A natural, whole foods twist on a childhood classic, these light and decadent Orange Creamsicle Parfaits are ready in minutes. A perfect quick and easy summer dessert.
How are you guys handling this heat? I am not handling it well at all. I feel like I need to take three showers a day just to feel like a socially acceptable human being. Needless to say, my diet has mainly consisted of overnight oats, salads, ice cream, and no-bake desserts like these orange creamsicle parfaits.
If you saw my Instagram post last week, you know that I got very ill with a summer flu (I know, oxymoron, right?!). I shuffled between lying on the couch with the Dyson blasting and lying in a cold bathtub for five days. But I think the highlight was trying to bring down a high fever during the hottest day the UK has seen in a century.
When I finally started to feel better, I threw myself back into work at full-tilt. And then I promptly started to feel sick again. I was tired, dizzy, faint from low blood pressure, and nearly toppled off my chair taking pictures for these Orange Creamsicle Parfaits. My body was still reeling from the virus and trying to combat extreme temperatures it hadn’t experienced for this length of time. It didn’t matter how many glasses of water I drank (full disclosure: I was running to the toilet every thirty minutes, I kid you not) or how many microbreaks I took, my mind and body were unable to cope with the strain I was putting on myself and I completely shut down. At this point, I forced myself to put everything aside and took an entire week off of social media and NSK.
This was a difficult task for me and I’ve struggled with it. I’m an organized, workaholic perfectionist, which doesn’t allow me much space to make mistakes or give myself things like “grace periods.” I become very anxious when things don’t go according to my schedule and I have to shuffle tasks around. This past week I’ve felt guilty for not sharing a recipe with you; I’ve felt pressured to be active on social media; and I’ve felt stress from the amount of work I have to make up. But now I’m glad I took that time.
I don’t tell you this story to elicit sympathy or make excuses for my absence last week. I tell you this story because I hope you can learn from my mistakes. Our mental and physical health is the most important thing we need to worry about. It’s very difficult to care for or serve others when we ourselves feel run-down or unable to cope. Needing to unplug and heal isn’t something we should feel ashamed or guilty about – it’s something that we need to do and we need to tell our inner critics to STFU.
I’m working on listening to myself more closely, understanding what I need, and not feeling guilty about it. If that means I need to take a night off from social media and watch a Gilmore Girls rerun instead, then so be it. No one is going to notice if I take that night off for myself, and I’ll be able to create better content if I’m feeling more refreshed and excited about my work. The same goes for you. If you also feel guilty for taking time for yourself, learn to let go of that guilt. I know it’s easier said than done – trust me, I’m an expert at putting pressure on myself and feeling all the guilt! But just try and tell yourself that this moment is for you so that you can put your best self forward and serve up your A-game to others.
But anyway, I digress. Let’s chat Orange Creamsicle Parfaits!
I’m not normally a popsicle fan, but I’ve always enjoyed orange creamsicles. I think it’s the combination of ice cream (my preference) and the zippy citrus flavour that wins me over. I was a little devastated when I found out that I couldn’t get creamsicles in the UK. They would have been so welcome during this blistering hot summer!
Never fear though, I’ve cottoned on to a winner with these parfaits. They’re no-bake – an absolute MUST in this weather – and taste pretty much exactly as you’d expect an orange creamsicle in parfait form to taste. The fluffy cream is whipped and sweetened with agave nectar and pure vanilla to act as our ice cream substitute. It’s then layered with fresh, tangy orange segments and a quick stovetop almond granola to give the parfait a delicious crunch.
A perfect summer dessert (or breakfast, no judgment) in minutes – how can you go wrong?
Orange Creamsicle Parfaits
A natural, whole foods twist on a childhood classic, these light and decadent Orange Creamsicle Parfaits are ready in minutes.
Quick Stovetop Granola
- 40 g raw almonds chopped very finely
- 40 g rolled oats
- 1 small pinch fine sea salt
- 5 g butter melted
- 2 tsp unpasteurised honey
- ¼ tsp almond extract
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 150 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 serving glasses 250 ml
- 3 small easy peelers or mandarin oranges segmented
- 2 small mint leaves optional
Quick Stovetop Granola
- Tip the almonds, oats, and salt into a small saucepan and toast over medium-low heat, tossing frequently to avoid burning, until they begin to smell nutty and look browned.
Turn off the heat and add the butter, honey, and almond extract. Stir quickly to combine, making sure to cover the nuts and oats completely.
Dump the granola onto a baking sheet and spread it out. Allow the granola to cool completely before using in the parfaits.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- Using an electric or hand whisk, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in the agave nectar and vanilla extract.
- Place 2 ½ tablespoons of cooled granola in the bottom of each serving glass, spread evenly.
- Add ¼ of the whipped cream to each glass and level the tops.
- Arrange ½ the mandarin segments on top of the cream, reserving a couple nice ones for topping.
- Divide the remaining whipped cream between the two glasses. Sprinkle over a little extra granola and top with the reserved orange segments.
- Serve immediately.
These parfaits are best consumed the day they are made. You can make the granola up to 2 days in advance; it will keep at room temperature sealed in an airtight container.