Guilt-free Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're in charge of bringing the pumpkin pie this year, consider this parfait recipe. It’s sweet, refreshing, and easy to make. And it’s lighter than traditional pumpkin pie as it doesn’t include eggs or butter.

I learned about this tasty alternative at a Blue Zones Project Hawaii cooking demonstration at ‘Ai Love Nalo in Waimanalo. There, former restaurant chef Maya Merrifield led the group through a plant-based Thanksgiving menu of cauliflower and potato mash, mushroom gravy, spiced cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and parfait for dessert.  

Merrifield admits she was addicted to pumpkin pie growing up. But as she learned more about nutrition and the benefits of a plant-based diet, she found a way to recreate the savory dessert with less of the guilt. 

This recipe uses silken (not regular) tofu, which I learned is common in vegan desserts. If you make this, let us know what you think!   

Pumpkin Pie Parfait
From the kitchen of Maya Merrifield
Serves 4-6 

Mousse
10 ounces silken tofu
15 ounces pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
¼ cup non-dairy milk such as almond or soy
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1-inch ginger, grated
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Whipped cream
14 ounces of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Garnish
Chopped pecans, cinnamon, and granola to taste 

Directions:

To make the mousse, drain silken tofu and pat dry with a paper towel. Combine all mousse ingredients in a blender. Set aside.

To make the whipped cream, remove the coconut milk from the fridge without shaking the can. Scoop out thickened cream at the top of the can and place in large mixing bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whip the coconut cream with hand mixer or fork until light and fluffy. Set aside.

To assemble, scoop pumpkin pie mousse into a small glass. Top with coconut whipped cream, then add granola. Repeat for another layer. Garnish with chopped pecans and ground cinnamon to taste. 

Photos by Justin Shizumura