It's not summer until you're shoveling berries into your mouth at every opportunity. It's just not.
For a few glorious, balmy months each year, chocolate and decadence take a back seat and berries give dessert a healthy makeover. My ideal summer dessert is light. It doesn't make me want to take a nap, it doesn't force me to work it off later, and it doesn't require a lot of time for prep or cleanup.
My ideal summer dessert looks a lot like this.
Berries are everywhere right now. They're in party platters, they're on display at the farmer's market, and they're in pies. They're for breakfast, they're for snacks, and most definitely, they're for parfaits.
Traditionally – I think – a parfait is supposed to include yogurt. Or at least that's what Wikipedia says. But see, I'm not a huge fan of the stuff. And I am a huge fan of coconut whipped cream. I think you can see where this is going...
These parfaits don't need yogurt because they're got plenty of other things going for them.
If you play your cards right, you can achieve crunchy, tart, juicy, and creamy all in one spoonful of this dessert. You know the way sparklers light up the smoky night after all of the fireworks have been fired off? That's the way this parfait makes your mouth feel. It's a Fourth of July party in dessert form.
As pretty as this parfait looks when it's sitting on the table – waiting to be picked up and devoured – it looks and tastes even better with every bite.
When your spoon digs into the first layer, everything starts mixing together. Red, white, blue, gold. Summer.
When it comes to this dessert, quality counts. For juicy bites, select the reddest, lushest strawberries. Only the plumpest blueberries will do. Crunchy, honey-flavored granola works best. And fresh whipped cream is a must – while I prefer coconut whipped cream, you could certainly substitute fresh dairy whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
I didn't have a slew of trifle cups laying around, so I chose these low-profile cocktail glasses. In my opinion, it works. It gives the desserts an "Oh, this old glass? I'm only served in this when I don't care how I look" quality.
Layer it however you like. Serve it however you like. Eat it however you like. Just make sure you enjoy it with a healthy appreciation for summer and all it has to offer.