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My Cousin Quinn’s Russian Cream Breakfast Parfait

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Dec 24, 2010

My beautiful cousin Quinn is the middle child of my uncle I speak of often, in my books and lectures. (My 32-year old Uncle Gerald chose the medical route when diagnosed with cancer, at the same time my grandmother chose a 100% raw diet.) Just three years ago, Quinn’s husband was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 32, just like her father was. 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 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–hope you enjoy this!

Quinn’s Russian Cream and Berries

Serves 6-8

2 envelopes gelatin (you can get a vegan variety, no horses hooves, at health food stores)

2 c. water

Combine in sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes.

Combine and mix well until all lumps are incorporated:

3 c. plain yogurt or kefir (learn to make it yourself in Ch. 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods)

1 can coconut milk

2 t. vanilla

2 t. alcohol-free almond extract

1 t. stevia

1/4 c. agave (or to taste)

Add gelatin mixture to yogurt mixture. Fold and mix with whisk until smooth. Do not beat. Pour into small dishes or large bowl. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve with berry sauce and fresh berries.

Berry sauce

Combine 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (or just one type of berry). When berries are thawed and broken up, add 1/2 t. stevia and 1 T. orange juice concentrate. Thicken by adding a little cornstarch and water. Boil for a few minutes stirring until sauce is no longer chalky looking and is a little thickened. Add to the top of yogurt mixture.

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

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, MSW 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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