Quinoa is an ancient grain staple of the Incas. They regarded it so highly that they called it the Mother Grain. It is high in protein and contains essential amino acids, making it a complete protein grain. It’s also Gluten Free and has a Glycemic Index of 35 and Glycemic Load of about 18. All in all, a healthy and nutritious option for breakfast as well as savory dishes, such as casseroles and pilafs.
Do you like breakfast foods? I can’t say breakfast is my favorite meal…it just seems to me that there aren’t very many choices for breakfast…eggs (while there are a million ways to make them, they are still eggs), carbo-loaded fare such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and donuts, cereals, and fruits. It gets old quickly for me. But, I have kids and they like breakfast so I make it for them. Personally, I’m a big fan of leftovers for breakfast, but that doesn’t fly here.
In my quest to eat healthy, real foods, I have once again become acquainted with the ancient grain quinoa (keen-wa). And recently, a friend mentioned that she makes it for breakfast…something I had never even considered.
I made this easy Blueberry Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Pudding and the results were stunning. My three year old son inhaled his and asked for more. My picky-picky ten year old daughter, not so much. I think it was a texture thing for her. Myself, I am so over oatmeal now!
Here is my version of quinoa for breakfast…
Blueberry Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Pudding
2 cups whole, fresh milk
1 cup quinoa (be sure to rinse well or use a pre-rinsed quinoa.I use Ancient Harvest – it’s pre-rinsed and non-GMO)
pinch of sea salt
1 egg, preferably cage-free and organic
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
stevia or other natural sugar of your choice, to taste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
In a medium sauce pan, bring milk and quinoa to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the milk is almost absorbed. Meanwhile, beat egg, vanilla and sea salt until frothy. When quinoa is done, add about half a cup of the hot quinoa to the egg mixture and mix well to temper the egg. Stir back into the quinoa in the saucepan and add stevia and cinnamon, stirring well. Stir in blueberries and serve.
You can add more milk for thinner consistency, mix it up with different fruits (I’m going to try peaches next time) and spices. I love the flavor, subtle cinnamon and vanilla goes very well with the sweet-tart blueberries. The texture is interesting, but not in an unpleasant way for me. Someone else may think differently. It’s hard to describe the texture, it’s not quite oatmeal, not cream of wheat…it’s just quinoa. But it’s just simply amazingly delicious!