Taste buds are amazing things. Years ago I would have shunned the star ingredients of this healthier dessert: bananas and coconut. Coconut just didn’t have enough, or the right, flavor, and bananas were a obligatory energy staple before sports, not something I’d choose! (And certainly not a dessert.) But oh, how times have changed.

When you’re eating better with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate, many desserts taste too sugary—even for my incredible sweet tooth. That’s why this parfait is a great compromise. With just a few ingredients and a little assembly, you can produce a decadent breakfast (special brunch, perhaps?) or pretty, lower-calorie dessert that still satisfies your cravings.

Before You Get Cookin’

  1. Banana ripeness matters. We won’t get into the debate about whether a little mush or firmness (yes!) in your banana tastes better, just know that they’ll get a little softer than their starting state after cooking in the oil.
  2. You control the sugar. In the scheme of things, honey is a “good” sugar, and a little extra flavor in your Greek yogurt isn’t a big deal. But choose what works for you and your current nutrition plan and goals.
  3. Don’t use regular oil. Olive oil just won’t do the trick. You want the coconut-y flavor to add to the coconut flakes.
  4. There’s room for creativity. The recipe below is just a guideline. Have some fun with this!

parfait

 

Caramelized Banana-Coconut Parfait Recipe

Makes 2 small servings

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 Tsp coconut oil
  • Honey to taste
    (Rec: 1 Tbsp for sugar control)
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
    (Flavored OK, but will add sugar)
  • Coconut flakes
    (Rec: unsweetened for sugar control)
  • Cinnamon to taste
    (Rec: Add a pinch at a time!)
  • Optional: Granola
  • Optional: Fresh fruit for color & natural sugar

Directions

  • Peel bananas and slice into small pieces.
  • In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt the oil and add bananas.
  • Cook 2 min or until bananas begin to soften. Remember to flip bananas to caramelize each side.
  • While cooking, assemble first layer of greek yogurt.
  • Top each parfait with 1/2 a serving of bananas. Then add granola & fruit (if using), coconut flakes, a pinch of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.
  • Repeat the layers for a beautiful parfait!
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