This delicious and nutritious parfait has a berry smoothie layer and a healthy “cheesecake” layer made with cottage cheese. Topped with berries, hemp seeds and flowers, this scrumptiously beautiful dish will become your favorite breakfast, snack or dessert to entertain with (or eat all by yourself)!
This is one of those dishes that made me so happy making it, photographing it, editing it, and eating it. It’s just so pretty, I was actually giddy while reviewing the photos. It made me extra happy that while I was devouring it, I knew that it was good for me and nourishing my body!
COTTAGE CHEESE “CHEESECAKE” LAYER
Although cheesecake is usually not my favorite dessert, I do enjoy it on occasion, and oddly gravitate towards other desserts that contain cream cheese – cheese danishes, cream cheese frosting, my famous banana pudding (I may disclose the recipe to you guys one day). I wish I could eat cream cheese to my heart’s desire, but I’ve been told it’s not the healthiest thing, so I had to find an alternative. Through lots of recipe testing, I’ve discovered cottage cheese to be a pretty good substitute for cream cheese, and I frequently use it in both sweet dishes (desserts and smoothies mostly) and savory dishes (like my cheesy cauliflower “risotto”).
So all that to say, when cottage cheese is blended until smooth, it becomes a much healthier cream cheese substitute. I added a bit of agave nectar for sweetness and some greek yogurt (cheesecakes sometimes have sour cream in them, so I thought greek yogurt would add a similar tang (and protein!)).
TRIPLE BERRY SMOOTHIE LAYER
I think I’ve mentioned before that a huge Costco bag of frozen berries is a staple that’s always in my freezer. The particular bag I buy has blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, which is the only reason my smoothie layer is a “triple berry” layer. If you only have one or two of the berries, just use what you have. Strawberries would also make a good addition. In the recipe I instruct you to use any sort of liquid to blend the frozen berries. Some options are milk, water, juice, coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk, etc. If you like a creamier smoothie, milk might suit your taste better. Juices will make it a little sweeter and more of a slushy-type smoothie. I actually used a combination of pineapple juice for the tartness and sweetness and milk for the creaminess. I found that to be the perfect combination for me. If you generally like things a little sweeter, feel free to add a little sweetener to the smoothie layer as well.
The natural sweetness of the berry smoothie is perfectly balanced by the creamy and rich “cheesecake” layer. When layered together and topped with berries, hemp seeds and some flowers, you get a gorgeous dish that’s so simple to make and super nutritious. I would eat this kind of thing for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert…it kind of fits the bill for all of them. Another great thing about this parfait is that you can make a batch of it, eat some right away, and store the rest in little mason jars or airtight tupperware and save it for later. If you can restrain from eating all of it at once, it’ll be good for a couple days (meal prep, anyone?). However, if you find yourself gobbling the whole thing up in one sitting, don’t feel too bad – remember it’s healthy?
I hope you enjoy this beauty of a dish and feel as wonderful about making it and eating it as I did. Hugs & kisses and all my best wishes!
- 1 cup cottage cheese* (see note)
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt* (see note)
- 1-2 tbsp agave nectar** (see note)
- 2 cups frozen berries
- 1/2 cup juice or milk
- Toppings (berries, hemp seeds, flowers)
- Make "cheesecake" layer. Blend cottage cheese, greek yogurt and agave nectar using blender or immersion blender. Add agave nectar to desired sweetness. Set aside.
- Make berry smoothie layer. In a blender, blend frozen berries and liquid of choice. I used a combination of pineapple juice and milk. Add a splash more if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Divide "cheesecake" layer between 3 to 4 containers depending on their size. Scoop berry smoothie layer over "cheesecake" layer, and top with additional toppings if desired.
- Eat immediately or refrigerate and enjoy for up to 2 days.
- *You can choose whatever fat content you'd like for the cottage cheese and greek yogurt.
- ** You can use alternative sweetener if desired. Options may include honey, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc.