Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Quinoa

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published August 20, 2023

The chocolate in this diabetes-friendly recipe adds a treat-like flavor to this easy dish that can be eaten morning, noon and night.

Indulge in the captivating flavors of Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Quinoa, a delightful recipe brought to you by Mastering Diabetes. This exquisite dish seamlessly blends the goodness of fresh fruits with the earthy allure of chocolate quinoa, offering a treat that not only satisfies your taste buds but also supports your journey towards better health. 

Embrace the harmonious combination of nutrient-rich ingredients that satiate sweet cravings while nourishing your body from within. 

Quinoa: The Mighty Superfood for Diabetes - Nourishing Health, Taming Blood Glucose Levels

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop that has been cultivated in the Andean region of South America for thousands of years. It was a staple food of the Inca civilization and was considered sacred by the indigenous people of the Andes. Quinoa's resilience, adaptability, and high nutritional value allowed it to thrive in the harsh Andean climates, contributing to its significance in their culture.

In recent decades, quinoa gained popularity worldwide as a nutritious and gluten-free alternative to traditional grains. Its rise in popularity as a healthful superfood has led to increased cultivation in various regions beyond the Andes, making it readily available in markets and stores worldwide. Today, quinoa continues to be celebrated for its exceptional nutritional content and versatility in various culinary creations.

Quinoa is often hailed as a superfood due to its impressive nutritional profile. It is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for human health. 

A cooked 1-cup (185 grams) serving of quinoa provides approximately:

  • Calories: 222

  • Carbohydrates: 39 grams

  • Protein: 8 grams

  • Fat: 3.5 grams

  • Fiber: 5.2 grams

  • Magnesium: 30% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDI

  • Folate: 19% of the RDI

  • Iron: 15% of the RDI

  • Zinc: 13% of the RDI

  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI

  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI

  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 8% of the RDI

Quinoa has a relatively low glycemic index, which means it does not cause rapid spikes in blood glucose levels after consumption. The GI of quinoa is around 53, making it a favorable choice for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood glucose levels.

The glycemic load (GL) takes into account the portion size of a food and its effect on blood glucose. Quinoa has a low GL, further indicating its potential to help stabilize blood glucose levels when incorporated into meals.

Quinoa is an excellent option for people living with diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content. The combination of protein, fiber, and slow-releasing carbohydrates in quinoa helps promote steady blood glucose levels, preventing rapid spikes and crashes. Moreover, quinoa's impressive nutrient profile supports overall health, making it a valuable addition to a diabetes-friendly diet.

Berry Bliss: Sweet Delights for Diabetes

Berries are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Let's look at the nutritional content of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries per 1-cup serving (approximately 150 grams):


  • Calories: 49

  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams

  • Fiber: 3 grams

  • Vitamin C: 89% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

  • Manganese: 29% of the RDI

  • Folate: 9% of the RDI

  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI


  • Calories: 84

  • Carbohydrates: 21 grams

  • Fiber: 4 grams

  • Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI

  • Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI

  • Antioxidants (Anthocyanins): Blueberries are especially rich in various antioxidants.


  • Calories: 64

  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams

  • Fiber: 8 grams

  • Vitamin C: 54% of the RDI

  • Vitamin K: 12% of the RDI

  • Manganese: 41% of the RDI

Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, generally have a low glycemic index, typically ranging from 25 to 40. The low GI means they cause only a gradual increase in blood glucose levels when consumed.

The glycemic load (GL) of berries is also low because of their relatively low carbohydrate content. A low GL indicates that berries have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels, making them suitable for people with diabetes.

Fruitful Fuel for Diabetes

Fruit can be incredibly beneficial for people living with diabetes, especially when they prioritize keeping their fat levels low. Unlike some misconceptions, fruits are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. 

When consumed in their whole, unprocessed form, fruits typically have a low glycemic index, meaning they have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels. Moreover, the natural sugars in fruits are accompanied by fiber, which slows down glucose absorption, helping to maintain stable blood glucose levels. 

By focusing on low-fat fruit choices, individuals with diabetes can enjoy the healthful benefits of nature's gifts without compromising their blood glucose control, supporting their overall well-being in the journey towards managing diabetes effectively.

Berries, with their low glycemic index and glycemic load, are excellent choices for people living with diabetes. They provide a natural sweetness while helping to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Additionally, the fiber content in berries slows down the absorption of glucose, further contributing to better blood glucose management.

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries offer various health benefits, including supporting heart health, reducing inflammation, and enhancing immune function. Including a variety of berries in the diet can contribute to overall well-being and support diabetes management.

Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Quinoa

Beverly Verwey
Servings 1 person
Calories 437 kcal


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup mixed spring greens
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 1/2 mango sliced
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries cut in half
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup optional


  • Stir the cacao powder into the cooked quinoa and mix well.
  • On a plate spread out the mixed greens and top with chocolate quinoa.
  • Add the fruit and top with maple syrup if using.


Use any berries that you wish.


Calories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 12.2gFat: 5.3gSodium: 323.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.