Dairy-Free Tropical Fruit Granola Parfaits


Enjoy this harmoniously sweet combination of creamy, crunchy and fruity as an “anytime” treat, thanks to the whole-some ingredient list, quick preparations and make-ahead possibilities. Photo: Chris Gonzaga

Makes: 3 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


Chai Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups light canned coconut milk
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup chia seeds, preferably white (for color)
  • 3 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (or more vanilla extract)
  • 4 drops pure liquid stevia (optional to heighten flavor)

5-Minute Stovetop Granola

  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla or coconut extract (can omit if using freeze-dried pineapple)
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp freeze-dried pineapple, powdered in spice grinder (optional)

Tropical Fruit

  • 1 cup small (1/2-inch) pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup small (1/2-inch) mango chunks
  • 1 cup small (1/2-inch) papaya chunks

Recipe Tips

Instant Chia Pudding Option: Puree the chia pudding ingredients and place in the refrigerator while making the granola and cutting the fruit. Ground chia will thicken it enough in just 10-15 minutes.

Coconut-Free Option: Substitute your favorite safe milk beverage for the light coconut milk and use all vanilla extract in the chia pudding. For the granola, omit coconut and increase oats to 1 cup. Use vanilla extract or freeze-dried pineapple instead of coconut extract, and use your favorite neutral-tasting cooking oil in place of coconut oil.


  1. To make the chia pudding, place the coconut milk, place the coconut milk, chia seeds (use 1/3 cup for thickest results), honey or agave, extracts and stevia (if using) in a medium bowl. Stir 1 minute, or until well combined and beginning to thicken. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight (will keep for 2-3 days).
  2. To make the granola, warm honey or agave, oil, extract (if using) and salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Add oats and coconut and cook while stirring frequently 3-4 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  3. Remove from heat and thoroughly stir in powdered pineapple (if using). Spread granola on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Let cool 10 minutes, to crisp up.
  4. To build the parfaits, place fruit chunks in a medium bowl and gently stir to combine. Divide half of the chia pudding between 3 parfait glasses or small bowls with high sides. Use half of the mixed fruit to create a second layer. Sprinkle with half of the granola. Repeat layers to use up the pudding, fruit and granola. Serve with long spoons.

is a contributing editor to Allergic Living magazine and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of http://www.godairyfree.com