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Tropical Chia Parfait

This Tropical Chia Parfait is a creamy coconut-based treat thickened with chia seeds and naturally sweetened with dates and fresh mango.

Mango Week: Tropical Chia Parfait

We’re gonna kick off Mango Week right by eating our dessert first. Because shouldn’t dessert always come first? This recipe has been a discovery of epic proportions. EH-PIC. Because I learned so much about two very special ingredients (although neither of them are the ingredient of the week…sorry mangoes).

We’ll start with the true star of the show, chia seeds. If you’ll remember back to Valentine’s Day, I made Heart Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries, the heart healthy part being the chia seeds sprinkles on top. Well as it turns out, chia seeds want so much more than to merely be someone’s sprinkle. They want to be the all-powerful, liquid-absorbing, shape-changing, consistency-thickening protagonist to your custard-like desserts!

How do they do it? Well the fibers in chia seeds allow them to absorb nine times their weight in water. They develop a gel-like bubble around the outer shell when exposed to water. So in the case of this recipe, the moisture from the coconut milk is being absorbed and turned into a gelatinous coating around the chia seed, thickening it into a parfait without the use of gelatin.

Mango Week: Tropical Chia Parfait

Bonus: Chia seeds are little health bombs. They have soluble fiber, which is a great prebiotic (meaning it encourages the microbiota in your gut to grow and flourish). The seedy part is also packed with insoluble fiber, which adds bulk without the calories. More food, more full, less calories. Throw in a lot of calcium, iron, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and you’ve got yourself a health bomb. Chia seeds, more than just the starter to a furry clay pet figurine.

Mango Week: Tropical Chia Parfait

And then we’ve got our second star, dates. These aren’t a health powerhouse like chia seeds, but they’re powerful in their ability to mimic the sweetness of sugar. As the parfait in this recipe sits in the refrigerator to set, the sweetness of the dates is also marinating into the surrounding mixture, making for a sweet dish without refined sugar.

Mango Week: Tropical Chia ParfaitMango Week: Tropical Chia ParfaitMango Week: Tropical Chia Parfait

I loved this recipe so much. Its gorgeous, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy enough that I can justify eating it for breakfast. I hope you’ll like it too!

Tropical Chia Parfait

A creamy coconut-based treat thickened with chia seeds and naturally sweetened with dates and fresh mango.

Course Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion Easter
Time 60 minutes or more
Prep Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 213 kcal
Author Live Eat Learn


  • 1 can light coconut milk 13.5 oz, 403 mL
  • 6 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 5 dates seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large mangoes peeled, seeded, and diced
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut


  1. Combine coconut milk, chia seeds, chopped dates, and vanilla. Stir well.
  2. Cover and place in fridge for 4 hours (or overnight), stirring occasionally.
  3. With a spoon, layer a small amount of the pudding into a small dessert dish, followed by a sprinkle of shredded coconut, then a spoonful of mangoes. Repeat this process until your dish is full!


Serve immediately or store covered in fridge until ready to eat
Feeling adventurous? Try this dish with another tropical fruit, like pineapple or papaya!
Swap the sweetened shredded coconut for unsweetened to make this recipe paleo (but you’ll want to bump up the number of dates)

Nutrition Facts
Tropical Chia Parfait
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Protein 3g 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Helpful products for this Tropical Chia Parfait


Hi, I’m Sarah! We’re working our way through the easy vegetarian kitchen, one ingredient at a time. Learn more and follow along!



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Comments (2)

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  1. Lori says:

    Made this but didn’t have dates so I used dried apricots. It was not quite sweet enough so I added a touch of Stevia sweetener. Yummy!

    1. Sarah says:

      Yea, apricots are a bit drier/less sweet than dates, but I bet the apricots added a nice fruity twist!