The story is the same for many on weekday mornings: wake up, try to not hit the snooze button too many times, run to a morning workout or scramble to get ready for work, grab that granola bar or muffin from the coffee shop along the way. How about starting it off with a powerful superfood grain to battle the day?
Quinoa is a fantastic way to pack nutrients into a healthy breakfast. An ancient grain that can be traced back over 5,000 years, quinoa has long been known as a “mother of all grains” – a superfood of power and strength. Ancient Inca warriors would mix quinoa and fat and make “war balls” that would sustain them during long marches to battle. And if that doesn’t convince you, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it one of the highest quality protein grains. It is high in many vitamins and minerals (iron, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins to name a few), contains many antioxidants to fight inflammation and it is gluten-free!
Below are some tips for quick & easy quinoa breakfasts:
Prep a batch of quinoa on Sunday so it’s ready to last you the week.
- For 5 weekdays of ½ cup servings, use 1 cup quinoa (yields 3 cups cooked)
- For 5 weekdays of 1 cup servings, use 2 cups quinoa (yields 6 cups cooked)
- Rinse and drain the quinoa in cold water before cooking.
- Place 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all water is absorbed – about 10 – 15 minutes. When it’s done, the grain will appear soft and translucent and the germ ring will be visible around the outside edge of the grain.
- If you have a rice cooker, just treat the quinoa like rice and cook 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water, cover and cook.
Now you can use your cooked quinoa in multiple ways.
- In a breakfast bowl: Sauté your favorite veggies in a pan and mix in the cooked quinoa. Place in a bowl and top with a sprinkle of cheese and a poached or sunny side up egg. Vegan? Omit the cheese and egg and top with a tofu scramble or extra veggies instead. Spinach, peppers, mushrooms or onions are delicious in this dish!
- As a parfait: Layer cold quinoa with yogurt and top with fresh or dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, flax, honey or any of your favorite toppings.
- In a breakfast burrito: Fill a tortilla with quinoa, your favorite veggies, eggs and salsa and roll it up for a savory bite.
- As oatmeal: Treat the cooked quinoa like oats – warm it up and top with peanut butter or almond butter, bananas, berries, honey, cinnamon, nuts, flax or any of your favorite toppings.
Feeling fancy and want to up your quinoa game? Try some of these other fun ways to use quinoa:
- Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast bowl from Minimalist Baker
- Quinoa Breakfast Cakes from My Utensil Crock
- Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl from Love & Lemons
- Coconut Almond Quinoa Pancakes from The First Mess
- Freezable quinoa muffins from these seven grab-and-go breakfast ideas from aSweatLife
Try switching up your breakfast with quinoa and get the energy to battle the day!