Layers of sweetened quinoa with Greek yogurt and strawberries make for a unique strawberry shortcake parfait that’s loaded with protein. Naturally sweetened and great for dessert or breakfast!
The other night Isaac and I were still a little hungry after dinner and were searching the kitchen for a snack. I can’t remember what we had for dinner, but obviously it wasn’t filling enough. Anyhow, we had a pint of local strawberries in the fridge and one of us mentioned something about making strawberry shortcakes for dessert and it sounded perfect.
Of course we didn’t have whipped cream or shortbread so I had to get creative with what we had on hand. I thought about making a gluten-fee angel food cake or shortbread with quinoa flour but it was a little late to start a whole baking project so I decided to try sweetening up some cooked quinoa I had sitting in the fridge. I added a little almond milk, some maple syrup and vanilla. I liked the result so then I started layering it with Greek yogurt and the fresh berries for a simple parfait.
It turned out to be really tasty and completely satisfied our craving for strawberry shortcake. Even Isaac went back for seconds and was like, “Oh, this is really good!”
I’ve been making quinoa parfaits for years — my first one can actually be spotted here. Just don’t judge my photography skills. 🙂
So obviously this version is much prettier, but it’s also a tad sweeter so you can easily serve it as a dessert. That said, it can totally be served for breakfast as well. It’s plenty healthy (loaded with protein from the Greek yogurt and quinoa) and has less sugar than some flavored yogurts. Plus all the sugar is from natural, unrefined sources (the berries and the maple syrup).
I’ve made the recipe quite a few times over the past few weeks and I’ve enjoyed the parfaits for breakfast, lunch and dessert so it’s actually really 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 Ancient Harvest’s traditional quinoa, cooked in water according to the package directions.
Sometimes I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable broth for added flavor, but when I’m preparing a big batch for the week I always cook it in water so that I can use the quinoa for both sweet or savory dishes.
For the Greek yogurt, I used plain and sweetened it myself with pure maple syrup. Feel free to use flavored Greek yogurt (vanilla would work great) OR skip the extra maple syrup altogether if you don’t want the added sugar. Totally up to you and your tastes.
I made the parfaits in glasses for serving individually but you can totally make one large parfait/trifle for sharing. I’m totally going to make a large version next time we host or attend a brunch.
Strawberry Shortcake Quinoa Parfait
- Cook about 1 cup of dry quinoa according to the package directions. Allow to cool and then place in fridge to chill for a couple hours. This step is best beforehand so you can prep the parfaits quickly.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together 2 cups chilled quinoa, unsweetened almond milk, 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt.
- In a separate bowl combine Greek yogurt with remaining 1 Tablespoon maple syrup.
- Layer quinoa mixture, Greek yogurt and berries in a dish. Repeat layers however many times you’d like. Top with a few berries and enjoy.