So much in cooking, as in life, is about balance. The foods I enjoy most are usually those that give me contrast of textures and flavors. Mango Coconut Macadamia Parfaits are a rather exuberant taste of the tropics but with the perfect balance of creamy, crunch, sweet and tart: layers of creamy yogurt mixed with toasted coconut, juicy chunks of fragrant mango and crunch and sweetness from the macadamia oat praline.Jump to Recipe
Eating a big juicy mango is quite the hedonistic sensory experience, if you don’t count having to pick it from your teeth for the next two or three hours as it seems to allude toothpicks and floss. I grew up eating beautiful, fragrant mangos from far North Queensland in Australia. As well as being home to the Great Barrier Reef, the tropics of North Queensland were once home to my father, John whose mate, darling Uncle Andy, would ship crates of mangos down to Sydney for us to enjoy. Mum was always in heaven when the mangos arrived. Mangos as well as being voluptuous, slippery and messy to eat, if you eat one the right way, also deliver good essential nutrients with one mango supplying you with about 50% of recommended vitamin C for the day (good for skin, bones, teeth, blood vessel walls, iron absorption and the immune system).
For the crunch I made a macadamia praline and added some toasted, rolled oats for extra goodness and fiber. If you want to skip the sugar, then use toasted, chopped macadamia nuts on their own. The coconut yogurt is a combination of creamy plain yogurt, toasted coconut, a little coconut extract and a little sugar feel free to use honey in the yogurt if you’d prefer. Do you know macadamia nuts trees are indigenous to Australia? I can’t eat a macadamia nut without thinking about my oldest mate, Paul. He and I used to sit, from what seemed like hours, cracking the nut’s hard shell with a hammer on the driveway. He had a massive macadamia tree right outside his bedroom window. We were always collecting its nuts. What a treat. Macadamia nuts are so buttery. And like all nuts, loaded with fiber and good fats.
I really love this recipe, especially when it’s had several hours or overnight to sit in the fridge: the macadamia praline becomes soft and caramel-like and all the flavors marry together. Mango Coconut Macadamia Parfaits might be a little decadent but we all need a little decadence in our lives. Take care. Much love, Lovoni.
PS. Mango traverse sweet to savory with ease so here are a couple of other favorite mango recipes from Fresh Hunger. Enjoy! Spicy Shrimp and Mango Salad, Thai Chicken, Cashew & Mango Lettuce Wraps & Mango Cashew Rice Rolls.
MANGO, COCONUT AND MACADAMIA PARFAITS
- 2 cups whole-milk plain yogurt
- 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted toasting is optional but delicious
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
- 2 large, ripe mangos, chopped
- 3/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup rolled oats optional
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch of flaked sea salt
To make the praline:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter the nuts and oats onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until the nuts and oats are golden. Remove from the oven and using a spoon or a spatula, bring the mixture together in the center of the baking sheet in a single layer. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir, over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar is a deep golden color, being careful not to burn the sugar mixture. Carefully pour the mixture over the nut mixture, making sure you don’t touch the sugar and making sure you get as much of the nut mixture coated as possible; sprinkle with a little salt. Leave the praline to cool before cutting into small pieces, about pea size.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the extract; stir. Cover and pop the bowl into the fridge until you’re ready to use.
- To assemble the parfaits. Have your four glasses or jars ready. Spoon half of the yogurt into the bottom of the glasses. Add half of the mango. Add a layer of macadamia praline, then repeat the layering. These can be served immediately but are best if served an hour or two after making them and even better the following day. Makes 4 regular size parfaits or 8 smaller ones.