to high. Blend for a full minute until completely smooth. If using a high speed blender, there's no need to strain your cashew milk. If using a regular blender, than you may use a fine mesh sieve or a nut milk bag to filter out any pulp (or feel free to leave it in). Add 1 cup of the cashew milk to a bowl and whisk in the chia seeds. Whisk continuously for a full minute until the chia seeds begin to swell and the pudding thickens. Stir in the remaining cashew milk and set aside while you prepare the remaining components. 

for the nut clusters:

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tablespoon brown rice syrup

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil

a pinch each of sea salt and cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the pecans, cashews, and sesame seeds to the baking sheet and toss gently to combine. Warm the coconut oil over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the brown rice syrup, the maple syrup, the salt and cinnamon and stir to combine. Pour the liquid mixture over the nut mixture and toss together. Bake for 10 minutes, stir gently, and then bake for another 2-5 minutes until golden and toasty-smelling. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled slightly, break into clusters. 

for the blueberry compote:

1 1/2 cups wild blueberries, frozen

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 cup water or blueberry juice

2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

Add the frozen blueberries and maple syrup to a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Whisk the arrowroot starch into the water or blueberry juice to make a slurry, then add to the saucepan and stir with the blueberries and maple syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the compote becomes syrupy and thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

for the coconut whip:

1 can of full fat coconut milk (I prefer Thai Kitchens brand)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon maple syrup

The coconut milk needs to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours before opening for coconut whip. Turn the refrigerated can upside down and open it; pour off the coconut water (it's good for smoothies!). Scoop out the solid coconut milk remaining in the can and add to a bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, then use a hand blender to whip to stiff peaks. 

for the parfaits:

Place two spoonfuls each of blueberry compote into four small jars or glasses. Add two spoonfuls of chia pudding, followed by a heaped tablespoon of nuts, and two spoonfuls of coconut whip. Follow with more blueberry compote, chia pudding, a dollop of coconut whip and two spoonfuls of nut clusters. Serve immediately, or store covered in the fridge for up to two days.

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