Coconut Vanilla Quinoa (Gluten Free)
Curious what quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is? Let me give you a brief run down.
- Quinoa is a seed, not a grain. Because it is a seed, it’s a wheat-free, gluten-free “grain”.
- Quinoa has more high quality protein than a lot of meats. In fact it’s a complete protein meaning it provides protein, fiber and essential amino acids.
- Quinoa is filling, easy to prepare, can adapt to so many different flavors making it extremely versatile. It’s so incredible that according to the Inca culture they refer to it as the Mother Grain (even though it’s a seed).
So now that you know a little about this ‘superseed’, let me tell you how I prepared it for breakfast this morning. I saw this recipe at one of my favorite blogs and tweaked it a little.
- 1/4 cup of organic quinoa
- 1/2 cup of organic ‘lite’ coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
Combine 1/4 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
If you find that the quinoa is getting too dry, add a tbsp of coconut milk at a time. If you have added too much, just simmer for a few minutes longer. Quinoa isn’t complicated at all.
Once its done, serve warm like you would oatmeal, stir in a little vanilla extract and top with a little coconut.
- Whatever amount you want to cook, always double the amount of liquid. Example: 1 cup of quinoa requires 2 cups of whatever liquid you use because it will absorb double its size.
- If you use a 1/4 of a cup uncooked, it will yield a 1/2 cup cooked. Like I said, it doubles in size.
- Quinoa is frequently served as a side dish. Instead of using coconut milk, use chicken or beef broth, add some scallions, chopped up mushrooms or whatever suits your taste. You can even mix cooked quinoa with turkey and stuff peppers with it. Quinoa is one of the most versatile, adaptive grains I eat.
- A 1/4 cup of quinoa has only 166 calories, 3 fat grams (no saturated fat), 3 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Sounds pretty darn perfect to me.
Next time you are looking for a seed disguised as a grain, bypass that pasta or rice and make this one small change that will make a big difference.
Doesn’t that look delicious?