Orange-Scented Dates And Yogurt Parfaits

Medically reviewed by Shahzadi Devje, Registered Dietitian (RD) & Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Healthy sweet recipes can be hard to come by – but these orange-scented dates and yogurt parfaits are both healthy and delicious. Made with just a few simple ingredients, it’s the perfect recipe for iftar or suhoor as a Ramadan dessert. With only six ingredients and ten minutes of prep, you can make your own in no time. Plus, these parfaits are rich in protein and dietary fibre, with only a dash of maple syrup and qualify as a heart healthy and diabetes friendly recipe.

two glasses filled with layers of yogurt and nuts and topped with orange pieces and orange rind curls. There is also a plant in the background.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, I take pride in sharing recipes that are both cultural and nutritious. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen coming up with creations that are not only nourishing but also flavorful and easy to make. My goal is to help you lead healthier lives by making good nutrition accessible and easy to incorporate into your daily lives.

As a result, I am adding to my collection of Ramadan recipes by including even more healthy sweets recipes and special Ramadan meals.

These yogurt parfaits, like my apricot and pistachio ladoos, are ideal for iftar or suhoor. And they’re also a fantastic way to commemorate any special event. To be honest, when the kids want quick healthy snacks that are also filling, these parfaits are my top pick!

You’ll be happy to learn that the recipe is versatile, so you can use any type of yogurt you like. I used protein-rich Greek yogurt, but you could also use regular yogurt, coconut yogurt or another vegan yogurt to suit your needs.

a glass of yogurt with layers of nuts topped with orange rind curls. Another glass with the same contents in seen in the background.

What is a yogurt parfait made of?

A yogurt parfait is made of layers of yogurt and fruit (fresh and dried), often with nuts. I also love adding homemade granola sprinkled on top. It’s the perfect textural contrast to the yogurt and a great way to add some crunch.

In this recipe, I’ve used chopped Medjool dates and pecans. The dates are sweet and sticky, the pecans add crunch and the orange-scented thick and creamy yogurt holds everything together like a dream.

Is a yogurt parfait a good snack?

Labelling food as “good” or “bad” could lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and one’s body. Food is not only fuel for our bodies but also a source of pleasure and enjoyment. There is also a cultural and social aspect to food that should not be ignored. Folks connect with their roots and traditions through food – which is also passed down from generation to generation as a way to keep cultural traditions alive.

That being said, I believe yogurt parfaits made with nutritious health-promoting ingredients can be a frequent snack option. They are nutrient-rich, provide sustained energy, and help you feel full for longer.

These yogurt parfaits are ideal for those of you looking for a heart healthy snack. Plus, if you have diabetes and are concerned about blood sugar levels after eating sweets and desserts – these may be worth a try!

Yogurt parfaits have many of the elements that make up a balanced snack, including carbohydrates, protein and fat. The yogurt provides protein, calcium and some vitamin D (if you choose yogurt that’s fortified with vitamin D), the nuts provide healthy fats and the fruit provides vitamins, minerals and fibre.

a glass filled with yogurt, topped with crushed nuts, orange rind curls and orange pieces.

Plain Greek yogurt nutrition and health benefits

Greek yogurt, like regular yogurt, is considered to be a nutrient-dense food that is a good source of dairy protein (29% DV). It’s also a modest source of

  • phosphorous (about 17% DV)
  • calcium (about 13% DV)
  • zinc (about 9% DV)
  • folate (about 6% DV)

The nutrition data is taken from the USDA to calculate % DV for a ⅔ cup (163 g) of whole Greek yogurt.

Nutrient and calories Amount
Calcium 163.0 mg
Choline 24.6 mg
Fat 5.0 g
Folate/Folic Acid 23.6 mcg
Magnesium 17.9 mg
Phosphorus 220.1 mg
Potassium 229.8 mg
Protein 14.7 g
Saturated fat 3.9 g
Sodium 57.1 mg
Total carbohydrate 6.5 g
Vitamin A 24.5 mcg
Zinc 1.0 mg
Calories 158 kcal

Yogurt also contains live bacteria (also known as probiotics) that could support gut health.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines and help keep us healthy. They are known to play a role in digestion, absorption of food and nutrients, protection against harmful bacteria, and some diseases. If you’re on the hunt for gut healing foods, I hope you’ll be inspired by my deep dive into this topic. Plus, try this fermented vegetables recipes

Studies have found that yogurt can help prevent Type 2 diabetes, while fruits can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Thus, if you’re looking for heart healthy snacks, a medley of yogurt and fruit in a parfait might offer some health benefits.

Nutrition information per serving

Below you will find the nutrition information for one parfait:

  • 13 g of protein (high-protein snack option)
  • 17 g net carbs (for those with diabetes who may be counting their carbs)
  • An excellent source of fibre
  • An good source of calcium
  • An excellent source of vitamin C
  • Reduced in saturated fat (10% DV)
  • Source of unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Interpretation of DVs from US FDA.

After looking at all of the scientific evidence and considering how well it meets stringent criteria, the American Heart Association recommends that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you need to make these parfaits:

ramekins of ingredients filled with dates, pecans, yogurt, brown liquids and orange zest.
  • Greek yogurt: I used 2% fat plain Greek yogurt, but you could use another variety of Greek yogurt or regular yogurt. If you’re using a sweetened yogurt, you may want to reduce the amount of dates used in the recipe.
  • Dates: Soft Medjool dates make these parfaits extra special. You could also use other dates like Deglet Noor or Barhi, or even dried apricots.
  • Pecans: Because I think their pairing with dates and orange is absolutely delicious! You could use any type of nut you like. Walnuts, almonds or cashews would all be great choices. Opt for plain and unsalted nuts.
  • Orange: I infused the yogurt with orange zest to give it a lovely flavour. You could also use lemon or lime. Fresh juice and zest of a cara orange brings a subtle orange flavour to these parfaits – which I adore!
  • Vanilla extract: For all its deliciousness, but also to control the amount of maple syrup in these parfaits.
  • Maple syrup: I used maple syrup as the sweetener in these yogurt parfaits, but you could use honey, agave nectar or any other sweetener.

Instructions – step by step

This yogurt parfait recipe is quick and easy to make. The most time-consuming part is chopping the dates and nuts, but if you have a food processor that can save you some time.

  1. Squeeze the juice from an orange after removing its zest (Step 1).
  2. Then, roughly chop dates and pecans and set aside (Step 2).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice and zest with yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract (Step 3).
  4. Make parfaits by stacking the ingredients. Begin with dates and nuts as the first two layers in a clean glass. Then add some yogurt and repeat the process one more time. Make three more parfaits by repeating the steps. You should end up with 4 parfaits (Step 4).
  5. Garnish each parfait with orange shavings and zest (optional) for added flair and serve immediately.

Tips and substitutions

  • You may prep the parfait ingredients ahead of time, but I recommend waiting to assemble them until just before serving. Although it tastes just as special (completely assembled in the fridge) the next day.
  • I like to use a combination of Medjool dates and pecans for these yogurt parfaits, but you could use any type of nut or dried fruit.
  • If you don’t have fresh oranges on hand, you could substitute with another citrus fruit like lemon or lime.
  • For a more decadent treat, you could drizzle the parfaits with dark chocolate or top with whipped cream.
  • If you’re using a sweetened yogurt, you may want to reduce the amount of maple syrup used in the recipe.
  • The yogurt mixture can also be used as a fruit dip. It’s delicious with fresh berries!
a glass filled with layers of yogurt and nuts with green leaves in the background.

Storage

I wouldn’t suggest keeping them in the refrigerator for too long because the recipe’s integrity would be lost. The yogurt becomes thick and clumpy, and the nuts too soft. However, I would recommend storing the parfait ingredients separately in airtight containers, until you’re ready for assembly.

What’s your favourite fruit and nut combination?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,

Hungry for more?

Orange-Scented Dates and Yogurt Parfaits


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Healthy sweet recipes can be hard to come by – but these orange-scented dates and yogurt parfaits are both healthy and delicious. Made with just a few simple ingredients, it’s the perfect recipe for iftar or suhoor as a Ramadan dessert. With only six ingredients and ten minutes of prep, you can make your own in no time. Plus, these parfaits are rich in protein and dietary fibre, with only a dash of maple syrup and qualify as a heart healthy and diabetes friendly recipe.

Prep Time10 mins

Total Time10 mins

Cuisine Fusion

Servings: 4 parfaits

two glasses filled with layers of yogurt and nuts and topped with orange pieces and orange rind curls. There is also a plant in the background.

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, grate the zest of half an orange and extract the juice from the entire fruit.

  • Add yogurt, orange juice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.

  • Gather 4 clean glasses to assemble the parfaits. In each glass, begin with chopped dates and chopped nuts as the first two layers. Add a little yogurt and repeat the process one more time to produce 2 sets of layers. You want to distribute the ingredients equally among four glasses.

  • Garnish each parfait with orange pieces, curls or zest for added flair. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • You may prep the parfait ingredients ahead of time, but I recommend waiting to assemble them until just before serving. Otherwise, they’ll get soggy.
  • I like to use a combination of Medjool dates and pecans for these yogurt parfaits, but you could use any type of nut or dried fruit.
  • If you don’t have fresh oranges on hand, you could substitute with another citrus fruit like lemon or lime.
  • For a more decadent treat, you could drizzle the parfaits with dark chocolate or top with whipped cream.
  • If you’re using a sweetened yogurt, you may want to reduce the amount of maple syrup used in the recipe.
  • The yogurt mixture can also be used as a fruit dip. It’s delicious with fresh berries!

Nutrition Facts

Orange-Scented Dates and Yogurt Parfaits

Amount Per Serving

Calories 302
Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 2g10%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 5g

Monounsaturated Fat 10g

Cholesterol 5mg2%

Sodium 37mg2%

Potassium 386mg11%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 4g16%

Sugar 18g20%

Protein 13g26%

Vitamin A 92IU2%

Vitamin C 18mg22%

Calcium 155mg16%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life – your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It’s okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.



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Shahzadi Devje