summer smoothie parfait

It took me about a decade and a half of my life to realize that smoothies were something I could consume outside of a mall. What do you mean, there are smoothies better than the ones from Jamba Juice? And you don’t even have to crawl through a crowd of Ugg-clad teenagers armed with Hollister shopping bags to get them? What is this madness?!

After my realization, things got tastier. I’m pretty sure in my early smoothie-making days I didn’t venture much beyond frozen berries and milk, but hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere.


To be honest, I don’t usually follow recipes when making smoothies (duh). The contents of the blender often depend on whatever I have on hand—usually a banana, some milk, some greens, and far too much peanut butter. But some days, I want to make a pretty smoothie, and this calls for a little extra attention.

For one thing, combining berries and greens is a no-no when making a smoothie that’s aesthetically pleasing. Color is key, and a brown-green liquid isn’t the most appetizing. So what do you do when you want a pretty smoothie with both greens AND fruity goodness? These are the important questions in life, and I’m here to answer them, people.

It takes a little extra work, but here’s the solution: Make a smoothie parfait. This one has a sweet black cherry smoothie layer and a tangy, super-green spinach, lime, and avocado smoothie layer for balance. It’s an explosion of color and flavor, all in one little jar. Layering fruit (in this case, black cherries) and yogurt with the smoothies adds some texture and creaminess into the mix.

I’ve been all about smoothies for breakfast this summer. This parfait made a nice change of pace from my usual blend, and just looking at it made me happy. A mall smoothie never gave me that kind of joy, that’s a fact.

(Mall pretzels…now that’s another story.)


summer smoothie parfait
serves: 1
for the bottom layer
  • 1/2 cup dark sweet cherries, thawed from frozen
for the second layer
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
for the pink smoothie layer
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup dark sweet cherries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
for the green smoothie layer
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. honey
for serving
  • More yogurt, cherries, and granola
  1. For the bottom layer: Spoon the thawed cherries into a small jar or glass in an even layer.
  2. For the second layer: Spoon the yogurt over the cherries. Place the jar in the freezer while preparing the pink smoothie layer.
  3. For the pink smoothie layer: In a blender, combine the banana, cherries, milk, and chia seeds and blend until smooth. Remove the jar from the freezer and carefully pour the smoothie over the yogurt layer, then return to the freezer to set while preparing the green smoothie.
  4. For the green smoothie layer: Rinse the blender, then combine the spinach leaves, milk, lime, avocado, chia seeds, and honey and blend until smooth. Remove the jar from the freezer and pour the green smoothie over the pink. Return the jar to the freezer to set for 5 minutes more. Once set, spoon more yogurt, cherries, and granola on top of the green smoothie layer and serve.

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