Quinoa for breakfast?

intro quinoaQuinoa can be a little intimidating. How do I pronounce it? How do I cook it? Then what do I do with it?

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a very versatile little grain. It is naturally gluten free and is full of fiber, minerals, and is a complete protein source. Quinoa is great as both a part of a pre-run meal and a recovery meal.

Quinoa is easily digested by most people, but some have a reaction to the coating that is on the quinoa. This coating can be removed by washing the quinoa well. Rinse the quinoa repeatedly, using a fine mesh sieve. Continue to rinse until the water runs clear. Then cook according to package directions – 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.

You can buy white, red, or black quinoa. White quinoa is the most delicate and mild in flavor. It also cooks up the fluffiest. Red quinoa is a little nuttier and does not cook up as soft. Because it is holds together better, it is often used in cold salads. Black quinoa is a little earthier and sweeter than white quinoa. You can also buy packaged tri-colored quinoa for a balance of all three.

I frequently use quinoa as the grain in cold salads (like this Greek Quinoa Salad), in soups (including the Lentil Quinoa Bowl from Panera) or as a rice substitute with curry or stir fry.

But what about for breakfast?

parfait collage

This quinoa breakfast parfait is just about as easy as it gets.

  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (you can use Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, dairy-free yogurt, whatever you please!)
  • 1/3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • slivered almonds
  • cinnamon

Grab your favorite jar or glass. (This also looks nice in a whiskey glass.) Spoon half the quinoa in the bottom, followed by half of the yogurt, topped with half of the blueberries. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle with almonds. Top with a dash of cinnamon.

If you use fresh blueberries, you can eat it right away. If your blueberries are frozen, make this up the night before and leave in the fridge. It’ll be perfect by morning.


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