Perfect Quinoa Porridge

IMG_1880“Brrrrr…I need a sweater!” That’s my favorite thing to say in the summer. Yes, summer. Because while I love the long days and bright sun and outdoor time, I am not the biggest fan of high temps and humidity. Those clear, cool, sunny days that happen unexpectedly before fall? Precious!

Around the middle of August we had a few of these days and I thought, “hey, is this my birthday present?” But on the flip side, I suddenly didn’t’ know what to eat. A smoothie just seemed stupid, I mean, I don’t want to need hot tea and a heating pad after breakfast every day, do I? And sometimes I just don’t want eggs. Plus, oatmeal doesn’t stick with me. I get overly full and then suddenly empty.

And this was the inspiration for my new quinoa porridge. More protein and staying power than oats, all the comfort of porridge. Now, it’s not a new idea. It’s everywhere. But I’ve never liked it. Something about how grainy it is rather than creamy and comforting just didn’t do it for me. It was like I wanted to like it, but didn’t really.

So, I set to work perfecting. I needed a boost of flavor: fresh ginger. I needed more creaminess: blend some of the quinoa with the “milk.” I really really needed extra staying power: chia seeds. Oh, and fat, you gotta have fat.

Yeah, when it comes to food, I am detail oriented, as a new friend recently pronounced. Shocker.

You don’t have to make your quinoa porridge this way. You can just throw some cooked quinoa in a pot with nut milk and heat it up. But I highly suggest you try my way. It’s perfection, if I do say so myself.

In the middle of August I topped it with local berries and it was amazing! I also tried just almond butter and bananas, one sad day when there was no other fruit. But I finally landed on the perfect toppings for fall, suggested in the recipe below. They are optional, of course, but I love the combination. Crunchy toasty nuts, maple syrup, tart cherries and a drizzle of cold milk (like my grandma used to do…). And if you need to simplify your mornings you can do the whole process in advance then just reheat with more of your choice of milk in the morning. Throw it in a thermos and hit the road.

Yeah, fall is on its way, and I’m not ready for boots and socks yet. But this warming breakfast is easing the transition.IMG_1883

Happy breakfasting!