Thursday, January 1, 2009

Recipe: Warm Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon Apples & Almonds

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope everyone had a great time celebrating last night, without the residual New Year's Day hangover. I was a good girl and didn't have a lot to drink last night, but I still woke up craving a hearty breakfast. And with two Granny Smith apples just sitting there, forgotten in my fruit bowl, I knew what my New Year's breakfast would be today.

I've been meaning to post this for awhile now, since I'm such a huge fan of quinoa and am trying to experiment with it outside of the standard salad fare. Quinoa for breakfast is very healthy, offering you a ton of protein and good calories to energize you at the beginning of your day. Super-versatile, you can make this recipe with practically any fruit: bananas, pears, berries...... just go for it! I am very partial to ridiculously rich cinnamon-apples, so I like to add them to a basic bowl of creamy quinoa, with some nuts for added texture and crunch. I love the Cinnamon Almonds from Trader Joe's, and you can make your own easily (recipe to follow later), but regular almonds or any other nut will work just fine with this recipe. This is a little sweet & rich, but a decadent breakfast with some nutrition hidden in there somewhere is never a bad thing.
A quick note: always rinse your quinoa before cooking. Most quinoa varieties are nice & clean, but there is still this residual taste that clings to anything you make w/it unless you rinse it.
That being said, here's the recipe!
Warm Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon Apples & Almonds
1 c quinoa, rinsed
1 c water
1/2 c nonfat milk
2 large tart apples (Granny Smith, etc)
3 T organic white sugar
1 T organic brown sugar
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
3 T butter
1/4 c chopped cinnamon almonds (or regular roasted almonds)
kiss of key lime or lemon juice

Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Peel & dice apples into bite sized pieces, squeeze a bit of key lime or lemon juice onto them, and add to the cinnamon-sugar mix. Toss to coat the apples thoroughly with the sugar and set aside to let the apples' natural juices seep forth. In the meantime, combine rinsed quinoa, water, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet. Add cinnamon apples and cook over medium heat until they're cooked through (tender, but not soft). You'll probably have a little extra quinoa after it's cooked, so take about 3/4 of the quinoa, add cinnamon apple mixture and almonds, and mix together. Place a few extra apples on top of your warm steamy bowl, add a few extra chopped almonds for garnish and enjoy!


  1. Do you know of an easy way to rinse quinoa? I always make a mess of it. While I love quinoa, I don't make it that often because of this.

  2. I've never had quinoa but it's on my list of foods to try in 2009. I love cinnamon and apples so I'll try your recipe first.

  3. Austinchick, I know what you mean! Trying to rinse it can be a bit of a pain, but I've learned to get around that by using a fine mesh sifter (like what you'd use for flour). Since I only cook about a cup or two at a time, there's plenty of room for rinsing it and you're draining as you rinse. It works great! As long as the mesh is small enough to make sure the quinoa grains don't sift through, you're good to go.

  4. Johanna, quinoa is awesome! Though it's not as trendy as it was a couple years ago, it's still a fave of mine because of its versatility and nutrition value. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Thanks for the tip! I have been trying to use the colander I have with the smallest holes, but a lot of it was still falling through. I'll try the flour sifter. Thanks again. I am happy I found your blog.

  6. I thought I'd let you know I tried your recipe over the weekend and it was wonderful. thanks for turning me on to a new food.

  7. Austinchick, no problem! Let me know how it works out for you.

    Johanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Don't hesitate to experiment with quinoa, as it's really versatile. I'm certain I'll have more recipes using it featured here at some point. :)

  8. From one midtown Sac girl to another.... my was this tasty!

  9. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  10. This was fabulous! First time I tried Quinoa and I love it!

  11. Just tried it with bananas and while I was a bit dubious, it was delicious! I've enjoyed quinoa as lunch or dinner for a long time but its joining my breakfast options now too!

  12. I wondered, can I make this the night before and pack it for my husbands breakfast at work? He leaves before 5am and has breakfast at work.

  13. I think I love you. I cannot wait to try this.



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