I love serving this patriotic “red, white and blue” dish in the summer. It’s a great tasting quinoa dessert recipe that gets a big nutritional boost from my #3 super healthy super food, blueberries and the #14 entry yogurt! However, every ingredient in this delicious nutritious dessert offers a power packed nutritional punch.
Quinoa Nutritional Benefits
Let’s start with the nutritional boost you get from quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a pseudo-cereal which means it’s a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. It has been recognized as a complete food due to its protein quality. Qunioa has remarkable nutritional properties; not only from its protein content (15%) but also from its great amino acid balance. It is an important source of minerals and vitamins, and has also been found to contain compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids with possible nutraceutical benefits 1 Quinoa is gluten-free which means if you’re avoiding wheat and other grains to avoid gluten, it’s qunioa to the rescue!
Another clue to quinoa’s “non grain” status is it is higher in nutrients than most grains 2. When cooked, it is soft and fluffy and has a slightly nutty flavor. With a glycemic index score of 53, (based on serving size of a little less than 1 cup of cooked quinoa) it’s a great substitute for rice, since white rice as a glycemic index score of 74.3 .
A serving of cooked quinoa contains 32 grams of total carbohydrates, including 1 gram of sugar. These are “good” carbs that digest slowly and enter your bloodstream gradually. That means quinoa doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike after eating it.4
Raspberry Nutritional Benefits
Red Raspberries contain strong antioxidants such as Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid. These antioxidants work hard to fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age-related decline. They are high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
What’s so great about ellagic acid? Ellagic acid contributes to significant inhibition of colon, esophageal, liver, lung, tongue, and skin cancers in studies with rats and mice. Other studies have shown that the human body readily absorbs the ellagic acid from red raspberries which has been clinically shown to cause cell death in certain cancer cells. So it appears that eating red raspberries may prevent cancer 4
Blueberry Nutritional Benefits
Blueberries are high in fiber, low in calories and carbohydrate, and contain almost no fat. No wonder they’re #3 on our super healthy super foods hit parade! However, the nutritional benefits don’t stop there. These little blue beauties contain plant compounds called anthocyanins that have been shown to have antioxidant power by combating oxidative stress. Research suggests that eating foods with anthocyanins may also help to fend off diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer and aid in health maintenance.5
Yogurt Nutritional Benefits
Yogurt is made from milk, so you’ll get about 9 grams of animal protein per 6 ounce serving. In this recipe, yogurt is providing animal protein while the quinoa is providing plant protein. So this dessert is a win/win on the protein front. It also provides valuable probiotics which are the good bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Researchers suspect that probiotics can help boost your immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract. In addition to protein, yougurt provides the vitamins and minerals you’ve come to expect from your dairy products, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.6
Now let’s see the recipe:
Quinoa, Raspberries and Blueberry Parfait
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1-1 1/2 cups raspberries
1-1 1/2 cups blueberries
2 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
1. Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins.
2. Bring water to a boil.
3. Stir in quinoa, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Allow quinoa to cool
5. In 4-6 parfait glasses (depending on size of glass) layer quinoa, yogurt, blueberries, yogurt, raspberries and yogurt. Repeat layering if desired.
6. Top with a few blueberries and raspberries for a “patriotic” appearance.
The nutrition facts will depend on the type on yogurt that you use and the amount of blueberries and raspberries. These nutrition facts are using low-fat yogurt and one cup each of blueberries and raspberries.
Nutrition facts: 4, 6 servings: 262, 174 calories; 49, 33 carbs; 11,7 gm pro; 5.5, 3.5gm fat