All things being equal, hot cereal is not great. You know who knew that? My grandma. It didn’t matter how much cinnamon or brown sugar or magic you put in it. Oatmeal, cream of wheat, that hot-grape-nuts stuff that people pretend to like… even if it reminded her of hot cereal, she wouldn’t go near it. For the most part, she was right. Hot cereal is pretty squishy and gluey and meh.
In an offhand comment in a Q&A in Food Network Magazine, one of their celebrity chefs (someone named Ellie Krieger) mentioned that she likes quinoa with fruit, honey and milk as a hot cereal for breakfast.
So of course my first thought was, oh man, Grandma would have hated that. And then I thought, …but it does sound kind of good.
There was no recipe or anything, but it sounded simple enough, so I made some. It was simple, and it was also lovely. It’s nothing like hot cereal, in my opinion, so who knows, maybe even Grandma would’ve liked it. I’ll be honest, that’s a big maybe. She was very serious about avoiding hot cereal. But if the principle of a hot bowl of breakfast is something that you can tolerate, this is delicious.
First of all, the texture of quinoa is wonderful, and grows on me more each time I have it, with that wonderfully odd little crunchiness. It’s so satisfying! And this version is at least as delicious as the savory kind. The sweetness and the texture and the hot quinoa with the cold fruit… I love it.
It takes less than 20 minutes to make, and I get to spend 15 of those minutes doing morning stuff, like washing my face and brushing my hair and staring at the floor, because the stove is doing all the work. And then at the end of 20 minutes, hot breakfast!
I probably don’t even have to tell you about the complete protein found in quinoa, the excellent vitamins you can get from fruit, the good fatty acids in almond milk, or the possibility that you’ll absorb potent bee-power from local honey. In fact, I can say from experience that breakfast quinoa gives you a solid kind of feelin’-good energy to head into your day, which is why it’s my current number one favorite breakfast.
Don’t be like that, Asian veggie patties and eggs. There has to be a second place.
Makes 2 servings
- 2/3 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/3 cups almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Chopped fruit (apples, bananas, berries, papaya — whatever’s delicious)
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk, quinoa and vanilla until the milk begins to boil. Reduce heat to low (keep an eye on it, because even at low heat, the milk tends to froth), cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Divide the quinoa between two bowls, add chopped fruit, and drizzle honey to taste.