It’s been a busy week with the kids, and you’ve just realized that Father’s Day is around the corner! Not to fear, here is a SUPER easy plant-based dessert you can make for your husband on short notice, using ingredients from your pantry. Besides special occasions like Father’s Day, these Strawberry Chia Chocolate Parfaits also make perfect fancy looking desserts for a dinner party or as a light and refreshingly delicious summer’s treat to surprise the family! Jump to Recipe
These Strawberry Chia Chocolate Parfaits are vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free and even gluten-free so all in the family can enjoy them. Since it is berry season, I chose to use strawberries in this recipe, but feel free to substitute the strawberries with other fruit like blueberries, raspberries, banana slices, blackberries or even diced mango. The chia and chocolate portions just need a little prep work and then can sit in the fridge to set. Alternatively, you can make these parfaits a day in advance and take them out the next day to serve. The easiest part is letting the chia and chocolate portions of this recipe sit to set (while we mamas get on with other more important things in the house)!
These Strawberry Chia Chocolate Parfaits use only 6 ingredients with chia seeds as the superstar ingredient. Why? This is because chia seeds are a plant powerhouse of key nutrients such as calcium, fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids to benefit our bodies, boosting brain health & reducing inflammation (find out more about chia seeds here). What about cocoa powder? One tablespoon of cocoa powder (5 grams) already provides 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of fiber, 10 milligrams of calcium, 2 milligrams of iron and 200 miligrams of potassium. Cocoa powder also contains important phytochemical compounds such as phenolic antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. In fact, one serving of these delicious Strawberry Chia Chocolate Parfaits already packs in 15 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 4 milligrams of iron and 631 milligrams of calcium! So making these parfaits for yourself or your loved one is not only health boosting, it will also be feeding you or your loved one’s sweet tooth! Isn’t that a double win?
This recipe makes enough for 2 (8 ounce) servings, with a little extra left over for the children if desired. But you can double this recipe if you would like to make more for all in the family or for a party event. Husbands, this is also a simple enough recipe that you can make for your wives as a treat to celebrate them on special occasions!
- 1 cup original fortified plant-based milk (I used original fortified soymilk)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups original fortified plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoons corn starch (also known as corn flour)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
- 3 large strawberries, sliced (for other fruit suggestions, see recipe notes)
- 1-2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (optional)
Mix chia seeds and the cup of plant-based milk thoroughly in a jar. Set it aside in the fridge to begin setting.
Meanwhile, use a whisk to stir the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the 2 cups of original fortified plant-based milk in a small pot. Stir this mixture until all the cornstarch has dissolved into the milk.
Next, heat this pot with the combined mixture on medium heat on the stove. As the mixture is heating up, add in the cocoa powder and the maple syrup and use the whisk to stir to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
Once this mixture begins to simmer, continue to heat this combined mixture on the stove top for the next 5-10 minutes, allowing it to continue gently bubbling. Stir this mixture occasionally with the whisk to prevent the pot contents from burning at the bottom. You can turn down the stove setting if needed to maintain a gentle simmering.
Turn off the heat setting once the mixture starts to thicken a little. Allow the pot contents to cool for about 5 minutes. This mixture will continue to thicken as it cools into a pudding consistency.
While the pot contents are cooling, check on the soaking chia seeds in the refrigerated jar. Stir the contents in the chia jar again with a spoon to make sure the chia seeds are well mixed with the plant-based milk and not stuck to the sides of the lidded jar (stirring the chia mixture once or twice early on will also encourage a faster gelling time before letting this mixture sit for a prolonged period of time.) Cover the jar with the lid and then place it in the fridge to allow this chia mixture to thicken up for at least the next 1 ½ hours (feel free to let this chia mixture sit longer in the refrigerator to gell to a thicker consistency if you would like).
Once the chocolate pudding portion has cooled for at least 5 minutes, carefully spoon half the contents into glasses or dessert bowls. You can leave the remaining amount in the pot and place it into the fridge to be used later.
About 1 1/2 hours later (or the next day), wash and cut the strawberries (or other fruit) into thin slices. Next, carefully spoon half of the thickened chia mixture over the chocolate pudding portions in the glasses. Alternate the layers by topping this chia layer with a layer of sliced strawberries, then more chocolate pudding before adding on another chia layer on top. Finally, add a last layer of sliced strawberries on top. Enjoy immediately or place the glasses back into the fridge until serving time!
Instead of strawberries, other fresh fruit in season such as blueberries, raspberries, banana slices, blackberries or even diced mango can work well in this recipe!
The mixed chia seeds portion can also be left in the fridge to thicken up overnight.
Use the whisk to mix up the contents of the chocolate pudding right before layering, as a thin film can form at the top as the pudding mixture cools.
If using ground flaxseed (optional), sprinkle half to one teaspoon of ground flaxseed evenly over the first chia layer in each glass, before continuing with the layering.
Add less maple syrup if you would like a more bitter chocolate pudding flavor. You can also stir in ¼ teaspoon of instant ground coffee into the chocolate pudding mixture as it is heating up on the stove for the additional hint of an ‘expresso coffee’ kick (when making this recipe for adults) if you like!
This dessert looks so deceptively fancy that it will definitely impress your significant other, if he is anything like my husband whose heart is through his stomach. He actually said, “Wow, so nice!” when he saw it after I told him I had made it for him to enjoy. But ladies, only we need to know how quick it was to make…
If you try out this recipe, do give feedback here and tag me on Instagram @dietitian_mom so I can see your lovely desserts!