Fourth of July “Star-Spangled” Parfait
My ideal July 4th probably looks different than yours, being that it’s a scene straight out of my favorite movie, The Sandlot.
The main characters, nine middle school-age boys who eat, sleep and breath baseball, run through their neighborhood block-party (swiping hot dogs off of picnic tables) as they head to the sandlot for a night game. It’s the one night of the year where the firework-speckled sky allows them each to feel “…like the big leaders under the lights of some great stadium.”
Now I don’t personally ever imagine myself as Babe Ruth running the bases of Yankee Stadium. To be honest, I come from a family of soccer maniacs and I’m not much for baseball.
But what does resonate with me, are the feelings of pure joy, hope and brother & sisterhood (which are all talked about in “American the Beautiful”) that I get when I watch those wide-eyed, scruffy kids gaze up in awe at the fireworks shooting off above. There’s something about watching them take a step back from their own, small lives to just BE in the moment and recognize something bigger than themselves that gets to me.
And then I shed a tear…or ball my eyes out…every single time, as they transition into the next scene.
Well, I’ve pretty much just convinced myself that I need to go watch that movie again (for the 3 bajillionth time).
But, before I do…and because I know that don’t just want to hear about how much I love watching The Sandlot…AND because I know you truly clicked on this post to get the lip-smacking parfait recipe I promised you, here’s a quick breakdown highlighting a few of the ingredients in this recipe and their #foodasmedicine style benefits.
Blueberries & Cherries
- Are rich in anthocyanins (which act as antioxidants), i.e. flavonoids that give deep purple-blue and red-orange fruits their rich color
- Protect from cardiovascular disease protection
- This study, conducted in part by the Harvard School of Public Health, which followed nearly 100.000 women who were followed for 18 years found that those consuming more than three servings of berries (specifically blueberries and strawberries) per week, which means a high anthocyanin intake on a regular basis, lowered their risk of a heart attack by 34% .
- Are anticarcinogenic
- Lab studies have indicated that anthocyanins, in addition to acting as antioxidants, also aid in enzyme detoxification, cancer cell destruction, cancer cell reproduction prevention and are anti-inflammatory among a variety other benefits.
- Improve cognitive function
- Anthocyanins have the ability to boost memory and slow age-related decline of brain function according to extensive research conducted on animals
Clearly, blueberries and cherries are pretty rad. But, let’s not leave out pomegranate seeds.
- Are a great source of Vitamin C
- 1 pomegranate = 40% of daily Vit C requirement)
- Are Antioxidant rich
- Pomegranate seeds contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols: tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid), protecting your tissues and organs from chronic inflammation and damage
- Reduce arthritis related joint pain and inflammation, according to the Israeli Medical Association Journal
- Are proving to be a budding natural treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (read more here!)
Now, go fourth and watch The Sandlot as you nosh on your anti-oxidant rich, anticarcinogenic, brain boosting, star-spangled birthday treat. Giving you yet another reason to multi-task…how truly American of me! Haha!
- 1 C Coconut Milk
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 C blueberries
- 2 bananas
- 4 Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 C cherries
- sliced almonds for star spangled topping (optional - you need 5 to make 1 star)
- The only thing you really need to prep is the chia seed pudding and that's really easy
- Mix the chia seeds and the coconut milk together. Put the mixture in the fridge and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The seeds will gelatinize magically turn the whole thing into a pudding of sorts.
- Once that's done, it's basically just layering.
- The trick to getting the layers right is in large part due to the glass. Use a a glass or jar like the one I've used that has the same size circumference throughout it's length. I tried to use a pretty wine glass for this, but because it bulges in the middle, it makes it hard to make clean looking layers or stripes since the fruit is rounded (maybe if you make jam out of the fruit it would work better...but that of course takes much more fruit and takes a lot longer, so...).
- Now, layer the blueberries, bananas, coconut milk and chia pudding, pomegranate seeds and cherries into your glass.
- Once you've layered, grab five almond slices and make a star to top off your parfait.
- And that's it! Easy, right? Even your kiddo's can do this one.