Key lime pie parfaits - A super simple, no-bake dessert parfait featuring a lime-avocado mousse, combined with a naturally sweetened almond flour-date crumble that makes for a deliciously zingy deconstructed Key Lime Pie Parfait.
Even as a dietitian, I enjoy desserts too. I love having a little something sweet after dinner. And you know what? That’s okay! Life is meant to be enjoyed and that includes a healthy dose of dessert.
So I set out to create a delicious and fresh, green-inspired dessert. As part of our #GoingGreenMarch campaign, we’re creating recipes that are green in color and focus on reducing food waste.
I knew I wanted to create a dessert that used the whole lime - juice and zest included. The lime is what gives this dessert a vibrant green color. And of course we wouldn’t waste the most flavorful part of the lime - the zest!
I decided to go with a deconstructed Key Lime Pie Parfait. Made with an avocado mousse, it’s flavored with lime and sweetened with maple syrup. And instead of a traditional crust, I went with a crumble adapted from my black bean chocolate mousse tart crust, but this one is made with almond flour and dates.
This vegan parfait is fresh, creamy and the crumbles add a soft crunchy texture. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe that comes together in about 15 minutes. Super fast and great for your next sweet treat.
We’re essentially making a healthier crisp-like (like for apple crisp) crumble, but instead of using butter, sugar and flour we’re using almond flour and dates. Bonus: there’s no cooking involved.
Almond flour - Gluten-free and higher in protein than regular flour. I like to use almond flour here because it gives you that added crumble and doesn’t need to be cooked.
Dates - Sweetener for the crumbles and they help the crumble mixture stick together so you get large-ish pieces of crust deliciousness. I like to use Medjool dates, but any variety will work. If you’re using a smaller variety of dates, you may need to add a couple more to get a crumble with that sweet texture.
🥑 The avocado mousse filing
Light and fluffy mousse with an intense (but balanced) lime flavor.
Avocado - you won’t even taste the avocado, don’t worry. It’s what gives this parfait its body and creaminess. Make sure to use ripe avocado or it won’t blend well. It should give to gentle pressure, but you don’t want it to be mushy either.
If your avocado is hard, leave it out on the counter near bananas or apples and it should ripen faster. Or put it in a beer koozie?? I’ve heard about this trick but never tried it for myself.
Coconut cream - When you open your can of coconut milk (don’t shake it or turn it upside down), do you see the solid stuff sitting on top? That’s the coconut cream. Coconut milk separates - the solid cream sits on top and the liquid is below.
Look for full-fat coconut milk, ideally made with just coconut and water. Some recommend storing the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight to make sure you get the solid cream, but I’ve found the cream stays pretty solid even in my pantry.
For this key lime mousse, just scoop the coconut cream into the food processor. Use the coconut milk liquid in place of milk for oatmeal, in a smoothie or when making rice to give it a light coconutty flavor.
Lime juice and zest - the main flavor of this healthy vegan dessert. You just have to use the real stuff, there’s no way around it. You can use key limes or regular limes. I find the flavor to be very similar (despite what key lime aficionados say) and you don’t have to zest and squeeze as many regular limes compared to key limes since they’re bigger.
The juice gives this vegan parfait its tart and zingy flavor, while the zest is where the strong lime flavor comes from. You’ll need both.
Maple syrup - a more natural sweetener (though still considered an added sugar), you need just enough to give it a hint of sweetness that isn’t overpowering. Get the real stuff - look at the ingredients label and make sure it’s 100% maple syrup. Don’t waste your time with fake maple syrup.
🔪 How to make Key Lime Pie Parfaits
1 - Prepare the almond-date crumble. Combine almond flour, dates and salt in a food processor. Blend until it forms a sticky mixture. Transfer to a bowl or storage container if you’re prepping ahead.
2 - Prepare the avocado-lime mousse. Add the avocado to a food processor and pulse until it starts to form a puree. Then add the coconut cream, lime juice, zest and maple syrup. Blend until it’s smooth and you don’t see any avocado chunks.
3 - Serve. In a small glass or jar, layer the avocado-lime mousse and almond-date crumble. I usually start with about 1/4 cup mousse and then alternate with crumble, but feel free to start with a layer of crumble. Top with lime zest and chopped pistachios. Enjoy!
💭 Tips, Tricks and Tools
As with most (maybe all?) of our dessert recipes, this key lime parfait isn’t super sweet. Taste the filling and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking. By creating desserts with real quality foods, you don’t need to mask cheap ingredients with lots of sweetness.
Make sure you use a ripe avocado, even a food processor can’t properly blend up a rock hard avocado. Make sure your avocado gives to gentle pressure, but isn’t mushy either.
This key lime pie parfait is quite nutrient-dense given that it’s made with limes and avocado. Limes are a good source of vitamin C, which aids in healthy skin, helps with iron absorption and strengthens the immune system.
Avocados, though high in fat, contain a healthy type of fat known as monounsaturated fat, which has been linked with lower inflammation and a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Avocados are also high in fiber, folate and several B vitamins.
This vegan parfait is quite nutrient-dense and mostly naturally sweetened, but it should still be treated as a special occasion food and (as with really everything) should be consumed in moderation.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
🍯 More seasonal dessert recipes:
Loved these Vegan Parfaits?
Comment below! And rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Not making it today? Save this key lime mousse recipe for later by pinning it to your Dessert Recipes Board and make sure to tag us on Instagram @crooked.carrot to show us your key lime parfait creations!
This recipe is part of our Green Recipe collection – green in color and a great way to reduce food waste.
Key Lime Pie Parfait
- 1 cup almond flour
- 8 dates (I used Medjool dates) pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Avocado mousse filling
- 1 avocado halved, pit removed
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk - use just the solid cream on top Save the liquid and use it in oatmeal, smoothies, or to cook rice
- 3 limes, juice (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 limes, zest (about 2 tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Garnish with whipped coconut cream, lime zest and chopped pistachios
- Prepare the crust: combine almond flour, dates and salt in a food processor. Blend until it forms a crumbly, but sticky mixture. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- Prepare filling: Add avocado to a food processor and pulse until it starts to form a puree. Add coconut cream, lime juice, zest and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
- Serve: In a small glass or jar, layer the lime-avocado mousse and crumble. Top with more crumble and garnish with whipped cream or coconut cream, lime zest and chopped pistachios.
ONE MORE THING!
This recipe is part of our collection of green recipes. Check it out!