With summer kicking in to high gear barbecues and outdoor celebrations become a lot more popular (which I love!). I look forward to the 4th of July, Labor Day, summertime birthday parties, and anything involving a little sun, sipping wine, snacking on party favorites, and catching up with good friends and family! While the typical fruit platter, brownie bites, decorated cupcakes, and fruit-breads or muffins are some of my favorites, baked goods can get a little repetitive and a little heavy, especially when spending a day in the hot sun. This recipe is for one of my summertime party favorites, Light Banana ‘Nilla Party Parfait. As hinted by the name it is not only very light, but also airy, sweet, and refreshing. It is called a “party parfait” because it can serve anywhere from 6-12 people, depending on how big of portions your guests take (and let me tell you, my portions of this dessert are usually quite large!). I make this recipe with bananas, but I would also recommend strawberries, blackberries, or pineapple for a tropical twist. This is perfect for barbecues and holidays, such as the 4th of July, and can be made a day in advance for convenience!
Light Banana ‘Nilla Party Parfait
- 2 cups ice cold skim milk
- 1 package sugar-free vanilla pudding (I used Kroger brand)
- 2-3 bananas depending on the size
- 1 package light whip cream (if you are a whip cream lover, I suggest actually buying a second just in case you use larger portions of whip cream!)
- 1/2 box of reduced-fat vanilla wafers
Keep your whip cream either out or in the refrigerator to allow it to thaw while prepping your pudding (it typically comes frozen). Mix your pudding as instructed on the back of the box using your skim milk. If you have a little extra time on your hands, let your pudding sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to stiffen up. If you don’t have a lot of extra time, add a little more pudding powder from a second box to make the pudding a little thicker (I typically buy 2 boxes anyway just in case) and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes while you prep your other ingredients. Slice your banana into about 1/4 in wide pieces. Start layering your ingredients in a large serving bowl (it looks pretty if you use a glass bowl!), container, or large parfait bowl, beginning with a layer of vanilla wafers. Top your wafers with a layer of pudding (just enough to cover the wafers), follow by a layer of bananas, then whip cream. Repeat this layering process again. If you have enough pudding to make a 3rd layer, go ahead. It will depend on the size of the bowl you are using. Once you have finished your last layer of whip cream, take your vanilla wafers and line the outside perimeter of the bowl. Break and crumble about 3-4 cookies, creating fine crumbs, and sprinkle over the top. Leave one wafer for the center and you are finished! Refrigerate until ready to serve. This actually tastes better the 2nd day in my opinion. The wafers soak up some of the moisture from the pudding and obtain a cake-like texture! Enjoy!
*For an airier pudding consistency, add one spoonful of light whip cream and fold into the pudding!