Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
As a child, I never thought that as an adult I’d consider eating quinoa breakfast cereal a treat.
Growing up my mom would make us a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast almost daily. And for most of my childhood, I absolutely hated it and refused to eat. But at some point in my teens, I came to the realization that it was how my mom cooked it that I hated. After having oatmeal at a friend’s house, and learning how to make it the way they did, I was hooked. It was in fact one of my favorite things to have for breakfast for many years to come. As an adult, I would even say that it was comfort food. Whenever I felt down or unwell I made a bowl of oatmeal with all the good toppings and life just felt better.
The End of An Era
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease 5 years ago, I knew that I was going to have to make some big changes to my diet to really get my condition under control. I was already vegetarian but then had to make the switch to vegan and gluten-free. Both were heartbreaking to give up. Then went the nightshades and the nuts followed by rice and oats! Fuck my life! What’s even left at this point?
All these foods were triggers that caused autoimmune flareups. Since eliminating them all from my diet my health has greatly improved and with that my quality of life. So even though it would make me sad at one point and at times can be difficult to eat especially when traveling, it’s 100% been worth it. But why oatmeal? Although oatmeal is naturally gluten-free, it does contain avenin, a protein with similar characteristics to gluten. To similar that the body can have a hard time distinguishing the two. Therefore oats can be especially harmful to people with celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders like me, with Hashimoto’s.
At first, having to relearn how to cook healthier versions of everything was difficult, and to be honest, I really didn’t have much interest in it. But eventually, my love of cooking and my need to always do better overtook my initial hesitation. Recreating my old favorite recipes eventually became easy and I no longer even have to think about what ingredients I needed to do it. I really can’t tell you how happy and excited I was when I first came across this Quinoa Porridge on a restaurant menu. So of course when I got home from my trip I went to work recreating the recipe of that quinoa breakfast cereal only better.
What is Quinoa
Quinoa is an ancient South American grain that’s been largely ignored here in the states up until a few years ago. We now hail it as a “superfood” due to its high nutritional content and health benefits. It has become a staple among foodies and the health-conscious. Nutritionally, it is considered to be a whole grain but it’s technically a seed and is gluten-free. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals and contains more protein, fiber, and healthy fats than other grains. Adding quinoa to your diet is a great way to increase your daily intake of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Since cutting rice out of my diet several years ago, I’ve replaced it with quinoa and have never missed it.
One cup of cooked quinoa will provide you with the following
- Manganese: 58% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
- Phosphorous: 28% of the RDI.
- Folate: 19% of the RDI.
- Copper: 18% of the RDI.
- Iron: 15% of the RDI.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDI.
- Thiamin: 13% of the RDI.
- Riboflavin: 12% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI.
Only 220 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and about 5 grams of fiber.
Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 tea vanilla
- tiny pinch salt
- tiny pinch cardamom.
- 1/2 cup preferred milk (personal favorite is coconut milk) other options include rice, hemp, soy, oat, and almond milk.
- maple syrup, sugar, honey, etc.
- berries, fruit, nuts (optional)
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for at least 30 seconds.
- Then add the quinoa with water to a pot with a well-fitting lid.
- Add the vanilla, cardamom, and salt to the pot and lightly stir.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes.
- Slowly add the milk until you reach your desired thickness. (To make the cereal extra rich and creamy, I sometimes add a large spoonful of coconut cream).
- Add your maple syrup, fresh fruit and other toppings and your done!
Some of my favorite toppings I like to include are coconut oil, cinnamon, fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas. As well as dried fruit, goji berries, and hemp seeds.
Even though I don’t eat them anymore, chopped almonds and cashews are also very good.
A few last thoughts
Even though this recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish, let’s be honest. Even though I’m sure we’d all love to start your day with a fresh homemade meal, we don’t always have that much time in the morning to cook! Some easy ways around that are to make your quinoa the night before or even make a large enough amount to last a few days. If you store it in an airtight container in the fridge, it will stay for several days. That’s what I usually do. That way in the morning I can just portion out what I want for that morning’s breakfast, stick it in a small pot, add my milk, heat it up, and throw on my toppings. It only takes a few minutes and I have a beautiful bowl of hot cereal.
If you give this quinoa breakfast cereal a try, I hope you love it as much as I do! And be sure to let me know in the comments below!