With berries fully in season, Spring is the time of year when the farmers’ market boasts its jewel-toned treasures. It’s peak strawberry season right now, and it would be so wrong to let the month pass by without making a strawberry shortcake parfait.
In the latest episode of Cook With Us, wellness and compassion activist Haile Thomas share a recipe that turn the classic springtime dessert into a nutrient-rich breakfast parfait. Her healthy strawberry shortcake parfait recipe is high in both protein and fiber but low in sugar. She uses maple syrup for natural sweetness and lemon zest for a touch of tartness.
Thomas uses quinoa to up the nutrient-density in the shortcake parfait with a satisfying crunch. “I’ve been a huge fan of quinoa for a while now,” Thomas says. “I know there was a quinoa wave back in 2012, but I have not forgotten about quinoa since it was ‘trendy’ and it’s still a staple in my house,” she says. While most people think of quinoa in savory dishes, her strawberry shortcake parfait is proof it can be used in sweet ones, too.
Of course the strawberries themselves are a good source of fiber, too. They’re also high in antioxidants, which is good for brain- and heart-health. Besides the quinoa and strawberries, there are two other fiber-rich ingredients in the strawberry shortcake parfait: pistachios and golden raisins. Like the quinoa, pistachios also double as a protein-source—key to ensuring your breakfast actually can hold you over until lunch. All these delicious ingredients are combined with yogurt (Thomas uses a coconut yogurt), which is full of gut-healthy probiotics. This breakfast truly is busting with benefits.
Strawberry shortcut parfait
For the strawberry sauce:
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp lemon zest
For the quinoa parfait:
2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package instructions)
1 cup raw pistachios (or your favorite nut/seed)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 cups plant-based yogurt
1. For strawberry sauce: Place the chopped strawberries, maple syrup, and lemon zest in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside for parfait assembly.
2. For the quinoa parfait: In a food processor, combine the quinoa, pistachios, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom and pulse three to five times, until the pistachios are slightly crushed, and the ingredients are lightly incorporated. The quinoa should still retain most of its texture.
3. In four jars or bowls, layer a total of a half cup yogurt, half cup quinoa, and half cup strawberries. If desired, top with hemp seeds and additional strawberry slices.
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