Go Beyond Basic: Coconut Chia Banana Pudding Parfait Recipe

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Take your childhood favorite banana pudding up a notch with rich and creamy coconut milk, nourishing chia seeds and a probiotic kick! Healthy enough to eat for breakfast and delicious enough to enjoy for dessert, this banana pudding is packed with fiber, is rich in potassium and is super-easy to make ahead of time for a grab-and-go meal or snack on a busy day.

The recipe is versatile, too. I used a combination of soy milk, coconut milk and lightly sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt, but feel free to use your favorite nondairy or dairy milk and yogurt to customize the recipe to your liking.

If you’re not in the mood for coconut on top, get creative by adding your own healthy “bling,” such as walnuts, pecans, nut butter, trail mix, dried fruit, hemp seeds or maybe even a sprinkling of chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Coconut Chia Banana Pudding Parfait

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups light canned coconut milk

1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk

7 peeled bananas, divided

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

Combine soy milk, coconut milk, 4 of the bananas (broken in half), pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Put chia seeds in a medium-size mixing bowl or a large glass jar, and pour banana mixture on top. Stir well to combine, and place mixture in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to thicken. You may want to stir mixture after 1 hour, to ensure no chia seeds settle to the bottom of the bowl or jar.

To serve:

Slice remaining bananas. Spoon 3/4 cup chia pudding into 6 bowls, jars or parfait glasses, and top each serving with 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/6 of the banana slices and 1/2 tablespoon coconut.

*Note: Serve with nondairy yogurt (coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk) instead of Greek yogurt for a dairy-free, vegan version.

Per serving: Calories 300; Fat 15 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 3 mg; Sodium 49 mg; Carbohydrate 45 g; Fiber 13 g; Sugars 20 g; Protein 13 g

EA Stewart, MBA, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in wellness and GI nutrition. In addition, EA is the creator of The Spicy RD, which features delicious gluten-free recipes made from healthy, seasonal ingredients.