Break out of your oatmeal rut and consider something new in that hot cereal bowl: breakfast 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.

What ideas do you have for quinoa at breakfast (or other grains for that matter)? I’d love to hear.

Breakfast Quinoa

Servings 3 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Milk , if desired
  • Any of the following toppings: berries , diced fruits, dried fruits, nuts, seeds
  • Maple syrup or honey for sweetness , if desires

Instructions

  1. Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve set in the sink and rinse to eliminate any bitterness (some quinoa is pre-rinsed, so you can skip this step if so).
  2. Put quinoa in a medium saucepan and add the water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drop the heat until it simmers, add the lid, and cook until the quinoa is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve to drain off any remaining water.
  3. To serve, spoon warm quinoa into bowls, milk, as desired, along with any favorite toppings.