Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Satisfying Comfort Of Healthy And Sweet Breakfast Quinoa

The healthy yum factor, and the gooeyness of comfort food come together in this delicious hearty breakfast! Plus it's extra easy when you have leftover plain quinoa in the fridge. This version of sweet breakfast quinoa was inspired by the Sunday buffet at our local food co-op. We like to eat, then have a fresh juice, before we food shop to cut down on overspending out of hunger. Since it's healthy organic food it's a win win situation at the co-op. We have nothing as healthy available where we live, so I always look forward to eating out at the cafe! Who knew eating out at a food market would be such a special treat with no guilt needed?

Seems the breakfast quinoa is only available on Sunday's, so when food shopping on that day I get to enjoy someone else preparing my breakfast treat. What about the other days? Well that is why I made this recipe, so we all can enjoy this super breakfast food full of protein and goodness anytime. Nor is this a breakfast food made only for winter enjoyment either. Oh no no no. Cold nut milk and fresh berries make this a perfect summer breakfast too! 

You can make many variations on the following recipe ingredients depending on what you have in your fridge and pantry. Cook up the quinoa fresh, or use leftover quinoa that you did not simmer in vegetable broth and still remains plain in flavor. Although savory quinoa would taste great in the morning in place of home-fries. It is my pattern to make much more quinoa than I need in any dinner recipe, so I can utilize those valuable leftovers! Remember to try this one when you have a leftover bowl of quinoa sitting in your fridge.

Comforting Sweet Breakfast Quinoa

2 cups cooked quinoa

Gogi berries
Golden raisins
2 chopped dates
chopped dried apricots
dried cranberries
2 TBS hemp seeds

2 TBS maple syrup and or honey
1 TB cinnamon
1/4 Tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of 1/2 orange
1/3 cup coconut milk

After above ingredients are warmed together you can 
add the items below to your individual bowl.
Try to use almond, hemp, or coconut milk that does not contain carrageenan.
Fresh Blueberries, Strawberries or other fruit to top.
Recipe serves two or three people.

As you can see this is not a super precise recipe, as the ingredients are more or less to taste and the volume you like in your mixture. Hopefully this gives you a general idea of what can be used. Dried fruits are the sweetest items you can eat so keep that in mind when deciding how many you would like to add. Be aware I always use organic raisins because those made in the conventional way are loaded with pesticides. 

The flavoring of the spices and orange zest are the main keys to a great taste. I also prefer using real maple syrup as it also adds to the flavor. My daughter and her partner tapped some maple trees this spring to cook down into syrup, and we are fortunate to enjoy their sweet sweet labor! Please note that I never use agave to sweeten any recipe, as that is no different than using high fructose corn syrup.

To begin: Prepare quinoa, or use leftover quinoa. I think its best to already have the cooked quinoa in the fridge and cooled down for the thick texture. In this case...leftovers...good! If you would like information about quinoa and how to prepare this wondrous seed go to my blog post here called 'Quinoa Cold Salad.'

Add all ingredients including 1/3 cup coconut milk to saucepan. 

Stir and warm over low heat. You can adjust the coconut milk according to how much quinoa you are using. You want just enough coconut milk to soften the mixture and the various dried fruits. That's it! 
You are ready to place some breakfast quinoa in a bowl!

Top with your nut milk, fresh berries, or fruit of choice. Mmmmmmmm.

We had enough for two small bowls and leftovers!

Enjoy your Morning of happy nutrition, and old fashioned satisfying comfort food! 
Just like grandma used to make...hey... wait...I am grandma!
(...and my grandma didn't even know about the amazing world of quinoa! Whoa!)