Breakfast & Brunch · Grains · Recipes · Vegetarian

Quinoa porridge: endless possibilities

I have a few pantry staples and quinoa is definitely one of them. The seed (that’s right, it’s a seed not a grain!) is a complete protein (contains all nine amino acids) and is gluten-free. When cooked, it is light and fluffy with a bite to the tooth and a slightly nutty flavour. Quinoa is infinitely versatile and can be used in both savoury and sweet recipes; served warm or cold; boiled, puffed, sprouted, or ground into flour (and subsequently made into pizza, bread, pasta…)! It can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner – delicious as a base in salads, a substitute for rice in sushi, risotto and curries, granola, soups, porridge etc etc. The possibilities are endless, what’s not to love?!
Quinoa comes in many different colours, the most common being the yellow-y/white and black varieties. It needs to be rinsed before cooking (to remove the bitterness) though ideally it should be rinsed, soaked for a few hours, rinsed again, and then boiled. Soaking grains/seeds/nuts, particularly in acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice), helps to remove the phytic acid making the little guys easier to digest.

Once a week, I cook up a big batch of quinoa and use it throughout the week in various dishes. In the winter, I particularly get hooked onto warming breakfasts which can be prepared in advance, quinoa porridge fits that profile perfectly. Here I’m sharing four of my favourite quinoa porridge flavour bomb combinations:
– persimmon (kaki), rosemary, orange blossom and walnut
– pomegranate and pecan
– banana, mango, toasted coconut and macadamia
– stewed pear and rhubarb, sunflower seed and hazelnut
As always, feel free to create your own!

Quinoa porridge:  four ways

Quinoa porridge base
makes 4 x 1/2C porridge serves

1C quinoa
1TB apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1tsp salt

Directions
1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Place into saucepan with apple cider vinegar and cover with 2C warm filtered water. Cover saucepan and let soak at room temperature for around 7-8hrs (or overnight).
2. Rinse the soaked quinoa in the fine mesh sieve to ensure all the acid is removed. Return to saucepan and add salt and 3C filtered water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10-15mins (until quinoa is translucent).
3. Strain quinoa and fluff with fork. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

*Notes:
– recipes below use varying nut butters – feel free to mix them up
– porridges can be served warm or cold, for the cold option, it’s as simple as not heating the quinoa up with the milk!
– supercharge your porridges by adding a teaspoon of maca powder, chia seeds or açaí powder to the milk mixture
– mix up your sweetener of choice (honey, maple, agave, dates…)

Persimmon (kaki), rosemary, orange blossom and walnut
per person

 Ingredients
1/2C pre-cooked quinoa
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/3C milk (dairy or grain)
1/2TB almond butter
1/2 persimmon (kaki)
1cm piece of fresh rosemary (1/2tsp chopped)
1tsp orange blossom water
1tsp honey
1TB chopped walnuts
2TB greek yogurt

Directions
1. Combine quinoa, vanilla, milk, cinnamon and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until quinoa is warm and most of the milk absorbed (around 5mins).
2. Meanwhile peel and dice the persimmon and combine in a bowl with orange blossom water, honey and chopped rosemary.
3. Place warm quinoa porridge in individual bowls and top with persimmon mixture, yogurt, and walnuts.

Pomegranate and pecan
per person

IngredientsIMG_1595
1/2C pre-cooked quinoa
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1 medjool date
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/3C milk (dairy or grain)
1/2TB cashew nut butter
2TB pomegranate seeds
1TB chopped pecans
1tsp hemp seeds
2TB greek yogurt

Directions
1. Combine quinoa, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, chopped medjool date and cashew nut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until quinoa is warm and most of the milk absorbed (around 5mins).
2. Place warm quinoa porridge in individual bowls and top with pomegranate seeds, hemp seeds, yogurt, and pecans.

Banana, mango, toasted coconut and macadamia
per person

Ingredients
1/2C pre-cooked quinoa
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1TB maple syrup
1/3C coconut milk
1TB shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 banana
1/4 mango
1TB fresh lime juice
1/2tsp fresh lime rind
1TB chopped macadamias
2TB greek yogurt
2 fresh mint leaves

Directions
1. Combine quinoa, vanilla, coconut milk, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until quinoa is warm and most of the milk absorbed (around 5mins).
2. Meanwhile dice the mango and combine with lime juice, lime rind and chopped fresh mint.
3. Toast the shredded coconut on a skillet over low heat until golden and fragrant.
4. Place warm quinoa porridge in individual bowls and top with mango mixture, sliced banana, yogurt, macadamias and toasted coconut.


Stewed pear and rhubarb, sunflower seeds and hazelnut
per person

Ingredients
1/2C pre-cooked quinoa
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1 medjool date
1/3C milk (dairy or grain)
1/2TB almond butter
1TB chopped hazelnuts
2TB greek yogurt

Stewed pear and rhubarb
makes enough for at least 4
2 ripe pears
2 stalks rhubarb
2TB maple syrup
2tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon (juice and rind)

Directions
1. Combine quinoa, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, chopped medjool date and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until quinoa is warm and most of the milk absorbed (around 5mins).
2. Meanwhile, core and cut the pears in 8 slices (quartered and halved). Wash and cut rhubarb into 2cm pieces and place in a small saucepan with pear slices, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon and 1 1/2C water. Simmer over low heat until fruit is soft and liquid reduced.
3. Place warm quinoa porridge in individual bowls and top with stewed pear and rhubarb, yogurt, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts.

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