Monday, October 21, 2013

Apple & Cranberry Breakfast Quinoa

Since the weather's gotten colder I've been digging hot breakfast. This happens every year.

Last year I was all about the cream wheat, but since I found pantry moths in mine a few weeks back I've sort of lost my appetite for it. I love oatmeal, but I love oatmeal buried in brown sugar and milk - great as a treat but not the healthiest way to start the day. Enter: quinoa.

Last year I made this apple cinnamon quinoa breakfast cereal a few times, but good as it is it's so sweet it was hard for me to eat it for more than one day in a row, which messes with developing a breakfast routine (the only thing that keeps me from spending as much time on breakfast as I do on supper!)

So instead I've developed a routine that goes like this:

  • Stumble downstairs to kitchen 
  • Start quinoa - use 1 part quinoa : 2 parts water ratio (by volume) plus a small pinch of salt to cook it, covered, on the stovetop over low heat. I cook 1.5 oz of raw quinoa since it's just for me.
  • Start to boil water for coffee
  • Fruit - equivalent to one medium-large piece of fruit. I gather and chop it after quinoa starts cooking, then toss into pot.
  • Make coffee
  • Add spices to fruit and quinoa, taste to adjust seasoning
  • Gather dishes
  • Serve up, pour coffee
  • Breakfast is ready

It's working for me.

Today I made apple cranberry quinoa and it is the best yet - cranberries are in season here so they're everywhere, and I love the tartness they add to apples. Cranberry apple sauce is probably in my future.

Apple cranberry quinoa
It's fun to play around with something like this - try any of these add-ins or make up your own!

Apple Cranberry 
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
Stevia, sugar, or brown sugar to taste

Peach Cinnamon
1/2 cup frozen peach slices, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Stevia, sugar, or brown sugar to taste
Peach cinnamon quinoa
(with tea and yogurt)

Apple Cinnamon
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Stevia, sugar, or brown sugar to taste

Strawberry Thyme
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
leaves from a twig of fresh thyme
1 Tbsp honey

Peach Basil
1/2 cup frozen peach slices, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh basil, cut in thin strips
Stevia or sugar to taste

Blueberry Maple
1/2 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Weight Watchers Points+: Prepared with fruit and stevia, 1.5 oz of raw quinoa is 4 Points+. If you add sugar, honey, syrup, or brown sugar you will need to add the points for that.