Pumpkin Quinoa Yogurt Parfait

Quinoa. (Pronounced keen-wah)

Just saying it makes me feel all healthy and wholesome and granola. Like I’m the type who goes to yoga (which I am) or the type who does Meatless Mondays (which I try) or the type who doesn’t eat refined sugars or anything with high fructose corn syrup (which I’m most definitely not – you have no idea how much I love gummy bears).

Quinoa is a whole grain that has been cultivated in South America, and it is high in protein and fiber and all sorts of good things. This past weekend I was craving a big bowl of oatmeal but – alas! – I ran out of my good old fashioned oats, so I turned to my Whole Foods stocked pantry and busted out the bag of quinoa.

I decided to make a hearty, fall-perfect Pumpkin Quinoa Yogurt Parfait

I started with cooked quinoa mixed with pumpkin puree and vanilla soymilk

layered it with nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with dark chocolate peanut butter

then some bananas

and sweet roasted pecans

These roasted pecans are Mexican Chocolate Pecans from Q’s Nuts, which I regularly buy at the Charles Square Farmers Market. (Read my review of Q’s Nuts here). The owner, Q, roasts sweets, savory, and exotic flavors in small batches and packages them immediately. They are incredibly good. I am pretty much addicted to the Mexican Chocolate Pecans, and the Chocolate Coconut Almonds. As in, so addicted that I always keep a little baggie in my purse for easy snacking.

but back to the parfait – I love the layers and it tastes even better mixed together

Pumpkin Quinoa Yogurt Parfait

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams)
2 chopped bananas
handful of roasted/candied pecans (I used Mexican chocolate pecans)

These are just my suggested measurements and you can easily adjust to your tastes/convenience. You can use skim milk or almond milk, use vanilla or honey-flavored yogurt, even omit the peanut butter (although I highly recommend keeping this ingredient – maybe just sub in almond butter, preferably still chocolate flavored), or even use granola instead of nuts for some crunch.

For the quinoa layer, heat the quinoa in the microwave with the soy milk for a minute or two. This would let the quinoa absorb the soy milk and result in a thicker and creamier mix. Then stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. This is your first layer.

For the second layer, just mix the yogurt and chocolate peanut butter together. Top with some bananas, then pecans, then repeat layers until your bowl or glass jars are full.

the flavors meld together so well, and I particularly like the tangy chocolate peanut butter yogurt mixed with the soft, comforting pumpkin quinoa

the bananas and the roasted pecans top everything off very nicely

Do you like quinoa? Any favorite healthy recipes featuring grains?


34 Responses to “Pumpkin Quinoa Yogurt Parfait”

  1. #
    Elizabeth posted November 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Yay that makes me happy you used Q’s nuts. They’re so good. And he’ll be at the winter market :) These look awesome

  2. #
    Michelle posted November 9, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I’ve heard so many wonderful things about using quinoa for breakfast dishes. I’ve really got to give it a try. P.S. I love the mason jar presentation!

  3. #
    Beth @Sailing Foodie posted November 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Love this idea of pumpkin and chocolate with Quinoa! I have always made them savory or with apples. Great idea to use them with pumpkin and PB! Thanks for the tip!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Oooh Beth quinoa with pumpkin and apples actually sound delicious! That’ll be my next experiment :)

  4. #
    Daisy posted November 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

    such a creative breakfast treat, and so pretty, too!

  5. #
    Alaina posted November 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I love your pictures!! And that parfait looks delicious! I happen to have pumpkin puree and quinoa. :-)

  6. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted November 9, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Love these photos! Such a fun breakfast – those roasted pecans look delicious!

  7. #
    Michelle Collins posted November 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Where did you get that dark chocolate peanut butter??? I need that in my life!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Hey Michelle! You can find Peanut Butter & Co. in the organic section of most grocery stores and in Whole Foods. It’s my favorite!

  8. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat posted November 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Can I send you some cash via Paypal to put one of those in the mail?!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Haha Claire! Maybe I should start a quinoa parfait shipping business…

  9. #
    Karen posted November 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    wow, this looks great. I love quinoa!

  10. #
    Lindsay @ biking before bed posted November 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Your oat shortage turned out for the better! I have never eaten quinoa for breakfast. I don’t know why I just associate if with dinner. I need to change my tune I think. And those Q-nuts look amazing. If you are shipping parfaits… you should ship those too:)

  11. #
    Heather posted November 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Love Quinoa! Just heard of a new healthy restaurant by my house that serves a saffron quinoa, and I’m dying to try it.

  12. #
    Russell at Chasing Delicious posted November 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    What a scrumptious recipe. I love the use of quinoa here.

  13. #
    Simply Life posted November 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I love this idea of adding quinoa- I’m sure it’s so filling!

  14. #
    Reeni posted November 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I just recently discovered my love for quinoa! You did delicious things with it here! I love the flavors you incorporated!

  15. #
    Megan posted November 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Can you come over and make me breakfast? This sounds amazing. I’ve made breakfast quinoa before… similar to oatmeal but with honey. So good!

  16. #
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted November 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I am just coming around to quinoa. This looks absolutely delicious and stunning. Beautiful photos, Bianca!

  17. #
    Susan (Oliepants) posted November 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Yep – I could absolutely have this for breakfast almost every morning nowadays. I love the layering and all the delicious flavors you have going on here!

  18. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted November 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

    This is an fantastic idea – I never do quinoa for breakfast but that is seriously silly. Beautiful presentation!

  19. #
    Juliana posted November 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Bianca, love the idea of using quinoa for dessert…looks beautiful and so delicious.
    Hope you are having a great week and thanks for this lovely recipe :-)

  20. #
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks posted November 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    This parfait looks delicious! Full of healthful ingredients – great for breakfast!

  21. #
    Joanne posted November 12, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Healthy dessert for breakfast that involves massive amounts of pumpkin? You can count me in. This looks AMAZING.

  22. #
    Kerstin posted November 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Yum, these look so tasty and I love that you served them in such cute jars!

  23. #
    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit) posted November 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    YUM! I’ve been looking for some delicious ways to use quinoa for breakfast! I think I’ve found one!

  24. #
    shannon posted November 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    oh wow, this sounds fabulous… it’s making me hungry :)

  25. #
    Jun Belen posted November 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Oh my! This is decadent in a healthy way! Delicious! And by the way, I’ve been seeing your name and your blog all over the place lately. Well done and congrats to all the sweet mentions, Bianca!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much Jun! I’m very happy for all the mentions and press lately :)

  26. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted November 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    This parfait looks delicious and I especially like the idea of topping it off with chocolate nuts:-)

  27. #
    betty posted November 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    wow – this looks totally scrumptious – yum! thank u for sharing i love the idea of dessert quinoa :)

  28. #
    Judy M. posted January 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm


    I happened on your site Googling quinioa and yogurt! I think this looks awesome! I have butternut squash on hand and I’m going to substitute that for the pumpkin. May turn out a bit sweeter but I think will be good! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Hi Judy! I’m glad you found me, and thanks for the nice comment! I actually think butternut squash would be even better as I tend to like sweeter things ;) Enjoy!


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