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Dairy-Free Fruit Parfaits and Fun Fruit Sundaes

This is a new favorite dessert of mine, it also makes for a high fiber breakfast.  I have been on a melon kick lately and have been branching outside of the cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelons that I usually buy.  In the above photo, the peach colored melon is a Crenshaw Melon.

According to FoodReference.com:

Crenshaw Melons can weigh up to ten pounds and deliver a unique sweet and spicy flavor.  They are a hybrid between the Casaba and Persian melon with a yellowish skin and salmon colored flesh.  Peak season for Crenshaw melons is August through September, with the fruit season beginning in July and ending in October.

We have also tried Canary Melons (delicious):


and I just bought a Santa Claus Melon, that I plan on pulling out the boy’s “Elf on the Shelf” and taking a picture of him with the melon and telling Sam and Luke that “Nicky the Elf” sent the melon as a mid-year gift from the North Pole.  I know, I’m corny, but putting a spin like this on fruits and vegetables has had a positive effect on my kids, new foods are much “cooler” to try if they come from “Nicky the Elf!” ;-)

I love melons because they are naturally sweet and do not need any added sweetener, so they are nature’s perfect dessert!  Personally, I like to cut the sweetness of the melon with other fruits that deliver a tart punch, the flavors really balance each other quite nicely and berries add loads of fiber, which can help control blood sugar, and fill you up so you’re less likely to nibble on junk food.  Eating a high fiber diet has been a big key in losing and maintaining my current 60 pound weight loss from my thyroid nightmare.

Did you know that 1/2 cup of blackberries deliver 4 grams of fiber??  1 cup of Strawberries have 3 grams of fiber, and 1/2 cup of blueberries have 2 grams of fiber?

Even watermelon and cantaloupe have a little bit of fiber.

I topped my fresh fruit parfait with Turtle Mountain’s So Delicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt, which has 3 grams of fiber per 4-ounce serving.  I’m not a big fan of coconut and even I like the So Delicious Coconut Milk products.

To top my parfait, I add walnuts, which I am trying to eat a lot more of.  According to WHFoods.com (click on this link for even more astounding health benefits of walnuts):

When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts definitely are not a hard nut to crack. This delicious nut is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a special type of protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnuts’ concentration of omega-3s (a quarter-cup provides 90.8% of the daily value for these essential fats) has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.

Talk about super food!  A 1/4 cup serving of Walnuts also has 1.68 grams of fiber.

Based on the above information, I estimate the fiber content of my fruit parfait to be about 14 grams!!  And that is just for breakfast or dessert.  Eating naturally gluten-free foods like fresh fruits and vegetables make it easy to attain the recommended 25 – 30 grams of daily fiber. :-D

To spiff this idea up for my boys, I made a dairy-free fruit sundae and they loved it:

I saw this in a magazine and for the love of Pete, I cannot remember where I saw it.  The “ice cream” is simply yellow watermelon that I scooped out with an ice cream scooper.  I then added banana slices, fresh sliced strawberries, whole blueberries, dairy-free whipped cream (Healthy Top by MimicCreme), chopped walnuts and finished it off with a fresh cherry (they look quite a bit different from the dyed marachino cherries, but my kids didn’t miss a beat!).  Speaking of which, do you know how they make maraschino cherries?  The Chow article I just linked to also links to a couple of homemade Marachino cherry recipes that might come in handy sometime.

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays

In case you haven’t already heard, a gluten-free cupcake won the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!!  The Gluten Free Optimist wrote all about it (click the previous link), and the show will be airing today, Sunday, July, 11th, on the Food Network.  Be sure to check your local listings and set your DVR for this very exciting event!!  Congratulations to Lisa Cowden and Gluten Free Creations Bakery!

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Comments

  1. kelly says:

    oh yum! I really need to get some of that mimcreme to try. I really miss our cool whip. lol

  2. Heidi those look fantastic! The banana split made my mouth water.

    Such a great way to get all the micronutrients and fiber and make it tasty and attractive.

    Once again, you rock!

    • Thanks Erin! I learned quite a bit over the past year watching how my kiddos are naturally drawn to foods with special "packaging." Who say that packaging/presentation needs to come with a cartoon character or unhealthy food? ;-)

  3. Tai says:

    Berries, melons and nuts are a HUGE part of our diet over here too! Since we are still doing dairy I use a high protein greek yogurt with mine. So yummy! Low carb, high protein, high fiber, omegas and antioxidents plus it is delicious…what's not to love!? I am so going to copy cat the sundae idea!! LOVE IT!!

    • Tai, Greek yogurt sounds awesome, I will have to try that. I am still stuck on dairy, although I have cut back quite a bit. Greek yogurt and cheese simply "had me at hello." :0)

  4. Your parfait looks terrific! I have actually never tasted any of those melons. You are such a smart and caring mom! I love your idea for introducing the Santa Claus melon to your boys. :-) I'm all about corny ;-) and hey, why not? Whatever works, and it's not only little guys that the Santa reference works on … after our flight home was cancelled recently, my hubby teasingly told the airline agent that he was one of Santa's elves and she might be getting something good from Santa for Christmas, and next thing, you know we were rebooked–in first class! :-)

    xo,

    Shirley

    • Shirley, LOL! Santa Claus is for kids, young and old alike! :0)

      We are new to these melons too, Sam made a new themed day for us, "Funky Fruit Fridays!" Getting the kids involved really does encourage them to try new things, it's how I got stuck with Brussels sprouts. When Sam saw the stalk of sprouts and thought it looked like a tree, he was all over it. When we got home, we even pulled out a few Christmas tree decorations and decorated our stalk! It worked for Sam, not for the rest of us though, LOL!

  5. Awesome! You need some hemp hearts in there for your breakfast protein.

    I'm going to show my kids the pictures and see if I can talk them into it.

  6. Renee says:

    The ice cream sundae looks great! I thought it was some sort of sorbet in there, not fruit!

    I eat berries with nonfat Greek yogurt every morning. I need the extra protein of the Greek yogurt to keep me going for 3-4 hours. I add some honey and sometimes some walnuts or almonds too. But right now I have been enjoying trying all the Udi's granolas with my yogurt. yum!

    We WILL get you to like Brussel Sprouts!! :-)

  7. Kim says:

    Oooh….that sundae looks so good!!! I love fruit, so I can't wait to give these a try!!

  8. I love all the new ideas! I hadn't thought about bringing out our Elf on the Shelf ("Zippy"). Now I'm thinking about all kinds of things to help motivate the kids. Of course, I guess I shouldn't overdo it. :)

    I haven't seen the Coconut Milk yogurt, yet. I'll be looking for it. It looks great with your parfaits, and the banana splits! Great ideas.

  9. Tia says:

    Wow! All of those melons look great, and I don't like melon, at all. But I am really intrigued by the breakfast idea. I want something a little lighter for the summer. I already have an egg, so this will be a nice addition. I am also going to try to find the coconut yogurt. Mmmm.

    The ideas about Nicky are good for when Max gets a little older. I love that your boys are just a little bit older than mine so I can swipe your ideas. How do I link back to you in real life, though? Disclaimer on the shelf?

    PS – I booked us both for the MLA meeting. Don't forget to show. Or do we just tell the boys we're going, and then not go?

    • Tia,

      A Disclaimer on the Shelf will be perfect, as long as you move it nightly! :0)

      Oh, and I won't forget to attend the MLA meeting, I'm the President of my local chapter, LOL! hehe

  10. Angel says:

    Yum! Your photos look so colorful and delicious! What an interesting article about maraschino cherries. Now I remember why I stopped eating them—all that red food dye. I love eating fruit parfaits made with So Delicious coconut milk yogurt. And making "ice cream" out of yellow watermelon is brilliant! I can't wait to try that with my kids.

  11. Linda says:

    It all looks delicious, and you've convinced me to try some new melons!

Trackbacks

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