Vegan Cream and Blood Orange Parfaits

Blood Orange Parfaits (39)

An open mind transforms our restrictions into celebrations.

Do some of your allergies or sensitivities feel like a death sentence? A horrible, twisted joke? Or a major restriction on how you live your life?

Gosh, I know that feeling. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We can give up the allergy fight and liberate our choices by just looking at things a little differently.

Are you ready?

Allergies = opportunities.

The opportunity to be creative. The opportunity to liberate your emotions around food. The opportunity to open yourself up to limitless abundance.

And today, we transform our restrictions into celebrations by switching out dairy… for beans.

Remember, an open mind transforms our restrictions into celebrations.


I am committed to helping you celebrate your allergies by creating ways that you can enjoy the foods around you.

One of my new favorite Done with Dairy Toolkit tricks, is replacing the cream and starch of your favorite pudding recipe with cooked navy beans.

An open mind transforms our restrictions into celebrations.

Blood Orange Parfaits (27)

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This bean pudding recipe that I’m sharing with you today was featured on Cara’s Cravings last week!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vegan Cream and Blood Orange Parfaits
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Serves: 2
A dairy-free, low-fat dessert made with a fruit-sweetened blood orange sauce, layered with a dairy-free lemon cream.
Blood Orange Sauce:
  • 160 grams of peeled blood oranges (2 medium)
  • 50 grams chopped apple, skin removed (1/2 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • Zest from ½ blood orange
Dairy-free Lemon Cream:
  • ¾ cup cooked white “navy” beans (1/4 cup dry)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or coconut nectar (to keep vegan)
  • 1-3 teaspoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • 2 small pieces of fresh mint, optional
  1. Completely remove the rind from the blood oranges with a sharp knife. As the picture above displays, you’ll be left with a skinless orange. Then, break into it’s natural segments and remove the flesh from the skin. Once you’ve removed the flesh from the skin, place in a small saucepan and continue with remaining segments. Once complete, add remaining sauce ingredients to the saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until apple pieces are soft.
  2. Remove from heat, mash with a fork or potato masher, remove cinnamon sticks and cloves and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, add dairy-free lemon cream ingredients to the bowl of your food processor or blender. Begin with 1 teaspoon of dairy-free milk. Blend until smooth. If the cream needs a bit of thinning out, add extra milk. The amount if milk needed will vary depending on the type of beans used – home cooked, or canned. Even canned varieties differ in consistency so it's better to start off with 1 teaspoon and work your way up. For my homemade batch of cooked beans, I used 3 teaspoons of non-dairy milk.
  4. Once the sauce is cooled, grab two small cups; I used a tea light candle holder for one of my parfaits, and add a layer of cream to the bottom of the cup. Follow with the sauce, then top it off with cream. Smooth out the layers as you go.
  5. Serve immediately, topping it off with a sprig of mint, or allow to chill for a couple of hours before serving.
Feel free to use 160 grams of any fruit of your choice. Regular oranges, extra apples, or berries work nicely.
Navy beans are recommended because they're very silky in texture.
Honey can be replaced with whatever liquid or granulated sugar you have on hand.
Coconut oil can be replaced with the same amount of grape seed oil, almond oil or macadamia nut oil. It helps the cream maintain its richness.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)


The most challenging part to creating this recipe is removing the blood orange flesh from the segments of skin.

If this sounds totally crazy to you, feel free to swap it out with another fruit.


Please support Healthful Pursuit by sharing this recipe with a friend! Your support, shares, likes, and comments really help me to keep my business moving forward. So that I can give back to you in the form of health tips, radical thought provoking blog posts, allergy celebrating recipes and virtual hugs ;)

Now I want to hear about your experiences…

Has there been a time where you felt defeated by your allergies, sensitivities or eating style?

What did you do to get yourself out of the rut?

Leave a comment below telling me about it. Remember, the more detailed your responses, the higher the likelihood that someone in our community will benefit from them!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. This looks delicious! Ha ha….you know the question is coming. How much of a puree do the navy beans make? I cannot have them, so I am thinking pureed cauliflower wold be a good substitute, but I do not know how much. Or maybe pureed summer squash (score for the yellow color…lol) Any thoughts?

    Also, do you have directions on how to make coconut milk from dried shredded coconut? Or maybe coconut butter? I am having a hard time with the cream not fully blending. It looks like froth on top, even when using VitaMix.


    • Hi Chris – probably best to use my lemon pudding recipe from last week! I’ve had a heck of a time making homemade coconut butter. It doesn’t breakdown fully without adding a TON of extra oil. As for the milk… I hadn’t ever thought to make my own! Will definitely investigate :)

      • I had success eith coconut milk from dried shredded coconut. I did not want a very thick coconut milk, more like the kind from So Delicious. I soaked about 21 grams of coconut in 1 cup water all day. Blended this first. Then added 2 more cups of water and cranked up my Vita Mix. I also added in a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of gelatin. I’m sure you could perfect this, but I was pleased that there was no separation or need for straining through a nut milk bag. And the milk was completely smooth!

        • …. interesting. Thanks for reporting back, Chris. I’ll have to give it a try this weekend. Thank you!

    • I’m super excited to learn of this bean trick for a dairy replacement! I can’t wait to try it! Chris, below is a link to making coconut milk.

      I’ve made my own almond and nut milks before but haven’t tried coconut milk yet; however, this looks like a pretty simple method. A trick I like to use instead of a fine mesh strainer is paint bags from home depot or any hardware store. These are much cheaper than many nut milk bags I’ve come across ($3 for 2 bags vs $15-30 for fancy nut milk bags). You just blend soaked nuts (or coconut) in a blender with some water and then pour the mixture into a bowl through a paint bag and squeeze! You get wonderful nut milk in the bowl and nut meal in the bag which is great for baking. Put the meal back in the blender and add water to stretch the milk if you want. I like to dehydrate the nut meal so that it’s a dry meal and store it in the freezer. Just rinse out the paint bag when you’re done, hang it to dry and reuse next time you’re ready to make nut milk!

    • Chris,

      I make homemade coconut butter ALL the time (like, once every 1-2 weeks) in my food processor with no problem. It’s just like making any nut butter. I simply toss in a package of shredded coconut (Let’s Do Organic is my preferred brand for both taste and texture), and let the motor run til it’s smooth. Then, I let it run another 5 or so minutes BEYOND that point to get a super silky texture.

      Oh, and one thing to note: toasted coconut (still warm from the oven) turns into butter in my FP in a FRACTION of the time (that untoasted coconut takes). And toasting it adds a new dimension to the butter, adding a wonderful nuttiness that really elevates the butter.

      PS. I own a Vitamix,though I’ve never tried making any kind of “butter” in it. The only reason I can think of as to why you have “froth” in your coconut butter made in the VM is maybe it’s just WHIPPING your butter, pumping in too much air. When I make thin green smoothies in my VM, they get REALLY frothy. Let us know if you have a food processor and how it turns out if you try making butter that way. I really want it to work out for you!

      • Wow… I need to make toasted coconut butter. Genius!

  2. Beans are not my favorite. Actually, beans are something I try to avoid at all cost. The exact reason for this remains unknown, but I should probably explore this mystery one day. One day, but not today.

    Leanne tricked me into trying this treat, without my knowledge of the hidden beans, and oh oh was it good. I am not sure how Leanne does it, but she makes the impossible possible.

    Would we be exposed to these amazing tastes, if it wasn’t for our food allergies and sensitivities driving us to look for alternatives?

    • Tricked is such a strong word ;) hehe but I was pretty happy when you said you LOVED it!

  3. Creative you are indeed! I would never think to use beans in pudding, but like the cauliflower-lemon pudding, you’ve got my attention! I wonder the same thing as Chris (comment above).. do you think cauliflower would work in this case too? Luckily I’m not restricted by any severe allergies, but I definitely know what foods make me feel better than others. Lately I’ve been limiting dairy and my skin seems to be liking this choice!

    • Oh for sure, Ange. You could just use the cauliflower pudding recipe and then just add a fruit layer to it. No worries on that. So awesome that the lack of dairy is making your skin better! I’ve since stopped with the vinegars and it’s making my skin EVEN better. Something you could look at, too. I know, it sounds horrible :S

  4. Okay, so I remembered when you posted the chocolate pudding recipe using navy beans a little while back and I tried (rather inadvisedly) to wing it from a time-dulled memory. What I liked about it was the smoothness – I added a little flax to it so it set up nice and had a pretty look to it. Where mine failed (big time) was on flavor… After looking back at your recipe, it’s easy to see where I goofed – strong accompanying flavors are definitely the key to these desserts. I had skimped for a silly reason: my NutriBullet blender cup was too full of beans to fit much of anything else in it! Complete duh moment.

    It will definitely be worth a second (and third and fourth) try to get the flavoring right because the concept is pure genius! Now, what fruits do I have on hand this week…

    • haha yes… STRONG flavors to offset the beans is a must. I’ve done that before, too – the blender is too full to fit anything else, I’m sure I could just not include this ingredient… bad news bears. I’m happy that you’re open to trying it again!

  5. Way to tempt me to try this with the sneaky addition of one of my loves, blood oranges. I’ll have to take some time this weekend to give this recipe a shot (and then rate it!)

    As for allergies, I lack any food ones, though I do have dietary restrictions that keep me mostly pain-free. Biggest time I felt hindered was this past summer. I was only allowing about 12 g of refined/not-from-fruits-or-veggies sugar into my diet as it was the only thing keeping my pain down. During that time, I was in two weddings in 5 days followed by a camping trip 3 weeks later.

    Imagine being in the wedding parties for two weddings in 5 days and trying to explain to a stressed bride that you CAN’T eat cake or cupcakes. Yeah, didn’t go well. First wedding my boyfriend just forwent taking a piece of cake so I could eat a bite to put on appearances; he then took my piece so no one would be the wiser. Second wedding…yeah, pretty much EVERY family member of mine made me eat the cupcake as there was NO other food at the reception. I paid for it later that day.

    The camping trip worked out better, though. Though my seasonal allergies were a trip per usual, my friends really rallied around me to come up with treats and meals I could safely eat and ways I could alter meals to fit my needs. They brought extra garlic and onion to season kabobs without barbeque sauce, created a camp soup with tomato soup that they verified was low in sugar, humored me when I brought along Leanne’s no-bake granola cakes (that the group LOVED), and overall were just amazing.

    Guess the lesson here is to know your support network and not to be afraid to lean on them…and also to know you’ll occasionally encounter people who just aren’t going to get it.

    • Well said! Thanks for sharing your story. Two very different groups of people and very cool that your friends helped you along the way. A good friend is the best gift you can have in life, I’m sure of it. And that camping trip sounded amazing!!

    • Dude, the bride should totally have gotten over that…ruining other people’s health is so not the point of a wedding.

  6. Looks like a recipe to add to my other bean recipes. I make cookies with adzuki beans (adzuki beans are great for the liver btw) and I’ve taken to making smoothies with beans, pumpkin puree, rice & egg white protein and an apple and it is yummy. To sweeten, I add a bit of vegetable glycerin. Always good to think outside of the box. My husband loves what he terms a ‘wet’ dessert and so I’m sure he’ll love this one. Thanks.

    • A ‘wet’ dessert. Too funny. I love the idea of trying to make cookies out of adzuki beans. I’ll have to give that a try. Also, I have egg white protein powder every morning but never though to add it to my puddings! Love the idea, Dianne :)

  7. What a creative recipe. My daughter-in-law has to eat dairy free. This is perfect for her, and it looks so creamy. Who would guess it’s made with beans!

  8. Hi Leanne!

    First off, congrats on your blog!

    Question about the beans… are there any other beans that would work? Great northern beans by chance? I had a bad experience with great northern beans when trying to make it into a hummus (left a very bad taste in my mouth and cannot eat them to this date!). Now, I am left with about 8 dry cups of great northern beans and not a solution to try and incorporate them into dishes where I can consume them! Can they work here or in other sweet dishes? Possibly smoothies?



    • Rebecca,

      IMHO, Northerns would work even better in this recipe. Though I haven’t yet made this delectable dish, I’ve been eating beans my whole life, and I find Great Northerns to be the creamiest, most versatile, and most ideal for when a smooth, creamy texture is desired.

      Though, I’m not sure you’d want to put them in this dish if you’ve been so traumatized by them that you still cannot, to this day, eat them! I understand wanting to find a way to use them up, but, what, specifically was it that caused this unfortunate turn of events? Was it method of prep or, literally, the taste? And, was it the beans themselves, or the flavors of the hummus??

      • Hi Liz!

        Thank you for your response! I have also been eating beans for quite some time, but great northern beans were the one that I have not experimented with until last year, when I became taste adverse, due to some flavor combination errors. So, I would say due to the method of prep/taste really turned me off. I cannot let the beans take the fault on this hah. I think 2 things occurred: 1, I soaked the beans and they were not as soft as they should had been when I attempted to process them, and 2: it was a tomato, basil hummus and the flavors did not work.

        If you do not mind me asking, could you share a few of your favorite recipes when using them? I know I need to give it another go, so I can get over that past experience!

  9. Omg, I can’t wait to try this. My 14 month old refuses to eat beans. This might just be an answer to my prayers.

    • Awesome, Kat! I’d love to hear how it works out for you two when you give the recipe a try!

      • I’ve shared your website with our food allergy community. It’s such a great help.Thank you for all your recipes!

        • Wow, thank you for sharing with everyone. That means SO much to me!

  10. I am inspired by what you post. This looks SO yummy! I am the mother of a teen with allergies and intolerances we are still discovering. Citrus was the most recent. My struggles with feeding her are one of my biggest stresses in life. She can eat beans, but has a slight allergy to kidney and lima beans and she can taste and is turned off even the minutest measure of garbanzo beans in anything. She is allergic to several berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, kiwi, pineapple. She has a lactose intolerance as well as an allergy to milk and specifically whey. Both egg whites and yolks cause allergic reactions. She has a gluten intolerance and cannot digest meat.
    So, although “Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free” sounds heavenly to me, there seems to be something in almost every recipe that prevents me from using them. That said, your sharing of info and recipes gives me more hope than anyone else’s. Thank you!!!

    • Hi Lois – I’m sorry that you seem to be having a rough time with this! I’m sure my Mom went through something very similar. I’m happy that some of my recipes are giving you hope that this IS possible! Have the doctors said whether or not she’ll be able to eat these foods again? For myself, a super clean diet has made it possible for me to heal myself of a lot of my allergies!

  11. Hi Leanne!

    I have a lot of food sensitivities and feel the most restricted when I am going out to eat with friends. Most of my friends are supportive (and many actually have food sensitivities of their own), but some of my friends-since-forever don’t understand the idea of allergies and make me out to be some weight loss-crazed nut. (Right. The only reason why I don’t eat dairy is to lose weight, not because it gives me acne and makes my digestive system feel like a clogged drain…) Anyway, I’ve found that the key to celebrating my allergies is to hang out with positive and supportive people! It sounds like a no-brainer, but I’m gradually coming to the realization that I don’t have to hang out with people who are putting me down or making me feel badly about myself. It’s amazing what a difference a change in energy can make. People who support us make us feel like allergies ARE opportunities. Pessimistic people even make blessings feel like curses. Who would you rather hang out with? :)

    • Wow, seems like an easy choice, right? Many of us get stuck in feeling guilty about leaving our long-time friends and replacing them with positive, uplifting, and supportive people. It’s quite amazing that you made that shift for yourself!

  12. I made vegan black bean brownies and have changed my thoughts on beans in dessert, this would be divine. I have always been sensitive to dairy and growing up in a place where every meal was accomanied by a glass of milk that we had to drink as a kid (my parents hearts were in a good place!!) it was hard to avoid the feeling of bloating and uncomfortable gut problems. I thought that this was the way that people always feel. Having ice cream tasted so good but hurt so bad! Now it is pretty obvious when something has dairy in it. I have been working hard to ensure that I stay far from the dairy. When I was home it was hard to ask to have my potatoes unmashed to avoid the butter and milk my dad puts in them, but it was so worth it!

    • You’re totally right… it’s about weighing out what’s important to you – the taste of ice cream or creamy mashed potatoes, or living without pain. It’s a choice we all have to make!

  13. I really like this blog. You write about very interesting things. Thanks for all your tips and information.

  14. I am breastfeeding, and my son has a milk intolerance (milk, not lactose – important distinction!), so I am on a dairy-free diet until he is done breastfeeding or until he gets over the allergy, whichever comes first. In the beginning it was really difficult because I also couldn’t eat berries, nuts, chocolate or eggs, either, but now I can eat all of those things again. The main thing that helps me on days when it feels like there is NOTHING that I am allowed to eat is to go through my favorite recipe books and pick out recipes that I can make as-is or that can be easily modified. I come up with a long list every time. And then I usually end up making one or two things within the next week. When I get really desperate, I start trying new recipes for dairy alternatives – so in addition to learning to make almond milk, I also have improvised evaporated almond milk (which is delicious as a spread on toast).

  15. Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused ..

    Any tips? Thank you!

  16. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be exciting to read articles from other writers and practice something from other websites.

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