Quinoa… for Breakfast?


Ever since I trained for and ran my first half-marathon last February, I have been extremely interested in experimenting with healthy recipes. One ingredient keeps appearing over and over in the recipes I’m finding – quinoa. While it looks similar to rice, quinoa isn’t actually a grain at all; it’s a seed. And this little seed packs lots of protein and fiber, so it’s a great replacement in rice or pasta dishes. You may have seen LFA Master Trainer Deb’s post last week about a quinoa salad. If you haven’t, I would recommend checking that out as well.

But quinoa is not only for savory dishes; it has a sweet side too.  

Instead of oatmeal or other warm cereal in the morning, try this Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa from Greatist. The great thing about this recipe was that I didn’t have to purchase any new ingredients; quinoa may be the one thing you don’t have on hand but since I cook with it regularly it was already in my pantry.

Here’s what you need: 

For those new to cooking quinoa, it is really easy to make and practically fool-proof. Bring ½ cup of quinoa, ½ cup water, 1 cup almond milk and a dash of sea salt to a boil in a small pot. 

If you don’t have almond milk, any type of milk should work.

Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally. The quinoa should absorb all the liquid. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Mine took about 15 minutes. 

Once the liquid is gone, remove the quinoa from the stove and transfer to a bowl. Mix in ½ mashed banana, 2 t. cocoa powder, ½ t. vanilla, and 2 t. honey. Stir until evenly combined. 

Then garnish with banana slices. The recipe also calls for extra almond milk on top (that’s the extra ¼ cup in the ingredient list) but mine was wet enough I didn’t need it. I also noticed that since I used vanilla-flavored almond milk, I probably didn’t need the honey. You could also substitute agave syrup if you don’t like/use honey and need some sweetener. 

This was super yummy and I will definitely be making it again. After trying it with the bananas on top, berries would also make an excellent topping. If you’re a chocolate fiend, this is a pretty healthy way to incorporate chocolate into your breakfast!

What You'll Need:

1/2 cup raw quinoa
1 cup + 1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
Dash of sea salt
1 banana, 1/2 mashed, 1/2 cut into slices
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh mint for garnish

What To Do: 

  1. Bring 1/2 cup of quinoa, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup almond milk, and dash of sea salt to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove quinoa from stove and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Mix in the mashed banana, cocoa powder, vanilla, and honey. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of almond milk over quinoa, garnish with banana slices and mint (if desired), and enjoy!
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