Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quinoa & Tea Breakfast Bowl

For most people breakfast is pretty routine.  While there is an ease to routine, changing things up can give you more variety with flavor and diversity of nutrients. Since breakfast can be pretty predictable at times at our home, I thought I would branch out.
This Quinoa & Tea Breakfast Bowl came to me while I was steeping my nightly tea.  For those who have not cooked with Quinoa,(pronounced KEEN-WHA) it is much like couscous or rice. You use a 2:1 ratio of water to grain for cooking.  Unlike rice, quinoa cooks much quicker (about 15minutes). Quinoa can have a hint of soapy, bitter, saponin remains from the outer shell when it is removed in processing.  Saponins do not affect the nutrient value of the grain, but will affect the taste.  To be sure your quinoa will have nothing but a pure, mild, nutty flavor, give the quinoa a rinse before cooking. The grains are too small for a colander, so rinse the quinoa with water in a small cooking pot. Use the lid to carefully drain off as much water as you can. Only rinse the amount you are cooking.  Store the rest in a cool, dry location like a pantry or freezer.   
What makes this breakfast bowl so great is it allows for lots of versatility, so you can get playful with different teas, spices and fruit. This works especially well with kids. Giving them choices, allows them to take part in their healthy eating habits. 

Quinoa is an excellent breakfast grain.  It contains 6grams of protein per 1/4c serving, which will help you stay satisfied through lunch and will prevent an insulin spike from the naturally occurring complex carbohydrates. Quinoa also contains a variety of bone building minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc, however it’s phytic acid content can inhibit the absorption of these important minerals.  Soaking and then cooking the quinoa, reduces it’s phytic acid content which improves mineral absorption. This grain from the Andes, is also rich in protective antioxidants.  Pair this with the abundant antioxidants in the tea and you have yourself one lean, mean disease fighting breakfast!

The recipe can be made in larger batches and kept in the fridge to be used throughout the week.  Talk about a stress-free start the school year!

2 bags of Chai Tea (or tea of your choice)
1 cup quinoa
2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Coconut milk and honey to taste
Place quinoa, water and tea bags in a pot and set to medium until the water starts to boil.  Reduce to low and place a lid on the pot until all the water is absorbed. About 10 minutes.  Remove tea bags by squeezing out any extra liquid.  Fluff quinoa and spoon it into breakfast bowls.  Top the tea-cooked grain with dried fruit and pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle with coconut milk and a little honey.   Enjoy!

Add quinoa to pot and rinse.

Add tea bag(s) and water.

Allow it to cook and spoon into bowls.

I added dried cranberries, dates and pepitas ( pumpkin seed).

Drizzle with coconut milk and honey.


A few other flavor combos you may want to try are:
Green Tea, honey & Raspberries
Cocoa, almonds and bananas
Blueberries, Chamomile & Walnuts

What flavor combo will you come up with?

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