Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon & Orange

Quinoa porridge? I know! quinoa may be a totally unknown food for many people. Actually, these tiny seeds arrived to European cuisine fairly recently. However, quinoa has been consumed for thousands of years by the Incas and it originally grows in the high altitude of the Andes in South America.

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain (it’s actually, a seed) and can be cooked like rice. However, as opposed to rice or any other cereal grain, quinoa is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids, is an excellent source of B vitamins riboflavin and folic acid, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. In fact, NASA acknowledged quinoa as the best food to ensure nutritional support for astronauts during long space flights. Also, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2013 as the ‘International year of Quinoa’due to its potential to contribute to eradicate malnutrition and hunger and also to acknowledge the Andean people for cultivating quinoa according to ancestral practices and in harmony with nature.

I personally, enjoy quinoa very much and it truly is a staple in my kitchen, not only because of its nutritional values, but also for its versatility. It goes really well in savoury dishes as well as sweet. This recipe is actually a sweet version and I promise you it’s going to be a delicious twist to the classic oat porridge breakfast.

It’s almost winter here in the northern hemisphere and honestly, we wake up in the morning craving a warm, nourishing breakfast to provide us with energy during the day. Porridge definitely ticks all the boxes: it’s warm, filling, easy, nourishing and delicious. However, we all like variety, especially kids. They can easily get bored and that often means kids being picky and refusing to eat. So, with this recipe you have an alternative to your morning porridge that also ticks all the boxes mentioned above.

So, if you have seen quinoa at your local supermarket and wondered what it tastes like or how to cook it, here I share with you a delicious recipe to enjoy it. I promise you there will be more recipes with quinoa on the blog soon, so you can enjoy all the goodness that quinoa can offer you and your family. Stay tuned!

How to cook quinoa? As I said, it is very similar to cooking rice. However, it’s highly recommended to rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water before cooking. This step is important in order to get rid of saponins. Saponins is a natural insecticide that forms around the seeds and give the quinoa a bit of a bitter flavour if not removed. For this recipe I recommend you to soak the quinoa in fresh water the night before. This step will speed the cooking process, plus it will help to remove the saponins. If you forget to soak the quinoa, no big deal, simply rinse the quinoa with plenty of fresh water before cooking.

As with oat porridge, you can top your quinoa porridge with your favourite fruits, or a tablespoon of coconut yogurt or almond butter. For this recipe I added some berries and maple syrup on top. Often the simplest and plainest tends to be my little one’s preference! In this recipe, I cooked the quinoa porridge with coconut milk and coconut cream to give it a creamier, pudding-like texture. I also added some cinnamon, a dash of ground cloves and the star touch, orange. I simply peeled about 4cms of orange zest and cooked the porridge with it all the way through and Voila! I promise you it gives a subtle orangey, seasonal flavour to it.

If you make this recipe, I’ll be very happy to see your creations and hear your thoughts. So, please share it on social media and tag me @keepingitdelicious and #keepingitdelicious

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of coconut milk
1/3 cup of coconut cream
1 heaped tsp or 7.5 gr of ground cinnamon
¼ tsp or 1 gr of ground cloves
4cms of orange peel (zest)
2 Tbsp / 30 ml maple syrup
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

How to:
1. Soak the quinoa in plenty of fresh water overnight.
2. Strain your quinoa using a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly to remove the saponins.
3. Add quinoa to a pot with the coconut milk, cinnamon, ground cloves, orange peel and a pinch of salt.
4. Bring to boil over a medium heat and then lower heat and let it simmer for 10-15 mins.
5. Once the quinoa has absorbed most of the milk, add coconut cream, maple syrup and stir. Let it cook for another 6-8 mins.
6. Remove from heat and leave to sit for a few minutes.
7. Serve with some berries or coconut flakes and add more maple syrup if you wish.
8. Enjoy!

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