Now that we all can pronounce quinoa, lets learn a little more about this tiny, fluffy grain. Well really I should say “pseudo-grain”. Quinoa is cooked and eaten like many grains, but botanically is related to beets, spinach, and chard. Weird, huh? Did you know you can also eat the leaves of the plant?
Quinoa is a nutrition powerhouse–a complete protein source, heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, good source of fiber, and rich in antioxidants. No other grain provides all of the essential amino acids like quinoa does, which makes it a great addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
This recipe is great because it can be quantified easily and modified to your liking with the fruit add-ins. I like to make enough to last for 2 days and always prep the salad the night before so it’s ready to go in the morning! Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor but can be rather bland so spice it up by cooking quinoa with a cinnamon stick, or maybe add in some ground ginger!
Have you tried any quinoa breakfast salads? What’s your favorite way to use quinoa–granola bars, casseroles, baked goods?
Summer Breakfast Quinoa Salad
1/2 cup tricolor quinoa
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. chopped almonds
2 fresh apricots, diced
6 Bing cherries, stem and pit removed, cut in half
1/2 small Granny Smith apple, diced
2 Tbsp. golden raisins
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. honey
About 1 Tbsp coconut milk per 1/2 cup serving of quinoa salad, if desired
1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly with water, draining with a fine mesh sieve.
2. In a small saucepan, add quinoa, water, cinnamon stick, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while covered, then reduce heat to medium and allow quinoa to cook for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork and remove cinnamon stick. Allow quinoa to cool completely.
3. Mix in chopped almonds, diced apricots, cherries, apples, and golden raisins.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey. Add to quinoa mixture.
5. Add about 1 tablespoon of coconut milk per 1/2 cup serving of quinoa salad prior to eating. You don’t want the quinoa to become mushy, so only add coconut milk once ready to serve. Salad will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.