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Breakfast Quinoa with Cranberries

April 9, 2010

Are you bored with your current breakfast routine? Here’s a recipe that’s easy to make and big on flavor and nutritional density. (I love the phrase “nutritional density.”) In case you’re unfamiliar, it means a food that fulfills a lot of your nutritional needs–protein, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is seriously nutritionally dense.

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a grain that cooks like rice. According to Mr. McGee, author of one of my most favorite food reference books On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, quinoa is “a native of northern South America . . . and was a staple food of the Incas, second in importance only to the potato.”

Quinoa is also very good for you, a fact I bet you already guessed correctly. You can find it at health food stores; Bob’s Red Mill brand also sells it. You may be able to find this with the healthy/organic foods at your local grocery store.

This is not a quick breakfast, but it’s easy and good for one of those weekend mornings where you have to do some errends, but you have a little more time than usual to cook.

Breakfast Quinoa with Dried Cranberries

1 1/2 C. milk

1/4 t. salt (Really, don’t forget this. Cooked grains always need salt.)

1 C. quinoa, rinsed and drained (Rinsing helps remove the naturally bitter flavor of quinoa.)

1/2 C. dried cranberries

2 T. brown sugar

1/2-1 t. ground cinnamon (If you like spicier foods, use the greater amount for all the spices.)

1/4-1/2 t. ground ginger

1/8-1/4 t. ground allspice or ground cloves

1/8-1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1/2 C. chopped, toasted pecans for sprinkling on top.

Bring milk, salt, and 1 C. water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in quinoa and cranberries; reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and grains are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from het and stir in sugar and spices. Serve warm, topped with more milk or cream (if desired) and pecans.

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