It’s gotten a bit chilly in New York in the past day or so. It’s perfect weather for a nice hot breakfast to start the day. I love oatmeal and have been having it for breakfast during the colder months for many years. I just recently tried switching things up a bit and making my regular oatmeal (porridge) with quinoa instead. And I have to tell you, I like it better! And I like using the word porridge better now too!
As you might know quinoa is a gluten free amino-acid rich protein seed (not a grain although it is often referred to as one) that is native to South America. The protein it supplies is a complete protein which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Whew! These guys pack a punch.
It’s a nice change from the plain old oatmeal and I prefer the texture of the quinoa version much better. It is fluffy and has a slightly crunchy texture. And here is something interesting…I have noticed that the quinoa version sustains me far longer than traditional oats do, and trust me, I have a very healthy appetite and am almost always hungry!
This combination of the walnuts, cranberries and raisins is my favorite. I especially like the walnuts because I like having that crunch. I find that I search out the walnuts with every spoonful. You can certainly add any other nuts and dried fruits you love or some fresh ones like blueberries or chopped apples. I even like adding a few slices of bananas sometimes. There are many different variations you can try.
I love starting my day with this breakfast. It’s warm and comforting, it fills me up and is very yummy.
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp raisins
1 tsp agave nectar (honey)
1 tsp plain yogurt (optional)
*Serves one hungry person.
Add quinoa, water, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of the milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, walnuts, cranberries and raisins and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency (it will gradually get thicker). Once it reaches the consistency you like, add the honey and the yogurt (yes, yogurt!) and stir to combine. Adding some yogurt might seem odd to some of you, but trust me, it provides a lovely silky consistency.