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My Cousin Quinn’s Russian Cream Breakfast Parfait

Robyn Openshaw - Dec 24, 2010 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

My beautiful cousin Quinn is the middle child of my uncle Gerald, whom I speak of often in my books and lectures. Uncle Gerald chose the medical route when he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 32; at the same time, my grandmother chose to follow a 100% raw diet to help with her own cancer diagnosis.

Just three years ago, Quinn's husband was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 32, just like her father was once upon a time. She unflinchingly supported him through a very mild round of chemo.

Then she showed up at my house, learned a bunch of stuff, and implemented it in a committed way. She dug into the green-smoothie, whole-foods lifestyle with tenacity and grace.

When I grow up, I want to be Quinn.

Her husband Jon, an orthodontist, is in good health now and enjoying life with his three small children.

Every few months Quinn invites me, my sister, Quinn's sister, and one of our other cousins (there are 49 of us Romney first cousins!) to her home for breakfast or lunch. I was just there last week, and she served this fabulous version of "Russian Cream," adapted to be infinitely healthier (and I've added a slight improvement or two myself).

Merry Christmas, and I hope you enjoy this!

Quinn's Russian Cream and Berries

Serves 6-8


  • 2 envelopes gelatin (you can get a vegan variety at most health food stores)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups plain yogurt or kefir (learn to make kefir yourself in Chapter 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp alcohol-free almond extract
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 cup agave (adjust to taste)


  1. Combine gelatin and water in sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well until all lumps are incorporated.
  3. Add gelatin mixture to yogurt mixture. Fold and mix with whisk until smooth. Do not beat.
  4. Pour into small dishes or large bowl. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve with berry sauce and fresh berries.

Berry Sauce


  • 2 cups berries (fresh or frozen, mixed or one variety)
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp orange juice concentrate
  • small amounts cornstarch and water


  1. If using frozen berries, allow to thaw.
  2. Combine berries, stevia, and orange juice concentrate in a pot. Thicken by adding a little cornstarch and water.
  3. Boil mixture for a few minutes, until sauce is thickened and no longer chalky-looking.
  4. Add to the top of yogurt mixture and serve.

This is great as a dessert, or add some granola and serve as breakfast parfait.

Read next: Making Healthy Holiday Treats & Memories!

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Recipes

5 thoughts on “My Cousin Quinn’s Russian Cream Breakfast Parfait”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, you are so kind! Can’t wait for our next get-together!

  2. Anonymous says:

    So inspired by Robyn and Quinn! 🙂

    Made the parfait Christmas morning and it was delicious. It’s like a yogurt set up with jello consistency- very light and fresh.

    Thanks Robyn!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn, I just wondered if you could pass your opinion on the following regarding Agave syrup, as I notice you use it quite extensively –

    From Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D. in neurobiology (blog at […]

    “Agave syrup is made from the heart of the agave plant, which is pressed to release a juice rich in inulin. Inulin is a polymer made of fructose molecules. The inulin is then broken down either by heat or by enzymatic processing. The result is a sweet syrup that is rich in fructose. Agave syrup is marketed as a healthy, alternative sweetener. In fact, it’s probably as bad or worse than high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). They are both a refined and processed plant extract. Both are high in fructose, with agave syrup leading HFCS (estimates of agave syrup range up to 92% fructose by calories). Finally, agave syrup is expensive and inefficient to produce. The high fructose content gives agave syrup a low glycemic index, because fructose does not raise blood glucose. Unfortunately, as some diabetics learned the hard way, using fructose as a substitute for sucrose (cane sugar) has negative long-term effects on insulin sensitivity.”

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Hi Gill, I’ve blogged on this pretty extensively in the past, and you can search this blog.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I have just started green smoothies two weeks ago. First week and half I drank 6 to 8 oz. Past two days a quart. I have gained 2 pounds since I started. Is this normal? I am eating less meat and more fruit. I don’t want to give up but I don’t need more weight either. Help!

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