One of our family’s favorite ways to start the day is by sitting down together to warm, creamy bowls of quinoa spiked with pumpkin and spices and topped off with cranberries, walnuts, maple syrup and fresh cream. It’s one breakfast our entire family enjoys, from Dad all the way down to the toddler.
As a mom, I love the fact that my family is starting off the day with a healthy boost of protein, fiber, a vegetable and a nourishing fat.
Once considered exotic, quinoa is actually very easy to prepare and has become much more common as of late. If you are unfamiliar with it, quinoa (pronounced KEE-nwah) is a gluten-free grain that is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the amino acids we humans need. The two most common varieties of quinoa are white (pale tan in color) and red (a dark reddish-brown). In the photo I used a mixture of both the white and red varieties cooked together.
Quinoa cooks up very quickly into a fluffy grain that is small and round like couscous, but with a texture more similar to rice. Quinoa can be eaten as a hot breakfast cereal, like in the recipe I’m sharing with you today. It can also be the basis for a delicious pilaf or whole grain salad, and it can be added to soups, or it can be seasoned and eaten plain as a side.
We enjoy quinoa in many recipes, but this is definitely our favorite!
Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa with Cranberries and Walnuts
2 cups quinoa
5 cups water
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups pumpkin puree, or 1 (14 oz) can
4 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
Toppings: Maple syrup, cream, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries
Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized soup pot. Meanwhile, pour quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under running water. (Quinoa has natural saponins on the exterior that are bitter and should be rinsed away.)
When the water comes to a boil, add the rinsed quinoa and salt and turn the heat down to medium. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the pot continue sitting on the burner (still covered) for about 10 minutes more, or until all the water is absorbed.
Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Then stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin puree and coconut oil. Spoon into bowls and top with cranberries, walnuts, a drizzle of maple syrup and a splash of cream, if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Blessings, Christy at Whole Foods on a Budget