Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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!

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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

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

Directions:

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!

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 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!

Be well,

Comments

  1. says

    Wow this looks so good!! I love the idea of putting these together, especially since both yogurt and quinoa were listed in Self magazine’s superfoods. Thanks for posting!

  2. says

    lol, someone asked me if I’d been tanning yesterday, and I laughed because I haven’t even really been out in the sun! I haven’t done the math, but I’d be willing to be I spend a good $15 on greek yogurt each week too. I eat two servings a day (and thankfully for our budget, nick hates it!). Your parfait looks gorgeous. I only with I could eat apples. They used to be my favorite :(

  3. Chelai says

    This looks great! I want to assemble it ahead of time like you did. How did you do it? Did you leave them in the cup, cover and refrigerate or freeze them? Thanks!

    • Nicole, RD says

      Chelai: I layered all the parfait ingredients in those dishes they’re photographed in (of course any dish/bowl works!) and then just covered with with plastic wrap and refrigerated them. :)

  4. says

    I am also LOVING This weather…it’s insane!! Your recipe looks delish. I’ve tried making quinoa for breakfast before and it was a flop. I’m inspired to try again! Ps. The calorie content is perfect for a breakfast meal! I wish people would understand that (I know YOU do, but the fact that you even have to explain that is frustrating no??).

    • Nicole, RD says

      I know, but a lot of people run from those “higher” calorie counts. Some people think anything more than 200-300 calories is too high…craziness! I would much rather “spend” more calories and be completely satisfied all morning long :)

    • Nicole, RD says

      I would just get a little offended if people started saying I looked like my dog. She’s cute…for a dog, but she can keep all those chins and wrinkles for herself ;)

  5. says

    I love, love, love Lily’s face! Our dog doesn’t like apples, but he loves watermelon – especially the rind!

    This comes in at 11 WW points, but with the balance of protein and fiber, I think I could manage that amount of carbs. Just have a low carb lunch and dinner afterwards!

    This went on my menu next week! :D

  6. says

    I pretty much love apple cinnamon anything, so this sounds amazing. I do need to tell you though, Lexie will not eat apples. At least, not at my house. When my mom gives them to her she’s all about it. At home, not so much. Its just like ice cubes in the summer time. Apparently I don’t have the right recipe. :)

  7. says

    Mmm, apples are some of my favorites too. Your parfaits look so yummy! I’ve been trying to limit apples to when they’re in season here, but I just can’t help myself, I think I need to go get some apples :D

  8. says

    These look fantastic! I’ve made breakfast couscous before, but not quinoa. I have a granola recipe that I love and think will pair well with this (instead of the oat crumble) so I totally can’t wait to try these soon!

  9. Michelle says

    This looks amazing! I will be trying this soon since I just got a big bag of gluten free oats.

    p.s. you probably know this already, but did you know you can cook quinoa in your rice cooker? Same ratio as rice. It was like a ray of light came down onto my rice cooker when I discovered that!

  10. Nancy says

    This is a great recipe, but shouldn’t full credit be given to Kate at Epicurean Mom? This looks like her original recipe word for word, you just used less oats and water….still in her words.

    • Nicole, RD says

      Nancy, there are several adaptations, therefore I used the verbage that I did. Unless I follow a recipe verbatim without any changes in quantities or preparation I make note of that for everyone’s sake.

  11. says

    Oooh, I saw these featured on Healthy Food for Living and totally pinned it from the Epicurean Mom! I’m so making these. I’m definitely in the “that sounds good!” camp.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] It’s always interesting to note trends in the healthy food blogosphere, and this week’s trend seems to be granola (or granola-like foods), starting with Today I Ate A Rainbow!‘s recent entry for Kids Cook Monday. One personal favorite of mine was this Maple Coconut Granola from Elizabeth Jarrard at Don’t White Sugar-Coat It. In the “granola-like” category, check out this Maple Quinoa Crunch from the Meal Makeover Moms, this Maple Pecan Coconut Quinoa Breakfast from the Inspired RD, and (my personal favorite) Prevention RD‘s Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait. [...]

  2. [...] A+ Carrot Bread – A Carrot Cake Pancakes – A+ Chia Oatmeal Energy Bars – B- Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait – A Cinnamon Apple Waffle/Pancake Topping – A+ Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread [...]

  3. [...] Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait: Breakfast, we’ve heard is the most important meal of the day. Why not make it the most delicious, too? Nicole, a registered dietitian runs PreventionRD.com, where her motto is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Her parfait recipe used sweet simmered apples and cinnamon as well as some Greek yogurt. Here’s the full Cinnamon Apple Quinoa recipe. [...]

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