Ok first of all, everything looks cuter when it is either a.) in a jar or b.) miniature
Now yes i’m sure quinoa would look cute in a tiny little bowl with a tiny little spoon. But practical? Not so much. In a jar? Much better.
I have been bringing my usual morning oatmeal in a mason jar mostly because it’s easy to transport and makes heating it up a breeze. Plus it eliminates having to heat up in plastic which is something everyone should try to avoid whenever they can!
My oatmeal was starting to get a little boring, so I decided to give quinoa a try. I have been eating quinoa for years, but have always been a bit skeptical to experiment with it. I mostly use it as substitute for rice or carbohydrates. Which got me thinking, why not try it in place of my oatmeal! I mean it’s pretty much the breakfast of champions…why do you ask?
Well, quinoa is a super grain. It’s high in protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and iron, plus it’s gluten-free!. Which makes it a great choice for vegans, vegetarians, those on a gluten-free diet, or anyone! Not only it is good for you, but it tastes good too! For those of you who are unfamilar with quinoa- if couscous and barley had a lovechild it would be quinoa, alittle crunchy, alittle nutty, and a whole lotta yummy.
To cook the quinoa I follow the recipe on the package, but it is similar to cooking brown rice. I use a ratio of 1 cup of quinoa to 1 1/2 cups of water (I kind of like mine a bit undercooked so it won’t be too mushy once you reheat it). I usually rinse it in water before cooking, then add to a large pot with water. Bring it to a boil with a tight fitting lid, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is mostly evaporated (keep an eye on the pot so it doesn’t boil over, you can crack the lid to let air escape to avoid a mess). Take it off the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. I tend to make a big batch of this so that I can portion it into my jars and have it ready for my toppings!
The great thing about this breakfast is you can make it ahead of time. I like to prep mine the night before because I am not a morning person. Ready to grab and go makes sure I am out the door on time! Then I just pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes when I get to work and voila- yummy, healthy breakfast!
After a little bit of experimenting I came up with a great base recipe that can be modified to your liking or for whatever mood you’re in that morning! Of course I had to include my two latest diet obsessions, almond butter and chia seeds (another superfood, which will be a whole other post!) Here’s what I came up with…
Rise and Shine Quinoa
Enough for 1 pint-sized Mason Jar or bowl
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 T ground flaxseed
1 t chia seeds
1/2 T vanilla protein powder (optional- I like it when I’m trying to up my protein intake)
1/2 T almond butter
1 T raisins
1/2 cup skim milk
Couples shakes of cinnamon (to your liking)
Pinch of brown sugar (optional)*
Combine all the ingredients in the jar, screw the lid on. Shake it all together and refrigerate until ready to microwave!!
*I don’t usually add any additional sugar because the protein powder and raisins give it some sweetness but if you want it sweeter- go for it!
**Make it your own– there are so many ways you can modify this recipe to your liking! Change up your toppings, add a mashed or sliced banana, blueberries, chopped apples, pears or nuts! Try peanut butter instead of almond butter, coconut milk or almond milk instead of skim milk, the combos are endless!
Try out your favorite combo and share them with me!