Apples have always been a favorite fruit of mine. There’s so many varieties, they peak in fall (my favorite season), they are readily available year-round at very affordable prices, and they’re packed with soluble and insoluble fiber.
Apples are commonly used in sweet and savory dishes, making them all the more versatile in recipes of all types. I also love that they’re great solo and easy to eat on-the-go, unlike melon, oranges, etc.
Dogs, I’m convinced, all love apples, too. Any dog I’ve ever known has LOVED apples. Wags, my childhood family dog, LOVED apples – they were by far her favorite food. My dear Lily feels much of the same. And let me tell you, my dog won’t eat many fruits or veggies, but apples, pineapple, and tomatoes are always a sure bet.
She was sure to stay close to the action during this shoot…as you can see above.
Needless to say, I almost always have apples on hand for snacks and cooking/baking. I have also come to stock Greek yogurt. Last week, my grocery bill was $62, and one-quarter of my bill was spent on Greek yogurt. Yes, really. $15, plus tax. Insanity. But I had big plans for this yogurt…and you’re looking at one of them. (More to come!)
This particular recipe simmered apples and cinnamon to a sweet, syrupy perfection. You then layer cinnamon-flavored, protein-packed quinoa and Greek yogurt for a Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait that is beyond drool-worthy. The day I made these I had one for breakfast and dinner. When I walked into class with my little parfait, all of my students wanted to know what I was eating.
I got a few weird looks, and a few “ew’s”, as well as few, “That looks good!” The later comments were the accurate ones – I was seriously impressed with these parfaits. Clearly, they were good to have comprised two meals in one day.
Between the nearly 18 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber, these parfaits are a smart start to any morning with a lot of staying power. In other words, don’t shy away due to the 418 calorie price tag – these are well-spent calories that taste great and pack lots of nutritional punch.
I was able to make each (very simple) component ahead of time and assemble the following day. Once assembled, these parfaits stayed good in the fridge for 3 days…not that they’ll last that long!
Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait slightly adapted from Epicurean Mom
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Apple Compote:
4 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp sugar
1-2 Tbsp water + more, if needed
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients for the apple compote, mixing well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook until apples are softened and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add more water if needed in the cooking process. Take off heat and let cool completely.
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Stir in cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine all ingredients for the crumble in a small bowl. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To assemble, spoon 1/4 cup yogurt in bottom of a bowl, 1/4 cup quinoa, 1/4 cup cinnamon apple compote into each of 4 bowls. Repeat the layering and top with oat crumble.
Yield: 4 large parfaits (about 1 3/4 cup each).
Nutrition Information (per parfait): 418 calories; 7 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 51 mg. sodium; 73.5 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 18.5 g. protein
Result: Do not fear, this recipe is 100x easier than it looks. You can make every component of these parfaits ahead of time. I assembled all 4, ate one, and packed the rest to take as breakfast for the week. And let me tell you, what a breakfast. These things are packed with good-for-you nutrition, fiber, and protein that will keep you going ALL morning long. I reduced the amount of crumble by half, but kept the rest of the recipe the same. As someone who’s still not 100% sold on quinoa, I LOVED this breakfast parfait. Enjoy!
I am finally recovered from that late-night hockey game on Sunday. It’s expected to be another hot, sunny day in Ohio. Everyone keeps asking if I’ve been tanning and nope…just lots of running, yard work, and enjoying the evenings on the deck…getting my vitamin D. Love it!