I was recently asked in an interview what was my favourite food. BANANAS of course! I always feel great after eating one and I often put them in my breakfasts as a natural sweetener :). And I love love love having smoothies with frozen bananas, almond milk, raw cacao powder and cinnamon. If I’m having a bad day, a banana smoothie is almost always guaranteed to cheer me up. If I’m short on time and need food ASAP, banana smoothies are my go-to.
It was only when I went vegan when I discovered the American classic – banoffee pie. It traditionally has a short crust pastry, slices of banana, caramel, cream and lashings of chocolate. But you know, sometimes it’s nice to enjoy these delicious things in your everyday meals like breakfast, without having all of those non-nutritious ingredients associated with dessert.
That’s where this banoffee chia pudding comes in! I wanted to create a healthy parfait that is reminiscent of banoffee pie but wholesome and wouldn’t create a sugar high! The crunchy granola is a pseudo pastry base and the chia seeds provide a satiating and healthy form of protein that slows down releases of any sugar. It is all naturally sweetened with banana and date caramel. I topped the parfait with coconut yoghurt to make it more breakfast-like. Oh and the chocolate drizzle… why not? It’s just a touch of decadence.
So, on the topic of bananas, I watched a documentary last night on ABC iview War on Waste. The first episode talked about the ridiculously high cosmetic standards that major supermarkets have with their produce such as bananas and how much food is wasted at farms to meet these standards. Up to 40% of bananas was disposed at one particular banana plantation in Northern Queensland! This made me so upset and angry! When I saw the pile of banana scraps, I thought ‘do you know how many vegans would LOVE to have those bananas’ and ‘do you know how many disadvantaged families would benefit from them’. Oh so many guilty thoughts ran through my head.
I do almost everything I can to minimise waste from my personal life and business. I recycle everything that fits in our council’s recycling program, I collect my plastics and recycle them at my local supermarket’s recycling program and I own a compost which I use for all my food scraps. We never use plastic bags and would prefer to awkwardly hold 20 bananas by hand. However, I did a quiz on WWF on my ecological footprint and despite all of my efforts, it will still take around 2 Earths to sustain my lifestyle! That’s insane!
Rather than feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt about my amount of waste, in the next few months, I’m going to try to be more active with a few things:
- Shop more at my local bulk foods store Naked Foods. I just need to remember to bring in my old jars! I got the ingredients for this banoffee chia parfait from Naked Foods.
- Be more conscious about what food I have in my fridge and try to cook meals that use my leftovers!
- Be more organised with grocery shopping so I don’t have to make multiple trips when I forget something!
- Raise awareness about the environmental benefits of going vegan!
What would you like to change in your personal life to minimise waste?
This recipe was sponsored by Naked Foods. However, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow Rainbow Nourishments to be sustainable.
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- ¼ cup raw buckwheat
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ⅛ cup pecans, walnuts or almonds
- 1 medjool date
- 3 medjool dates
- 2 tbsp plant-based milk
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 banana
- ½ cup coconut yoghurt
- ⅛ cup chocolate or cacao nibs (optional)
- At least 2 hours beforehand, add all of the chia pudding ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a fork until combined. Set aside.
- To make the granola, add all ingredients to a food processor and whizz until combined. Add to a small frypan and toast over low heat until golden brown.
- To make the caramel, add all ingredients to a food processor and whizz until smooth.
- Assemble the parfait in two glasses or jars by adding the granola, chia pudding, banana as desired, then caramel. Top with coconut yoghurt, drizzled chocolate or cacao nibs.