June 3, 2019

If you're like me, your always looking for new interesting, tasty and nutritious breakfasts.

To get my day off on the right foot, I like to vary what I eat on a morning. It could be a big bowl of homemade granola with almond milk. A freshly made smoothie or steel cut oats, Greek yogurt with dried fruit and nuts. Sometimes a plate of left over roasted vegetables with a poached or fried egg on top with sliced avocado. This morning I'm trying quinoa porridge made with coconut milk, spiced with a little nutmeg and turmeric, sweetened with local honey and served with an Asian pear and fresh raspberries, topped with pistachio nuts and toasted coconut. This breakfast is packed with nutrition, high in protein, good carbs and good fats, because quinoa has it all. Top it with a freshly made compote of fruits and you can't get a better start to your day.

According to the Whole Grains Council, quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein

(meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids). The quinoa we all know and love is actually a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. But hold your horses as it's not really a grain. Whole grains like oats and barley, are defined as seeds extracted from grasses - not plants.

But the way we prepare and eat quinoa does resemble a lot like a whole grain. Because of this, the nutrition world considers it a whole grain. Or if you want to get real technical with it, quinoa is actually quantified as a "pseudo-cereal" - a term used to describe foods that are prepared and eaten as a whole grain, but are botanical outliers from grasses.
According to the nutrition facts stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 cup of cooked quinoa amounts to:
222 calories
39 grams (g) of carbs
8g of protein
6g of fat
5g of fiber
1g of sugar

Believe it or not, but there are over 120 different varieties of quinoa as defined by the Whole Grains Council. Quinoa comes in a wide variety of colors, the most common quinoa colors found across American grocers are white (also considered ivory or yellow quinoa), red, and black. Interestingly enough, all three of these quinoa types cook and taste differently. While white quinoa has a fluffy post-cook texture, red and black quinoa are known to keep more of their shape and color after cooking. Red quinoa also has a heartier taste and chewier texture, while black quinoa tastes somewhat crunchy and slightly sweeter than either red or white.

Spiced Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Asian Pear & Raspberries
Serves 4

1 ½ cups mixed quinoa, washed and drained
1x 14oz can of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of local honey or maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
½ teaspoon ground star anise (optional)
1 Asian pear, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut or toasted coconut
1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts

How to make:
Take a medium size saucepan, add the quinoa, coconut cream, half of the honey, the ground nutmeg or cardamom and ground turmeric. Place on the stove over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the chia seeds to the quinoa porridge and cook for a further 5 minutes.

In a separate small saucepan, heat the remaining honey. Add the ground star anise and the chopped pear and allow to soften for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the raspberries and cooking until heated through about 1 more minute.

Serve the quinoa porridge hot, topped with the warm fruit compote coconut and the chopped pistachio nuts.


Chef Mark .

Copyright © 2018, 2019 Mark Allison