Have you discovered quinoa? If you replied “keen what?”–read on!
This ancient superfood is actually a seed (not a grain) that originated in the Andean Mountain regions of Peru and Bolivia. It was a favorite crop of the Incas who prized it as a sacred food to build stamina, strength, and energy for endurance activities.
Although quinoa (keen-wah) is still cultivated primarily in South America, it has become a mainstream product found on many grocery store shelves in the United States. It is most common in seed form and is available in a variety of colors–red, black, and golden or white.
This gluten-free nutritional powerhouse is high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals like riboflavin, calcium, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and folic acid. But it’s quinoa’s protein content that makes it a standout. With a whopping 24 grams of plant-based protein per one cup serving, this little seed is an easily digestible vegetarian alternative to meat-based proteins.
High in complex “good” carbohydrates and low in saturated fat, quinoa digests gradually which leaves you feeling full longer, and can help regulate blood sugar which curbs cravings (the Incas were on to something!). Its mild, nutty flavor is versatile enough to blend into baked goods, or use as a side dish or entrée–and it cooks in half the time it takes to prepare rice.
I love using quinoa to make an easy breakfast porridge that’s a healthy, delicious alternative to traditional cereal. It starts my day with an energizing protein boost that keeps me satisfied until lunch.
One cooking note: quinoa seeds have a protective outer coating that can have a bitter flavor. Rinsing the seeds in a colander with cold water before cooking will remove this coating for optimal taste.
You can watch me make this easy recipe in less than three minutes on Season 2 of Cooking Guru, a web-based cooking show brought to you by the talented folks at Food Guru Channel. Thanks for tuning in and please share with all your friends on social media!
QUINOA BREAKFAST PORRIDGE (makes 4-6 servings) *vegetarian & vegan friendly.
(Printer-friendly recipe: FARMINISTA’S QUINOA PORRIDGE )
Make a pot of this cereal at the beginning of each week and refrigerate for a satisfying ready-made breakfast option.
1 cup organic quinoa (I like Trader Joe’s Organic Tricolor Quinoa, but any variety works)
2 cups organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/3 cup organic slivered almonds
1/3 cup dried blueberries or raisins
Optional: Fresh or frozen blueberries
1. Place quinoa in a colander and rinse well with cold water.
2. Put almond milk in a medium saucepan, add rinsed quinoa, and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until all the almond milk is absorbed; about 10 to 15 minutes total.
4. Stir in almonds and dried blueberries or raisins and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and spoon into bowls. Add extra almond milk and berries if desired. Enjoy!!