Cherry-Strawberry Chia Seed Fool with Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 30, 2015


My sister and family are here visiting this week and they brought us about 10 pounds of freshly picked cherries from my brother-in-law’s parent’s house (they have about 7 cherry trees…jealous!). It was like Christmas morning when this loot arrived. I’m eating these beauties by the fist full. Adriana is going wild over them. It’s a good, ahem berry good, week. We pitted and froze a bunch to make 1-ingredient cherry sorbet in the Vitamix (my nephews loved it) and I’m dreaming up other ways to use them before they go bad!



This gorgeous Cherry-Strawberry Chia Seed Fool is a festive dessert I came up with for Canada Day tomorrow. I actually thought of it in the middle of the night last night and by some stroke of luck I remembered the idea this morning. In lieu of heavy dairy cream, I used full-fat coconut cream and whipped it with a touch of cane sugar and vanilla bean powder. So incredibly simple and delicious. For the berry part, I made a cherry-strawberry chia seed jam with maple syrup (does it get anymore Canadian?), vanilla bean, fresh lemon juice, and a secret ingredient – a teaspoon of finely grated beet for a bolder red color (but that’s totally optional). It turned out so lovely layered in parfait glasses. Many traditional fool recipes that I came across fold the berries into the cream until it’s pretty uniform in color, but I prefer the layered look so I did it my way. Then you can swirl it all together as you eat it. Total bliss! I also added some toasted sliced almonds and flaked coconut on top for some crunch. A little lemon zest would be nice too.



4.9 from 16 reviews

Cherry-Strawberry Chia Seed Fool

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, oil-free, soy-free


A vegan twist on the classic berry fool! I used whipped vanilla bean coconut cream and paired it with a delightful cherry-strawberry chia seed jam with lemon and vanilla. This dish requires some advance preparation so be sure to put the cans of coconut milk in the fridge the day before so the coconut cream can solidify. The jam also requires cooling, so you'll need at least 2 hours to chill it in the fridge before layering the dessert.

6 parfaits
Prep time
Cook time
Chill time
overnight + 3 hours


For the Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 2 (15-oz) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
  • 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder or 1 vanilla bean, seeded
For the Cherry Strawberry Chia Seed Jam (makes 2 1/3 cups)
  • 2 heaping cups fresh or frozen strawberries (hulled if using fresh)
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen sweet cherries (pitted if using fresh)
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated red beet (I use a microplane lemon zester), adds bolder red hue
Optional garnishes:
  • Toasted sliced almonds
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Lemon Zest
  • Fresh cherries


  1. Chill the cans of coconut milk in the fridge for 12-24 hours so the coconut cream can solidify before use.
  2. For the chia seed jam: Add the berries and maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium, and simmer until the berries release their juices and soften, about 10 minutes. After the berries release water you can increase the heat even more to cook off the water. Watch closely and stir frequently. When the berries look a bit soft, stir in the chia seeds. Keep cooking over medium heat until the chia thickens the mixture slightly, about 5-10 more minutes.  Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, lemon, and optional grated beet. Pour into a glass container and let it cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes before covering and chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.
  3. Chill a medium bowl in the freezer (this helps the coconut cream stay thick while whipping).
  4. Open the chilled cans of coconut milk and carefully scoop off the white coconut cream from each can and place it into a medium bowl. You should have 1.5-2 cups worth of cream. You can reserve the leftover coconut water for another use, such as a smoothie or you can freeze it into coconut water ice cubes (also great in smoothies).
  5. With electric mixers or a whisk, beat the cream and the cane sugar in the chilled bowl until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla.
  6. Layer the coconut cream and the chia jam in parfait glasses. Top with optional toasted sliced almonds, flaked coconut, lemon zest, and a cherry on top! Enjoy immediately or cover and transfer to the fridge until ready to serve. The chia seed jam will keep for up to a week in the fridge in an air-tight container, and I expect the coconut whipped cream will keep for at least 5 days.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 6 parfaits | Calories 420 calories | Total Fat 32 grams
Saturated Fat 27 grams | Sodium 75 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 34 grams
Fiber 5 grams | Sugar 22 grams | Protein 5 grams
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.


Tip: If for some reason your chia seed jam didn't thicken enough after chilling (this might be the case if the water wasn't cooked off enough), stir in another tablespoon of chia seeds and chill it for another hour. That should do the trick!


I’m keeping this short and sweet today because I have a big cookbook deadline looming. Thank you so much for your patience with my infrequent blog posts lately. I am dying to get back into it!

Wishing my fellow Canadians a very happy Canada Day tomorrow. Also, happy 4th of July to our friends south of the border. (By the way, you can easily turn this into a red, white, and blue dessert by adding blueberries.) I hope you have a fun and safe week filled with all the goodness summer has to offer!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

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Michaell | Foodscape July 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

You’ve done it again! Can your sister bring her loot to my house? I love cherries! And what a beautiful presentation. Though I have to admit, I think I’d like to put something underneath the jam and cream. Whole cherries perhaps? Granola? Maybe some shortcake? What do you think would be good?


shay @ teen eats plants July 18, 2015 at 11:35 pm

this looks so delicious! cherries are probably the best summer fruit.


May July 20, 2015 at 4:02 am

It looks so nice and you’ve put so much work into it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next


Karen July 20, 2015 at 10:54 am

Hi Angela,

Off topic, but the version of your gazpacho that you posted on Instagram is driving me wild with desire. I found your original recipe on your blog, but given that you’ve made so many modifications that would seem to alter the outcome, I’d be thrilled if you posted – or provided me personally – the exact recipe that you used to make the mouthwatering adaption taunting me from your Instagram photos.

Many thanks!


Jamie Logie July 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

Whoa, this one is life changing. Honestly anything with chia seeds and vanilla bean in my book is awesome. Thank you for this


Mary @ Fit and Fed July 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm

It has certainly come around again to be the perfect time of year for this! I have not yet tried making coconut ‘whipped cream’ and am looking forward to trying that trick!


Adam Trainor July 26, 2015 at 11:36 am
Recipe Rating:

Oh wow!!! this dessert looks delicious. I wouldn’t feel guilty for eating these, but then again whipped cream isn’t great when having loads. Do they cherries eventually melt down in the pan?


Manon July 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

Thats looks soooooo yummy.
I’m going to make this asap!


Herbal medicated oils July 30, 2015 at 6:10 am

Fabulous recipe. Looking yummy.


Kim August 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is really yummy! I made it with organic frozen mixed berries and cherries. It was super simple to make.


EDWINA November 1, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I have fructose malabsorption and cherries are not good for me :(
What other berries could I replace the cherries with?


Julie Rocheleau November 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm


I love your recipes… I have a challenge for you… Vegan butter tarts… I’ve been playing with earth balance, chia and golden lakanto… Can’t seem to get it quite right… I’ve nailed the crust…

I hope you can figure this one out!!


Danielle January 11, 2016 at 5:25 am

heey =) i always have a hard time whipping coconut cream, even when chilled over night.. what brand do you use or any tips? thanks


Hypnosis Adelaide March 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm
Recipe Rating:

That is a really simple three ingredient Coconut Whipped Cream! Love it! Thanks for the recipe :)


Kathleen August 6, 2016 at 9:38 am
Recipe Rating:

This has become a favorite for my husband and me. I replace the sweeteners with stevia to meet my dietary requirements. I recently took this to a Whole Foods Plant Based breakfast and everyone loved it and requested the recipe. I linked them all to your site. I have served it to company and offered it over ice cream for non vegans and still served the coconut cream. I have found that all full fat coconut milk is not the same for whipping. Some brands seem too watery. I have found a brand that has very thick cream at the top of the can which makes it easy to scoop out to whip. Thank you for your recipes. I do have your cookbook and my husband and I are another older couple who have changed to a vegan diet for health reasons and have found great support in learning delicious recipes to use.


Angela Liddon August 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I’m so happy you’ve found my blog and recipes helpful in making your dietary transition, Kathleen. All the best to you and your husband!


Kathleen August 6, 2016 at 9:48 am
Recipe Rating:

P.S. To the above comment. At the breakfast, we served the jam and coconut cream over our vegan pancakes. SO delicious! I came home and made the same for our breakfast the next morning. Yum!


Sabina August 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Hi! I love your recipes. This one looks so yummy! However, I have just heard that coconut milk (in a can) is bad for the arteries. The same is true for coconut oil. They contain a lot of saturated fat. The flakes or the fresh coconut are ok. I wish you all the best,


Cristin Nariki May 24, 2018 at 8:07 am
Recipe Rating:

Wow look so yummy , thanks for sharing.
I will try your recipes


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