Ah porridge. Just the word conjures up images of snow-covered fields, warm hearths and roaring fireplaces, cold mornings and hot, rustic breakfasts beneath the covers.
This quinoa porridge is absolutely nothing like that. To start with it’s so cool you’re not even allowed to say ‘quin-o-ah’ – you’ve gotta call it ‘keen-wah’, otherwise you’re really not with it. And may well get arrested. By the pronunciation police.
It’s also not a thick, stodgy meal that porridge often turns into when not cooked right, but a relatively light, refreshing breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) bursting with fruit and the flavours of summer. Put short, it’s delicious.
One of the most exceptional things about this version of quinoa porridge is that it’s combined with a few tablespoons of hot blueberries. It has everything – Indian spices, crunchy nuts and these amazing almost-like-jam sweet blueberries. You don’t even need to add an additional sweetener! Right on.
Health Benefits Quinoa Porridge
We’re a little obsessed with quinoa at the moment, not least for the fact that it’s a complete protein. In layman’s terms this means that it contains all of the essential amino acids needed to build new protein. Protein is incredibly important to our bodies – we need it for so many things from building and repairing muscle to keeping our immune systems strong – in fact we can’t live without it. If you’re interested, this page explains more.
Vegetarians and especially vegans often find themselves subjected to questions like ‘where do you get your protein?’ or ‘why aren’t you dead yet?’ when they announce they don’t eat meat or even animal products. This is linked to the old bullshit myth that protein is only found in meat – nothing could be further from the truth, of course.
Protein is all around us – however many vegetarian sources (grains, legumes, nuts etc) don’t contain all the essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t produce on it’s own), so we have to mix and match our intake to make sure all the protein can get made properly. That’s not really a problem and you’ll often do it without even knowing you are (so don’t let it put you off not eating meat!) – but it’s where quinoa really stands out too.
Being a complete protein, quinoa doesn’t need to be combined with anything else for it to work – it’s ready to go as it is. So whether you’re just looking for a healthy meal to keep yourself going or veritable feast after a hard workout when your muscles need all the help they can get, you need look no further than lovely quinoa.
- Half a cup quinoa (about 90g)
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 anise star (known as aniseed to some!)
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp almonds, chopped into pieces
- 2 tbsp dried apricots
- 8-10 tbsp blueberries (we use frozen, but fresh are fine too ofc!)
- Coconut flakes for garnish
- Quinoa is cooked with 2 parts liquid to one part quinoa. So, get a pot, add half a cup of quinoa, half a cup of water and half a cup of soy milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low heat. You don’t need a lid.
- Now add the spices: cardamom, anise, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
- Cut the almonds and apricots into slices and throw them into the pot as well. Hold back a few of each for garnish.
- Let everything simmer for about 20 minutes until the quinoa is soft and the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, grab a pan and throw in the blueberries. If you use fresh ones, mash them a little with a fork. Let them simmer until they resemble marmalade. That’ll take about 5 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is done, fish out the anise star and cardamom pods. We probably don’t need to tell you, but poking your fingers into hot porridge isn’t necessarily the greatest of ideas - use a fork or something 😉
- Alrighty, now it’s time to make like the Avengers and assemble: grab a bowl and add the quinoa. Pour a little more soy milk over your concoction. Now add the blueberry sauce. Sprinkle a few more almond and apricot slices and perhaps a couple of coconut flakes to finish it off.