Lightly sweetened quinoa layered between a perfectly tart kiwi smoothie and a refreshingly sweet berry smoothie.
The inspiration of this dish came from buying a Costco box of golden kiwis on a whim. They were on sale – what was I supposed to do, just walk passed them? Kiwis are great for so many reasons, and this one is GOLDEN! It must be better than a normal green one, right? Honestly, it tasted about the same as a regular green one, maybe a smidge sweeter. So, I googled it to see if other people thought differently – apparently golden kiwis tend to be a little sweeter and have softer flesh. Overall, I’m happy I tried it, I enjoyed it a lot, but don’t know if I would go out of my way to get the golden variety vs. the green one. You can definitely use regular green kiwis for this recipe!
Quinoa has a lot of health benefits, which is why it gained so much popularity among the health nut crowd. The most common preparations I’ve seen with it are as a replacement for rice (Buddha bowls, fried rice, power bowls, etc), used in a variety of salads, and cooked into soups and chilis. There are more adventurous recipes that call for quinoa in muffins, breakfast bars, and granola. With this parfait, you get all healthy goodness of quinoa and extra vitamins and health benefits of berries, bananas and kiwis! Anything this healthy and delicious should be a keeper, and this parfait definitely fits the bill. Plus, seriously look how pretty- we all know what a sucker I am for pretty food!
First things first, cook the quinoa. This can be done the day before or at least an hour prior to assembly (it needs time to cool). Place milk, quinoa, vanilla, salt and sweetener in a pot. Bring to a boil at medium to high heat. Then turn the heat down to low and simmer with the lid partially open for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally (and keep an eye on it so the milk doesn’t boil over). Use whatever milk variety you’d like – use almond milk or coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk) for a vegan option. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Now for the smoothie layers. For the kiwi smoothie, blend 2 kiwis (peeled and roughly chopped), 1 frozen banana and 1/4 cup milk. For the berry smoothie, blend 1 cup frozen berries, 1 frozen banana, and 1/4 cup of milk. For both smoothies, add an extra splash of milk if needed. Again, choose whatever milk you’d like.
Assemble your beautiful parfait. Pour half your kiwi smoothie into a serving dish. Spoon half your quinoa over the kiwi layer, and top with half your berry smoothie. Repeat for the second serving. To make it look extra special, you can garnish with additional kiwis, berries, and banana slices. Have fun with it!
I know this whole dish might seem weird – it is, but in the greatest way!! Originally, this I thought of this for a great breakfast option because we all could use a little change to our morning routine to get excited to wake up. But really, you can enjoy this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or multiple times a day (that’s what I did, so you could say it’s normal). The kiwi smoothie has the tartness you would expect from a kiwi, but is nicely rounded out by the banana. The berry smoothie is very basic, but oh so delicious and complements the kiwi nicely. And the quinoa contributes a surprisingly lovely texture element – it’s kind of reminiscent of “bloomed” chia seed, but a little different. You’ll just have to trust me on this one and give it a try. If nothing else, the esthetics and health benefits should convince you to try, and then you’ll see just how yummy it is!
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups milk*
- 2-3 tbsp sweetener
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla, optional
- 2 kiwis (golden or regular)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup milk*
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup milk*
- Add rinsed quinoa, milk, sweetener, salt, and vanilla to a pot over high heat. Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot with lid, but not all the way as to allow for a vent. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, remove from heat and cool thoroughly.
- Blend all ingredients together. Add a splash more milk if necessary.
- Blend all ingredients together. Add a splash of milk if necessary.
- Put 1/2 the kiwi smoothie into a cup. Spoon 1/2 your quinoa on top. Pour 1/2 the berry smooth over the quinoa. Decorate as you please. Repeat with a second cup with remainder of ingredients.
- * Use any kind of milk. Use non-dairy for vegan option.