Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

I am a big fan of holidays, especially the ones where themed foods are encouraged. I can always get down with a reason to create a celebratory treat! Here’s the thing though, holiday or not, I cannot turn off on my strong feelings around seeking healthy options, first.

I am definitely all about indulging every now and again, but I am a firm believer in our healthy choices fueling ongoing healthy habits and a ever present healthy lifestyle, all the rest of the days throughout the year when it isn’t a holiday. This means when it’s time to have fun and let loose, I still inherently find myself seeking an option that won’t make me feel terrible after I eat it or undo all the good I do the rest of the time. For me, it’s all about picking my battles and when possible selecting the right foods, the ones that have the power to heal and nourish my body, while still being fun and kitchy. When there is an option for something delicious, but still good for me, that will always be my first choice. #sorrynotsorry

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

I’ll just say it, I am slightly creeped out by artificially colored foods. There is something so unnatural about all these patriotic-themed treats I see floating around, loaded with chemicals and dyes, it just doesn’t feel very festive to me.

Mother Nature provides us with so many beautiful, vibrant hues, why not take advantage and celebrate with those instead. The bonus: richly colored plant foods are loaded with phytochemicals. These substances occur naturally only in plants and may provide health benefits beyond those that essential nutrients provide. Consider these phytochemicals, bright little disease fighters! Not only can we not say that about artificial dyes, but I would be we could say the opposite, in fact.

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

According to information from the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), phytochemicals may act as antioxidants, protect and regenerate essential nutrients, and/or work to deactivate cancer-causing substances. And while research has not yet determined exactly how these substances work together or which combination offers specific benefits, including a rainbow of colored foods in a diet plan ensures a variety of those nutrients and phytochemicals.[1]

Some have antioxidant properties and neutralize naturally occurring free radicals and protect cells from damage. Some plant compounds are anti-inflammatory and help normalize immune function. Still others induce cell cleanup, whereas others keep blood cells from clumping. Many of these processes result in reduction of blood pressure, preservation of vision, lowering of cholesterol, and protection from heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. [2]

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

OK so now that we are sold on a diet rich in vibrant plant-based hues, let’s get to the recipe. These gorgeous, subtly sweet, super healthy parfaits are loaded with some of my favorite things right now. The bottom red layer being a delicious gut-healing berry gelatin (AKA jello), one of my go-to options while I heal my gut! The white layer a tasty, omega-3 rich, energizing creamy coconut chia seed pudding. Top it off with some fresh blueberries and this antioxidant powerhouse of a dessert will have you celebrating your freedom, and your health, in no time!

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

Red White and Blue Berry Chia Parfaits

[1] Schaeffer, “Color Me Healthy — Eating for a Rainbow of Benefits”, Today’s Dietitian Vol. 10 No. 11 P. 34

[2] Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., “Celebrate July 4th with Red, White and Blue food”, Mayo Clinic

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 June @ How to Philosophize with Cake July 1, 2015 at 7:30 am

Looks like the perfect way to celebrate the fourth of July! These look delicious, love all the fresh fruit 🙂

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2 aida mollenkamp July 1, 2015 at 7:43 am

I don’t usually love red white and blue desserts but you totally just reinstated my faith that they can be creative and gorgeous! Happy 4th!

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3 aimee @ small eats July 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

So much YES in this post and this recipe! All hail nature’s beautiful and healthy colors!!
oxoxox

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