The Benefits of Quinoa

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, then it’s a perfect protein to start incorporating into your diet. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and is a good source of manganese as well as folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. In addition, it’s a great source of the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because it’s such a complete protein with such a well-balanced amino acid profile, it’s a perfect alternative for vegetarians because it’s one of the few (non-meat) foods that provide all the essential amino acids that our bodies need.

Quinoa has a light and fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavor when cooked. And it’s extremely versatile. It’s perfect in savory dishes or here, in my quinoa breakfast bowl. For this recipe, you can add just about anything you like to it such as cranberries, raisins, fresh fruit or even shredded coconut all work well with the recipe. And you can also substitute the honey with either agave nectar or maple syrup if you prefer. But here’s my favorite way to enjoy it:

quinoa breakfast bowl               serves 1

If you’re looking for an alternative to a hearty bowl of oatmeal that’s still nutritious, then this recipe is a great option. Quinoa, which is packed with protein, is a great substitute for the more traditional bowl of breakfast oatmeal. I make my version using a combination of both milk and water to cook the quinoa because I love the creaminess the milk gives the quinoa but you can simply use all water if you prefer. Serve it plain, with yogurt and toasted almonds or with your favorite dried or fresh fruit.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted almonds

1. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, 1/2 cup milk and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Grains will be translucent and germ ring will be visible when done.
2. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, honey and remaining 1 teaspoon milk.
3. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl and top with yogurt and almonds and serve warm. Image

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