Can I get some Quin-what? Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) was discovered by the Inca Indians high in the Peruvian mountains. The name itself literally means "mother grain." The Q-stuff has the highest protein content out of all the grains. Quinoa is considered a "complete protein," which means it has all nine amino acids that the body must get from food. But that's not all - Quinoa also contains iron which increases the oxygen in the blood. Numerous studies have shown that lack of iron in the blood causes fatigue. In other words, this is a great grain to kickstart your day.
A few weeks ago we did The Great Pantry Challenge. One of the items we had in our pantry was a bulk bag of quinoa from a friend. That inspired us to think of a lot of creative ways we could employ this wonder grain. We normally use quinoa much like we would rice or pasta for dinner. Recently, I've been seeing some breakfast quinoa recipes like this one. The Food Network's Ellie Krieger also has a breakfast quinoa in her new So Easy cookbook. Here's a new twist on breakfast. Think oatmeal minus the mushy. Bon appetit!
Winter Spiced Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 small pear, cut into small cubes (or apple)
1/4 dried cranberries (or blueberries or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup raw milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cover, cooking for 15 additional minutes until water is evaporated.
2. Meanwhile toast pecans in the toaster oven or on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. (Feel free to skip this step if it's a busy morning!)
3. Add pears, dried cranberries and pecans. Stir into quinoa.
4. Add milk and cinnamon and stir.
5. Serve in bowls and drizzle with maple syrup.