Quinoa, a health food favorite, isn’t just for lunch bowls and dinner side dishes any more! Packed with nutrients and quick to cook up, quinoa is a healthy and filling way to start your day. Try it for breakfast with the tips and recipes below.
With a whopping 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup, quinoa is a great oatmeal alternative and can be prepared in as many creative ways. Quinoa is also a great source of essential minerals like iron, magnesium and folate, making it an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Most recipes for breakfast quinoa follow the same easy steps, and while quinoa takes just 15 minutes to cook, you can also make a big batch and then reheat throughout the week. Just add a bit of the milk of your choice before popping it in the microwave! You can also use leftover quinoa from weeknight dinners as a quick and easy base, as long as it hasn’t been seasoned.
To prepare quinoa:
1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer with cool water, rubbing gently with your fingertips, until the water runs clear. Quinoa is naturally coated in a substance called saponin which can give cooked quinoa a bitter or even soapy flavor, but it’s easily removed through rinsing.
2. Bring the liquid of your choice to boil in a large sauce pan. Use two cups of liquid per one cup of dry quinoa. Most breakfast quinoas will use milk-- both dairy and nondairy milks work well. Some recipes will use a bit more liquid to yield a more porridge-like consistency. Keep in mind that one cup of dry quinoa yields about three cups of cooked quinoa, so pick a pan appropriately sized to the amount you’re making.
3. Add rinsed quinoa to the pan and optionally toast over high heat for several minutes, stirring frequently. Though not necessary, toasting can give quinoa a great nutty flavor. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
You can top your quinoa simply with a bit of extra milk, maple syrup and fresh or dried fruit, and nuts, or get creative with some of the suggestions below.
Quinoa is the perfect base for your favorite fruits, nuts and seeds. As a bonus, fresh fruits like apples and bananas, can be used to sweeten breakfast quinoa dishes and eliminate or reduce the need for added sweeteners.
Treat quinoa as a base for some of your favorite flavor combinations, like apple and cinnamon, pumpkin and pumpkin spice, chocolate and peanut butter, or breakfast classics like maple-pecan. Have a few favorite recipes for sweets, like bananas or blueberry muffins, that you’d like to turn into a healthy breakfast?
Take the key ingredients that give the recipe flavor, like fruit or spices, and leave added oils and sugar behind.
Quinoa is a fantastic hot breakfast option to give you energy and keep you going all morning, so try it out on a crisp autumn or winter morning and add a new grain to your breakfasts.
Sara Vallejo is a self-confessed happiness, health and self-development junkie from Chicago. She writes professionally in a business development and marketing capacity, and as a volunteer for a digital nonprofit. Miss Vallejo is a passionate mental and holistic health advocate who believes that good health is an ongoing journey best undertaken with supportive peers. Sara’s areas of expertise include nutrition, weight loss, women’s health, mental health and disability issues. She is returning to weight loss and fitness following orthopedic surgery and is excited to encourage and inspire fellow Azumio community members and readers to achieve the best health they can.
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