Have you ever tried quinoa? Quinoa is a super seed that looks similar to rice but tastes completely different. In one cup cooked with water, there are about 40 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat (none of which is saturated), and no cholesterol. Cooked in water like rice or toasted, quinoa is a nutrient-packed addition to any diet, vegetarian or otherwise.
My mom often makes quinoa as a main or side dish for dinner, with some vegetables and nuts mixed in, but I recently read an article about toasted breakfast quinoa and thought it would be pretty cool to try. Toasting quinoa as opposed to cooking it in water is much more active, so it seems to take longer. First, you need to rinse it. Fill a medium bowl with the quinoa about three cups of water. Whisk the mixture for a few minutes so that the soapy substance on the quinoa comes off, then pour the whole thing through a fins mesh strainer in the sink, like how you would drain pasta.
Then, place the quinoa in a rice cooker or similar pan and whisk it until it starts to sizzle and change to a deep gold-brown color, which could take fifteen to twenty minutes.
I love almonds, so I added some in after about two minutes, but you could also throw in walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or other nuts. Berries can be added after toasting, and so can a banana.
Quinoa cooked in water like rice yields a ratio of four cups cooked for every one cup uncooked. Toasting yields more of a one to one ratio, because the grains are being dehydrated instead of absorbing water. Therefore, one serving is only 1/4 of a cup. The added banana makes the dish more substantial and filling, along with tasty!
On top of all its nutrition, quinoa is also completely vegan! Using almond milk instead of dairy in this breakfast holds true to that trend. However, there is some speculation as to whether quinoa is safe for those following a gluten-free diet. It is a seed, not a grain, but some packaged quinoa is processed in the same facilities as grains. So be careful when reading labels. Other than that, I hope you enjoy this nutritious and delicious breakfast and add it to your weekly menu!
Toasted Quinoa with Bananas and Almonds
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/2 almonds, chopped or sliced
- 1/2 almond milk
- 2 bananas, sliced
- Place the quinoa in a rice cooker or similar pan on medium heat. Add the almonds after about two minutes. Whisk periodically until the quinoa begins to sizzle and pop and changes to a deep golden brown. This will take 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Slowly add the almond milk and then the banana. Stir until the banana melts into the quinoa.
- Serve immediately.
- Alternately, store the toasted quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge and add the almond milk and banana before heating in the microwave for 2 minutes.
This dish is great to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. It’s actually very similar to the way I make oatmeal, in that I heat it in the microwave after mixing it with bananas and almond milk. Cinnamon or maple syrup also adds a great hint of flavor. Have you ever microwaved banana oatmeal? The banana melts into the oats and liquid and almost caramelizes, so the flavor is naturally sweet and astonishingly delicious. You get this effect by stirring banana into freshly toasted quinoa, as well. If you like a more soupy oatmeal, you could certainly add more almond milk to the quinoa, but I like it just wet. Also, almond or peanut butter on top is super good. What adaptations will you make to this dish?