A quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) breakfast was unimaginable not too long ago. Quinoa used to be a foreign name that was just emerging onto the food scene. Today, it is found in restaurants and grocery stores coast to coast.
Quinoa is a seed that grows like a weed in great abundance in South America. The Incans reportedly used it as a food staple for centuries. It makes sense because quinoa is high in life-supporting protein, fiber, minerals and B vitamins.
If this is your first time cooking quinoa, you will notice the tiny seeds will turn into sprouted worm-like creatures. It is a strange looking plant, but you’ll get used to it.
The type of apple you choose for this quinoa breakfast is entirely up to you. Tart apples are especially good because of the way they contrast with the brown sugar. Depending upon your taste, you can peel the apple or leave the skin on.
There are no rules for the toppings you can use. Toasted sliced almonds and dried cherries are just a few of the countless other nuts, fruits (dried or fresh) and seeds you can choose from.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or brown rice syrup divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil such a coconut or vegan butter
- 1 apple cored and slice into ¼” wedges
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Almond or soymilk
- 2 tablespoons sliced toasted almonds or other nuts
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries or other fruit
Rinse and drain the quinoa.
Combine the water, quinoa, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer while partially covered and cook for ten minutes. Cover and let rest for 15 more minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet of medium heat. Add the apples and cook until almost tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and the cinnamon, and cook for two more minutes, tossing to coat.
Divide the warm quinoa among two serving bowls, add soy or other milk as desired, top with the apples, almonds, and dried cherries and serve.
Tip: Cooking time for small amounts of quinoa can vary depending on the rate of evaporation when simmering. If the quinoa is not completely cooked, add another ¼ cup water, bring to a boil and set aside covered for another 5 to 10 minutes.