Yogurt Parfait Buffet: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Cook, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Eating

This post comes courtesy of Alexa Croft, blogger at Lexie’s Kitchen


You’re the busy parent of young kids. You’ve got your hands full. Add to that hectic school mornings and a special diet, and you’ve really got your work cut out for you. You have the unique challenge of serving up a breakfast that is not only nutritious but allergy-friendly to boot.


For those rushed mornings, go with a Yogurt Parfait Buffet. While the kids are dressing, set out bowls of non-dairy yogurt, gluten-free granola and chopped fruit. You can make both the yogurt and granola in advance; or, if you don’t have time, try Turtle Mountain’s So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt and Udi’s Gluten-Free Granola.


When it’s your turn to get ready, the kids can take over and put it all together. They’ll have a bit of breakfast fun and you’ll be cultivating in them a love and appreciation for cooking and nutrition by letting them scoop, pour and sprinkle!


Yogurt Parfait Buffet


What you’ll need:


Bowls of chopped fruit: bananas, apples, berries

Bowl of jam or fruit compote: rhubarb, strawberry, blueberry

Bowl of non-dairy yogurt: recipe follows

Bowl of gluten-free granola: recipe follows

Parfait glasses or fancy glassware



Set out glasses, spoons and parfait makings and let the kids dive in!



Non-Dairy Almond Yogurt

Makes: Approximately 2 quarts

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 17 to 23 hours


1 1/2 cups raw almonds

1/4 cup arrowroot powder/starch

1 tsp. agar agar powder (not flakes or bar)

2 Tbs. honey

1/4 scant tsp. GI ProStart Non-Dairy Yogurt Starter


Soak the almonds 8 to 10 hours, then rinse well. In a high-powered blender, blend the almonds with 3 cups filtered water until smooth. Strain the almond milk using a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or, my favorite, a fine-mesh reusable produce bag. Reserve the milk. Discard the pulp.


In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot starch and 1 cup water. Set aside.


In a 5-quart or larger pot, gently simmer 3 1/4 cups water and the agar agar powder for 2 to 3 minutes or until the agar agar is completely dissolved. Whisk in the honey and almond milk. Return to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Use caution; this mixture can boil over in the blink of an eye.


At the first sign of boil, give the arrowroot slurry a stir and whisk into the milk mixture. Simmer for 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Allow the milk to cool to 95° to 105°F (no hotter). This can take over an hour. Do not cool the milk by placing in a cold water bath. Allow to cool at room temperature.


As the milk cools, the surface may thicken. Simply whisk until smooth. Once cooled to 95° to 105°F (no hotter), spoon 2 Tbs. of the cooled milk into a small bowl along with the yogurt starter and mix until smooth. Add the starter mixture to a pot of milk and whisk until thoroughly combined.


Pour the milk mixture into fermentation containers and transfer to a yogurt maker. Leave undisturbed to ferment for 8 to 10 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly before serving. The yogurt will set as it chills.




Sterilize all cooking utensils, bowls and fermentation containers by dousing in boiling water.


Agar agar is vegetable “gelatin” powder derived from seaweed which is processed by boiling and drying. It is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin and can be found at natural food stores and on Amazon. Arrowroot powder can be found at most natural food and Asian grocers as well as on Amazon.


For children under one year of age, substitute sugar or agave for honey.


GI ProStart may be ordered online from GI ProHealth. If not using the GI ProStart brand of yogurt starter, use the recommended measure of other non-dairy yogurt starter.


This yogurt will be mild with a slight tang. Portions of the surface may dry to a pale yellow; this can be expected. If there are any hints of pink, gray or black on the surface of the yogurt, throw the batch out and start again. This suggests that the equipment was not thoroughly sterilized, that the yogurt starter was “dead” and that foreign “bad” bacteria colonized the batch, and/or that milk was hotter than 95° to 105°F when the starter was added.


Easy Gluten-Free Nutty Granola


Makes: 6 cups

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 to 45 minutes


1 1/2 cups raw walnuts

1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts

2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 cup coconut nectar or honey (see Notes)

1/3 cup grapeseed oil or liquified virgin coconut oil

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup unsweetened dried and shredded coconut


Preheat an oven to 300˚F.


Pulse the nuts in a food processor to a coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the oats and quinoa flakes. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut nectar, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and mix well. Spread evenly in a parchment-lined jelly roll pan.


Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp, checking frequently to avoid overbrowning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Stir in the coconut and transfer to an airtight glass jar or container. Keeps best in the freezer.




A small percentage of celiacs do not tolerate oats. As a precaution when purchasing oats, always buy oats that are certified to be gluten-free. (Oats such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats have not been cross contaminated with wheat on the production line.)


For an easy nut-free option, consider a combination of sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. And for added omegas 3 and 6, mix in a couple of heaping tablespoons of hemp seed along with the coconut. Unsweetened dried cherries are another tasty mix-in!


For more Modified Recipes for Modified Diets™ that are gluten-free, dairy-free and allergy-friendly, visit Alexa’s blog Lexie’s Kitchen.


About the author: Alexa is a wife, mother, and avid recipe modifier. Her blog, Lexie’s Kitchen, caters to the gluten, dairy, soy, corn and egg-free among us. She resides with her family in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

23 comments about “Yogurt Parfait Buffet: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

  1. Samantha

    OMG, I’m going to have to try the yogurt recipe. I’m lactose-intolerant and have wondered if I could make my own yogurt. Thanks!

  2. Vanda

    Love this recipe! Almond yogurt yummy…I am dairy-free and will definitely be making this. Thanx

  3. Shirley @ gfe

    Oh what delicious fun! What child on a special diet would feel deprived when greeted with that lovely buffet? :-) Wonderful ideas and recipe! Would work great for overnight guests, too. Thanks so much!


  4. Maggie

    You’ve totally inspired me to try this. And to make my own yogurt for the first time! It’s been buzzing around my brain long enough! Time to take action. Thanks for the great idea and great recipes.

  5. Diana@Big_Island_Hawaii

    A beautiful concept and presentation; will work perfectly for my grandkids, soon. Thank you for the post!

  6. Alisa Fleming

    Wow, what an amazing post! The recipes and pictures are unreal, and I love the idea of a parfait buffet. I’ve made a similar yogurt recipe, but will have to trial this one!

  7. Melissa@glutenfreeforgood

    Wow, this non dairy yogurt starter stuff is new to me. So glad I stumbled across this post! I love the idea of a gluten-free, dairy-free yogurt parfait buffet and will give this GI ProStart Non-Dairy Yogurt Starter a try. Thanks!

  8. Diane Eblin

    Wow this is great! I have a yogurt maker and was wondering what to do with it now that I no longer eat dairy. Yum I can’t wait to give these recipes a try.

  9. Stephanie O'Dea

    Oh I so want to try this! I enjoy making yogurt at home but have been too chickeny to try it dairy free, and the kids and I LOVE almond milk.

    thank you for posting this! kitchen science makes me giddy.

  10. Sea

    Wow- that almond yogurt looks awesome! I really need to start making some of our own yogurt. I wonder if it is possible to get the greek-style texture with homemade yogurt? Love the photos as well.


  11. Liz

    What a beautiful presentation and delicious recipe! Where can I find parfait glasses identical to these? Thanks!

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