Power breakfast

Winter is on its way, and with it my shift towards warmer breakfasts. Since I was out of oats, I couldn’t make one of my usual standbys, raw oatmeal (whole oats soaked for 15 minutes in water, blended, and then sprinkled with nuts and berries). I did have quinoa on-hand, and decided to come up with a sweet version for breakfast. I ate it with almond milk and sprinkled with ground flax meal, maple syrup, pecans, and dried cranberries. These ingredients are packed with protein, amino acids, antioxidants, and minerals and will start you off on the right foot for the day.

Quinoa breakfast cereal

½ cup of uncooked quinoa

1 cup of water

up to a cup or so of milk (see recipe for almond milk below)

any type of topping and/or sweetener you’d like (i.e. nuts, dried fruit, flax meal, maple syrup)

Rinse the quinoa a couple of times in cold water to remove the bitterness that the seeds can sometimes have. (This bitterness is a natural coating to protect the seed from birds). Drain and place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa will be done when the little ‘tails’ of the seeds are visible and the texture is soft and chewy. If you like your breakfast cereal creamy, you can add in milk and cook for a few minutes until the texture is as desired. Serve in a bowl and top as you please!               Yield: 2 cups of quinoa.

Homemade almond milk

Blend ½ cup of almonds with 1½ – 2 cups of water in a blender. Optional add-ins include: 1 teaspoon of vanilla, a dash of salt, and/or some type of sweetener (i.e. a couple of dates, or maple syrup). Strain out the almond pulp, and you’re done.  Yield: up to 2 cups of milk.

Notes: This morning I didn’t use any sweetener for the milk, as the maple syrup I drizzled over the quinoa made it sweet enough for me. In terms of straining the almond milk, I use a paint strainer bag I picked up at the hardware store – you can get them for about $2.50.

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