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The other night, Isaac and I were still a little hungry after dinner and looking for a snack in the kitchen. I don't remember what we had for dinner, but it obviously wasn't filling enough. Anyway, we had a pint of local strawberries in the fridge and one of us mentioned something about making strawberry cakes for dessert and it sounded perfect.
Of course, we didn't have whipped cream or butter cookies, so I had to be creative with what we had on hand. I thought about making an angel cake or a sweet cake out of quinoa flour, but it was a little late to start a complete baking project, so I decided to sweeten up some cooked quinoa that I had in the fridge. I added a little almond milk, a little vanilla and maple syrup. I liked the result, so I started layering it with Greek yogurt and fresh berries for a simple frozen dessert.
It turned out to be really tasty and completely satisfying our strawberry tart craving. Even Isaac came back for a few seconds and said, "Oh, this is really good!"
I have been making quinoa parfaits for years; the first can be seen here. Just don't judge my photographic skills. 🙂
Obviously, this version is much prettier, but it's also a bit sweeter, so you can easily serve it as a dessert. That said, it can also be served entirely for breakfast. It is quite healthy (loaded with protein from Greek yogurt and quinoa) and has less sugar than some flavored yogurts. Also, all sugar comes from unrefined natural sources (berries and maple syrup).
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I have prepared the recipe several times in the past few weeks and have enjoyed the breakfast, lunch, and dessert parfaits, making it truly versatile. Haha!
And the process is really simple, especially if you're like me and always have a batch of cooked quinoa in the fridge ready to go. For this particular recipe, I used traditional Ancient Harvest quinoa, cooked in water according to the package directions.
Sometimes I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable broth to give it more flavor, but when I prepare a large batch for the week I always cook it in water so that I can use quinoa for sweet or savory dishes.
For Greek yogurt, I used it alone and sweetened it with pure maple syrup. Feel free to use flavored Greek yogurt (vanilla would work great) OR skip the extra maple syrup entirely if you don't want the added sugar. Totally to your measure and to your tastes.
I made the parfaits in glasses to serve individually, but you can make a large parfait / trifle to share. I will make a large version the next time we host or attend a brunch.
- 2 cups cooked and chilled white quinoa Ancient Harvest
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (divided)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups chopped strawberries
- Cook about 1 cup of dried quinoa according to package directions. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator to cool for a couple of hours. This step is best beforehand so you can quickly prepare the parfaits.
- In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups cold quinoa, unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt with the rest of 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
- Layer of quinoa mix, Greek yogurt and berries on a plate. Repeat the layers as many times as you want. Top with some berries and enjoy.
- Portion size: 1 parfait
- Calories 280
- Sugar: 17g
- Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 14g
Strawberry Parfaitquinoa Cake