About this Recipe
By: Jenn Berkelmans
You: Breakfast Quinoa?
Me: Yes breakfest quinoa!
You: So that’s quinoa for breakfast!?
Me: (laughs) Yes quinoa for breakfast! Trust me you will love it!
So now that we got all the confusion out of the way we can get to business. Quinoa is an up and coming grain that has gained popularity over recent years. Yes quinoa is considered a grain which may come as a surprise to some.
What Is A Grain?
When most people think of grains they think of wheat, rye or barley. However the grain category is much more extensive than that. In fact grains are multi-purpose and are used for many different things such as making alcohol, used for fuel (corn), and of course food.
Grains are considered a complex carbohydrate which is a great source of energy. Complex carbohydrates in comparison to simple carbohydrates (eg. fruit and sugar) take longer to digest and as a result will give you an even and sustained energy vs. simple carbohydrates which will give you a burst of energy followed by a low.
Grains (glutenous grains) have gained a bad rap in the media over the last few years. It is the glutenous grains (wheat) specifically that people tend to be sensitive to or be allergic to. Part of this is due to over consumption. While I do think that some grains are a great addition to a healthy diet, make sure to rotate and get a good variety to what you eat. There are some theories that consuming the same foods all the time are one of the reasons for food sensitivities. In addition pay attention to how you feel after you eat if you notice that you feel congested or have lots of mucous in your throat, are tired or feel brain fog you may have food sensitivities.
Grains in the absence of sensitivities can be a great source of nutrients, minerals and of course our good old friend fiber.
List of Grains:
Not a true grain:
What do I mean by not a true grain? Well I am so glad that you asked 🙂 So Both buckwheat and quinoa are in the grain categories but they have some different properties that set them apart from the other grains. Neither buckwheat or quinoa contain the bran or germ that the traditional grains do.
Buckwheat is actually a fruit with a shell that blooms from a type of thistle. However it closely resembles grains in both texture and nutritional make up. (Another one of my favorites!)
Quinoa has a great balance of all essential amino acids and has a good amount of the amino acid lysine which is usually deficient in most grains. It also has a composition closer resembling some vegetables such as beets and chard.
Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is a nutrition powerhouse full of protein and fiber. It is one of the few plant foods (non-animal product) with a complete balance of all amino acids which makes it a great meat replacement for people trying to decrease or cut out meat products. [bctt tweet=”It is one of the few plant foods (non-animal product) with a complete balance of all amino acids “]Some of the other nutrients found in quinoa include iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and beta carotene (the stuff in carrots that’s good for your eyes.)
I always suggest soaking grains before consuming. Soaking grains helps to break down difficult to digest components phytates or phytic acid. Phytates naturally occur in some foods such as nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. They are the part of the plant that help supply the seed with the energy to sprout. When phytates are consumed they attach to minerals making it hard to digest and absorb the nutrients from the food. When you soak these foods it helps to remove the majority of phytic acid making it much easier to digest and more nutritionally available.
Quinoa is also easy to cook only taking about 20 mins on the stove plus soaking time. Another added bonus is that once cooked quinoa will be 2-3 times it’s original size. Quinoa is extremely versatile as you can see with this recipe, you can use it in place of other grains and use it for all meals. It can be incorporated into soups, salads, replace rice or pasta, or as this post will show – breakfast.
The ratio for quinoa to water is 1:2, so for 1 cup quinoa use 2 cups of water.
- 1 cup. quinoa
- 2 cup. water
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1.5 tbsp. liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)
Step by Step Instructions
Measure out quinoa and put in a medium sized bowl. Cover the quinoa with water leaving about 2 inches of water above and place in the fridge for 8 hours of overnight.
Take quinoa and rinse under cold water, you can stop when you no longer see little bubbles. Then place quinoa in the pot and add water. Set the pot on the stove on high until it boils. Once it comes to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to simmer (low). Cook for 20 minutes until light, fluffy and all water is absorbed.
Once the quinoa is finished cooking add it to a medium sized bowl. Mix with cinnamon, vanilla and sweetener of choice. Use less or more of these ingredients to taste.
Now the fun part! My favorite breakfast container for on the go is wide mouthed mason jars. So take a mason jar and add some of the quinoa, next add some toppings, then more quinoa and more toppings.
- nut butters
- shredded coconut
- sliced fruit
- coconut yogurt (make a parfait!)
- chocolate chips
- cocao nibs
- coconut butter (yum)
Green, Patricia, Elaine Jones, and Carolyn Hemming. Quinoa 365. North Vancouver, BC: Whitecap, 2010. Print.
Haas, Elson M, and Buck Levin. Staying Healthy With Nutrition. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 2006. Print.
Precision Nutrition,. ‘Phytates And Phytic Acid. Here’s What You Need To Know. | Precision Nutrition’. N.p., 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
Well until next time my friends,
Remember …. It’s about loving yourself where you are so that you can get to where you want to go…one step at a time, one change at a time.
Gratitude & Hugs