Break out of your oatmeal rut and consider something new in that hot cereal bowl: quinoa. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge oatmeal fan. My people are from Ireland, for goodness sake. But changing things up is a smart idea since every grain offers different nutrients. Quinoa has a well balanced amino acid profile (protein building blocks) and is especially rich in magnesium and iron. Oh, and it’s gluten free. Go quinoa!
Breakfast is actually my favorite meal for this teensy, protein-packed grain. Sometimes I’ll make a fresh pot in the morning; more often, I’ll warm up leftovers from dinner the night before. Unlike oats, which seem to pair just right with fruits, both cooked and dried, quinoa lends itself to toppings crisp and crunchy. Diced raw apples and toasted almonds are our standard fixings around here, or we’ll sometimes go tropical with mango and banana. Each bowl is finished with a drizzle of maple syrup and cold milk.
If you’ve never made quinoa, here’s a quick tutorial: Put two cups quinoa into a fine mesh sieve (or colander lined with cheese cloth) and rinse thoroughly with water to eliminate any bitterness). Combine quinoa in a sauce pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, put on the lid, and cook until tender (about 20 to 25 minutes). Any liquid remaining can be drain off.
If you want to learn more, here’s an entire blog devoted to the subject.
What ideas do you have for quinoa at breakfast (or other grains for that matter)? I’d love to hear.