Though I have been in a bit of a routine of eating oat porridge each morning for breakfast, I thought it would be good to have another option to change it up a bit, and having heard a lot about quinoa porridge I decided to give it a go.
Quinoa is pronounced ‘Keeen-wah’ and is a seed, despite being used like a grain. It comes both as the whole seeds – which are great for salads and hot dishes and as rolled flakes – such as I have used for this breakfast dish.
Quinoa is a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians as it contains all 10 essential amino acids (that our bodies cannot synthesise and require to be taken in via our diet). It is also a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc, making it more nutritious than other grains and it is also gluten free.
Quinoa also contains saponins – which are a natural defence mechanism of the plant, so it is best to rinse it well before cooking to remove the bitter taste. Though it adds another step to cooking, if you rinse it in a fine sieve you will find that the flavour is drastically improved.
Quinoa flakes are even easier to cook than porridge as they are so fine and thin, they don’t require much cooking at all.
You can either cook them on the stove top with equal quantities of quinoa and water, or just whisk boiling water into the quinoa flakes. I have found that both methods work well, but the bowl method gives less to wash up so that is what I will go with from now on.
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup boiling water
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Toppings: natural yoghurt, fruit, toasted coconut and slivered almonds
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve and transfer to a bowl (add cinnamon at this point)
- Add an equal quantity of boiling water to the bowl, whisking until the flakes are soaked
- Allow to sit for approx 1 min or until softened
- Top with your choice of toppings, I used yoghurt, pomegranate seeds, passionfruit, toasted coconut and slivered almonds, with a drizzle of maple syrup
This makes a nice light porridge with a distinctive flavour, and is a nice alternative to oat based porridge for people who are avoiding grains. It might be easier to transition to if you do half oats, half quinoa at first.
Buy quinoa flakes from a health food store – i try to get them in the bulk grain section so I can buy the exact quantity that I want. Whole quinoa grains can be found in the grocery store and can be used in place of rice or cous cous – or in a salad or soup.
For more quinoa info and a tasty looking recipe, see this post: 12 things you should know about quinoa
Photos from: my camera
Nutritional information via:
Vega-Gálvez, A., Miranda, M., Vergara, J., Uribe, E., Puente, L. and Martínez, E. A. (2010), Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review. J. Sci. Food Agric., 90: 2541–2547. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4158