Quinoa for breakfast? It didn’t sound very appealing to me either. I love quinoa, but usually enjoy mine as a substitute for rice in savory dishes, not a substitute for oatmeal or porridge. HOWEVER, I decided to give it a try one morning, and now I’m most definitely a fan. Not only does it actually blend well with sweeter toppings, but it is an excellent boost of nutrition to start the day!
While many (me) make the mistake of assuming quinoa to be a grain, it is actually a seed (the crop itself is in the grain family, but the part that we eat is actually the crop’s edible seeds!)- hence why it is a staple in gluten-free and grain-free diets. Although it was in the ‘superfood’ spotlight for a while, quinoa is not a recent trend. In fact, we have been eating it for thousands of years! Fun fact: within the Incan Empire, it was a very important crop, so much so that it was referred to as the “mother of all grains”!
Quinoa is known as a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids- this is one important reason as to why it is a staple in many plant-based diets (plus, I like to get my workouts done in the morning, so eating quinoa for breakfast is a great way to replenish those tired muscles!). Quinoa is also high in fiber, manganese (1 cup serving is 58% of your RDA), magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins- the list goes on and on! It’s pretty safe to say the Incans were definitely onto something.
For this breakfast quinoa, I cooked up about 1 cup of quinoa (you can cook a big batch of it and store it in the fridge for a quicker on-the-go breakfast option) and topped it with fresh blackberries, homemade granola (recipe coming soon!), tahini, maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon. The possibilities are endless! I highly encourage you to try it yourself, and let me know in the comments what toppings combo you’d like to try!