Quinoa is on my top five foods list for sure. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein source as it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids vital for our optimal biological functioning. It’s also packed with fibre, iron and is gluten free!
The surface of quinoa contains a chemical that has a bitter taste – while most commercial quinoa will be pre-washed to remove this, it’s always a good idea to rinse it well before use to ensure no residue remains.
I came across this recipe for quinoa porridge here and slightly adapted to suit. The overnight soaking of the grains with an active culture (yoghurt, raw cider vinegar etc) is new to me, but makes total sense. Soaking grains starts the activation process and helps to break down some of the hard-to-digest proteins making them more nutritionally available. Importantly it also neutralises phytic acid – an anti-nutrient that prevents our bodies absorbing minerals such as iron and magnesium.
The addition of chia seeds helps boost the nutritional benefits of this breakfast – I have been adding chia seeds to everything recently – they are a great source of dietary fibre, omega 3, protein, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C, iron and more!
While I do love my oats, this recipe for quinoa porridge is just as good, if not better on a frozen Auckland morning. Coconut milk, cinnamon and cardamom pods gives it a level of luxury and almost elevates it to pudding status. Dessert for breakfast? Perfect.
*the coconut milk can easily be substituted for almond, oat or soy milk.
Creamy Quinoa Porridge
1 cup quinoa
1 cup of warm water
1 tbsp live culture e.g. yoghurt, raw apple cider vinegar, etc
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp agave syrup (or sweetener of choice)
4 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
The night before, combine the qunioa, warm water and culture. cover and keep in a warm place overnight (I put the bowl in my hot water cupboard).
Morning of – transfer the quinoa into a sieve and rinse well
Place the quinoa, chia seeds, coconut milk, water, spices and agave in a small pan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally, and then lower heat, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes until quinoa has swelled and absorbed most of the liquid.
Serve with your toppings of choice! I used organic yoghurt, berries, banana and an extra dash of coconut milk and agave. Nuts, LSA, cacao etc would also be delicious.