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Friday, September 24, 2010

Quinoa Cereal

Quinoa is one of those magical protein-rich foods that dates back to the Inca civilization of pre-Hispanic Peru. The first time I had it I couldn't stand it. But that's because I was trying to make some sort of stew with spinach and it failed in every which way.

I finally learned how to cook it properly (hint: don't drown it in chicken broth like I did the first time) and now it has replaced rice in my kitchen. It basically cooks the same way: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. And since I usually make it to pair with meat, that liquid could be water or any number of broths. But when I decided to boil it in milk, that's when I realized what a great breakfast cereal this could be.

In a word: delicious. And a single bowl has so many nutrients, you may never die should you eat this regularly. Ok, that's a lie, but the health benefits are laid out in plain English on The World's Healthiest Foods.

A single serving is a quarter cup. Boil that up in the morning with your favorite type of milk (I like unsweetened almond milk), throw in some fruit, and you have breakfast:

Though I'd never seen a recipe call for this preparation, I know I couldn't be alone in my breakfast-y application. The very first time I made this, I went searching for other like-minded folks and found Sarah of Food Cite. Like me, she is trying to avoid death by cooking quinoa as often as possible.

Quinoa Cereal
yields 1 serving

1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup milk (rice, almond, cow, etc.)
Sugar or honey (optional)

1. Rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. This helps remove some of the bitterness.

2. Place quinoa and milk in a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until all liquid is absorbed (about 5-10 minutes).

3. Serve piping hot and steam your pores at the same time. Or cool to a non-lethal temperature and sprinkle or drizzle in your sweetener of choice (if using, I find the almond milk has just enough natural sweetness).

This goes especially well topped with a sweet mango. Or bananas. Or blueberries. Pick a fresh fruit. You really can't go wrong.

The recipe doubles and triples really easily. Simply keep the 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid. Cooking time will increase as well. 2 cups of quinoa in 4 cups of milk will take about 15 minutes.


Annette said...

How does it compare to oatmeal?

Jean | said...

Paulette, I haven't tried quinoa as a breakfast cereal yet. Sounds good. I've been doing more gluten-free lately. Just did some GF chocolate cupcakes!

Paulette said...

@Annette: it's more like rice than oatmeal, really. I find it more gooder. :)

@Jean: please post the recipe!

Mumblemumble said...

That bowl of cereal looks sooo yummy! I also like the mango choice. I may have to try that one...