Replace oatmeal with quinoa for an energizing, Megan-simple breakfast!

Guest post by Catherine

IMG_0669Ah, quinoa, everyone’s favorite super grain. Despite all of quinoa’s popularity, it is rarely promoted as a good breakfast food, typically being used in savory salads and casseroles, but not usually sweet!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to your new best morning friend — quinoa breakfast cereal. I began replacing my morning oatmeal with quinoa because I need lots of protein to stay energized and feeling good throughout the workday, but I don’t like eating eggs every single morning. Quinoa has tons of protein, is low in fat, and gluten-free. What’s not to love?

Quinoa tends to absorb whatever flavors are around it, so it pairs nicely with sweet morning ingredients despite its earthy natural flavor. I can also cook a large batch of it once a week, which gives me enough for at least three or four breakfasts. The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile, people can tweak it to fit their needs, especially if they are vegan or have food sensitivities like me.

The instructions are so simple:

IMG_0668

  1. Cook about a cup of quinoa according to instructions on the bag — don’t forget to rinse it first
  2. Store cooked quinoa in a Tupperware container.
  3. Mix in breakfast ingredients of your choice for a delicious, filling, energizing breakfast each morning!

My favorite mix-ins:IMG_0670

  • Berries (blueberries and raspberries are my favorites)
  • Bananas
  • Coconut or almond milk
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Nuts (shaved almonds or chopped/candied pecans)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Dried cranberries
  • A “dollop” of peanut butter (especially good with bananas)
  • Chopped dates
  • Flax seeds

As you can see, this is an extremely simple way to get more protein and energy in the mornings without having to eat eggs or fatty nut butters every single day — it’s yummy, versatile, energizing, and can be prepared in bulk.

With all of these wonderful attributes, who wouldn’t want to give morning quinoa a chance? Enjoy!

Comments on Replace oatmeal with quinoa for an energizing, Megan-simple breakfast!

  1. Yes yes yes! I had breakfast quinoa at a lovely cafe one morning, and it had bananas, maple syrup, sour cherries, and – the best part – peanut butter. My husband and I make it at home all the time now, and it is our favourite breakfast.

    Seriously though, the peanut butter. Most important part. Just lump that shit in there.

  2. Never even vaguely thought of that. I bought some for lunches then realised that for the protein grams I may as well have blackeyed beans which I prefer the flavour of. This is a perfect way of using the big ol’ bag in the cupboard and as a bonus, only one cooking sesh a week for it! Good idea, thank you 🙂

    • Horray! I’m glad you like the idea, and I hope it ends up being a good way to use up your stash 🙂

    • Definitely check out where your Quinoa comes from, because there are guilt free options for sure. Surprisingly quinoa is grown here in Saskatchewan, both the white and black kinds. So I guess I’m lucky in that it’s easy to get locally grown quinoa in my local stores. I did do some searching though and found this article which links to an article about our local producer and it has a link for quinoa.com where you can buy Canadian Quinoa.

      http://ckom.com/node/97421

        • Oh thanks! I turned off using quinoa when I read a bit more about it, and couldn’t find any australian grown types. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that brand in future!

    • Yeah, that’s what I came down here to say too. And oh god, then I went to read the article and saw that the pressure is also on to create a quinoa monoculture to replace their “diverse portfolio of crops.” For fuck’s sake, can’t modernized countries do anything in moderation, or based the principles of agroecology?
      Well, I think I should just go back to bed.

    • Awesome 🙂 I love those. They usually just function as my fruit bowl, but they’re perfect for serving when I have guests!

  3. I’ve eating quinoa mixed with yogurt, dried fruits, and nuts. I used to make it with barley but quinoa cooks faster.

  4. yay, quinoa! I hadn’t been a fan of the texture but I’ve found that dry fruit mix-ins complement the wee pellets so well that it’s a whole new experience as breakfast. I store mine in portion-sized lidded glass containers so I can just pop the whole thing into the microwave or oven (sans lid, of course). It’s like a built in bowl! Small shift but in my house, dual-purpose dishes rule.

  5. Ended up having this for breakfast this morning. Soooooo yummy! Mine included a bit of maple syrup, anise seed, sesame see, earth balance butter spread, craisins and chopped pecans.

    Planning on making a huge batch of it on Monday and then eating it throughout the week for breakfast. New gluten free breakfast idea? Woot, woot.

    • Good, I’m glad you tried it and enjoyed it! It’s always good to have a new GF option that is actually filling and satisfying.

  6. at my old workplace we used to serve hot cereal every morning, one of the most popular kinds was quinoa with brown rice flakes. So amazing and I’m sure somewhere like whole foods sells it pre-mixed. Ahh deliciousness!

  7. I’ve just cooked some quinoa for the morning and taken some red berries out of the freezer to defrost. I shall report back in the morning on how well this breakfast works out for me!

    • Enjoy – I made mine with frozen blueberries and peanut butter this morning, which was a tastier combination than I was expecting.

      • I really like the concept of banana and peanut butter but I can’t stand peanuts! 🙂 Nutella might be work though.

        The other advantage of quinoa for me is that it’s a “free food”on the diet plan I’m trying to follow so I don’t need to worry about measuring out the portions like I would with porridge.

        • Have you tried almond butter? Same consistency as peanut butter, but doesn’t taste like peanuts. In fact, you can buy butters of most nuts. I’ve seen cashew and pecan butters as well!

          • In all honesty, I’m not a fan of nuts full stop although it’s just peanuts that I really dislike. Put the others in cake though and it’s a whole nother kettle of fish! 🙂

            I can confirm that quinoa, banana, vanilla yoghurt and Nutella (chocolate and hazelnut spread) is an awesome filling breakfast combo!

  8. Aaaaah, I love Megan simple posts. I’m basically the same way, I cannot cook. My wife cooks, I clean most of the things. But there are times when she is gone and I’m just SO CONFUSED on what to eat! And I work at a natural foods store with quinoa, dried cranberries, peanut butter, etc in bulk so this is a GREAT post.

    • I love these posts, too. Even though I CAN cook (a limited repertoire, but still) who has time for that on a regular basis?

  9. Ok, so I tried the quinoa breakfast today. I cooked the quinoa in the weekend when we had it for dinner (which a make often) and I had it this morning with pomegranate seeds and almonds. I didn’t like it 🙁
    Do you microwave your quinoa in the morning? It was still cold. I also had a problem with the smell. Any tips on that? Maybe I am using the wrong kind?

    • I think heating it up would definitely be a very good idea and to me it sounds a bit dry so I will definitely be putting some milk, yoghurt, almond milk, etc. in there and probably some cinnamon and sugar/honey when I try it (a la oatmeal).

  10. I hate to rain on everyone’s healthy breakfast parade… but please reconsider making quinoa, and other exotic grains, into staple portions of your diet. Yes, they are high in protein which is valuable for people who choose not to consume animal fats and proteins. However it’s also very important for the people who grow quinoa and eat it every day because they CAN’T choose – they simply don’t have access to as much dense protein. Quinoa in particular is native to the Andes, where it is a necessary foodstuff for poor folk there… but our demand, and ability to pay high prices, make it less accessible for them. It’s important to consider the effects that our fad diets have on people in other parts of the world, who don’t have such a comfortable buffer between themselves and hunger.

  11. I made a batch of quinoa and even though I washed the grains several times, it came out with a weedy (like unwanted garden plants, not marijuana) flavor and aroma that I really disliked. Is this how quinoa always tastes, or did I not wash it enough?

  12. I threw a cinnamon stick in the water with the quinoa. Best Idea Ever. Cinnamon sticks are the greatest thing to happen to my kitchen since hot sauce.

    • YES!

      If you want more of a chai flavor, you could also add some cardamom pods and other yummy spices (cloves, ginger, peppercorns, maybe some fennel seeds, a bay leaf…)

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