Quick update, in case anyone was sitting breathless waiting to see what kinds of alternative breakfasts I came up with to replace my almond butter/banana rice cakes. Per a suggestion from a faithful reader, I made a warm quinoa cereal with dried cranberries, almonds, and cashews. I really liked it, and Little E couldn’t get enough; She ate 3 bowls. I guess we found ourselves a winner. Thanks MS.
Warm Quinoa Cereal
NOTE: I used yellow quinoa this morning, but red would also be good. I find it to be considerably more chewy, so might add an interesting texture to this dish. I also saw a tri-colored quinoa in the bulk bin at our local coop, which I cannot wait to try. The recipe I’m posting below is really the simplest possible way to prepare this dish, but there are several small changes that could enhance flavor (like toasting the quinoa before cooking) so feel free to experiment. For the milk I used coconut milk, but any milk (cow’s, almond, soy) would do.
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
3/4 to 1 c milk
Cinnamon, cardamom and/or ginger, salt and honey (to taste)
Dried fruit (I used cranberries. Apricots, raisins, or cherries [or some combination] would also be good)
Nuts, toasted (I had almonds and cashew pieces on hand. Adding/using walnuts would provide a good source of Omega fatty acids, as would adding a sprinkle of fresh, ground flax seed)
1. Put quinoa and water over med-high heat and bring to a boil (I sprinkled with cinnamon [about 1 tsp] because I didn’t have a cinnamon stick to throw in). Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes (until the quinoa has absorbed all the water). Fluff with a fork
2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the milk and spices. cinnamon, cardamom and ginger are all warming spices, so go easy unless you know the flavor you like. I would generally recommend 1:1 or 1:1/2 cinnamon: cardamom and probably 1:1/4 cinnamon to ginger. Add a pinch of salt. Continue to stir just enough so that the milk doesn’t burn or boil. You just want it warmed.
3. Once the quinoa is ready, scoop desired amount in a bowl and pour milk over (add just as much as you like to make the cereal as wet or dry as you want). Top with dried fruit and nuts. Drizzle cereal with honey, and enjoy.