I’ve been having a little love affair with porridge this winter, and it’s about time I tell you all about it. I’ve flirted with steaming bowls of porridge off and on my entire life, but in an effort to consume less grains, I eliminated it from my diet a couple of years back. What a loss it was to remove such a hearty, warming, stick-to-your-ribs option from my morning breakfast rotation! A recent recommendation from my naturopath has me eating grains once again, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Amaranth, buckwheat groats, and teff have all popped up in my kitchen lately, but my most recent obsession is with quinoa flakes. Bearing the most resemblance to the quick-cooking oats of my childhood, quinoa flakes cook up in a flash. All you have to do is set a pot of milk to simmer, add quinoa flakes and spices, and, ta da! Breakfast is served.
Besides being a cinch to prepare, quinoa flakes are chock full of nutritional benefits that make them a star among breakfast options. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, low in calories (if you tend to count those), and very high in antioxidants. Even though quinoa is not technically a grain (check out the term “psuedo grain” to learn more), it still counts as a highly nutritious, whole-grain food that is safe for those following gluten-free and/or low-grain diets.
Sometimes I go willy-nilly with the spice cabinet, throwing in just about everything I get my hands on, but lately I’ve been settling on a bowl flavored simply with cinnamon and a little vanilla, which allows me a bit more freedom when adding toppings. Last week, I made this exact bowl two days in a row, then enjoyed it again this morning. I can’t seem to get enough. If gives me the brain fuel to get my day off to a good start, and powers me through my late-morning Vinyasa yoga class. All the good, healthy fats, and easily digestible proteins carry me wonderfully into my day, and I plan to repeat this bowl frequently throughout this long, dark winter. This recipe makes a hearty portion of porridge, once you add all the extras. If you tend to crave a lighter breakfast, half this with your sweetie or housemate.
Quinoa Flake Porridge (Serves 1-2)
1 ½ c. unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk)
½ cup quinoa flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 scoop grass fed collagen powder (optional)
1 T. goji berries
1 tsp. raw honey
1 banana, sliced
1 T. Wild Friends Organic Honey Sunflower Butter (or your favorite nut/seed butter)
¼ cup granola (I like Paleonola Maple Pancake)
1 ounce (1 piece) Honey Mama’s Nibs & Coffee
Bring milk to a simmer, and stir in quinoa flakes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and goji berries. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and creamy. Remove from heat, and stir in the collagen powder (if using). Pour into a serving bowl, and top with remaining ingredients.