February 21, 2013 by Meg G.
I know. You can’t call it oatmeal if it’s not made from oats. But I just couldn’t bring myself to title this post “Quinoa Breakfast Porridge” (the actual recipe name) for fear of sending you all running. Would gruel have been better? Probably not. The word porridge conjures up images of Dickensian orphans with dirty faces. Also, it is apparently British slang for a prison sentence. Excerpt from Wiki (so it must be true): “Just do your porridge and keep your head down.” Let’s stick with oatmeal, shall we?
Now that you’re on board with this slightly deceptive title, let’s move onto quinoa for breakfast. I confess, I wasn’t so sure about it myself. I mean, I do love quinoa. We served it at our wedding, we love it in these quinoa sweet potato cakes, and we often substitute it for rice. I’ve never even considered a sweetened version of quinoa, let alone quinoa for breakfast. But, trusting in Liana Krissoff and inspired by my fellow From Scratch Club book clubbers, I went for it. I dare you to try it, too. Here goes!
Sweet Quinoa Oatmeal – aka Quinoa Breakfast Porridge with Vanilla and Almond Milk from Whole Grains for a New Generation
- 1 cup raw quinoa, well rinsed
- 3 cups almond milk, separated
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (I used chopped whole almonds)
- dash of cinnamon
- In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups of the almond milk. Scrape in the vanilla bean seeds (aka “caviar”) and add the pod as well. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the cranberries and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in most of the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Scoop into serving bowls, removing the vanilla bean pods. Serve with the remaining almond milk, the almonds, and a little more sugar.
I have to say, I was most pleasantly surprised! As the quinoa was cooking, I tasted it a few times and found the vanilla flavor a little too subtle. But once I added all of the toppings, it was a really nice balance of flavors and textures. Sweet from the vanilla and sugar, nutty from the quinoa and almonds, and crunchy and smooth all at the same time. I added some cinnamon while the quinoa still simmering, because let’s face it, I can’t live without it.
I halved this recipe and it made a perfect hot, protein-packed breakfast for one. And while I don’t usually spend 30 minutes making breakfast on a weekday, I might have to add this to the winter rotation. Enjoy!