QUINOA for BREAKFAST? Yes, please!

by Monica Gisella
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As an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, I often design Ayurvedic meal plans with quinoa as a breakfast food. Since it is often seen as a savory item, my clients ask me if it was a typo and I meant lunch/dinner instead. So, I say: “Nope! I meant breakfast” I intend it to be treated just as any other cereal in the morning: with some milk, nuts, and honey. Yummy.

Quinoa is such an amazing gift from Mother Nature, that it’s impossible not to have it as a staple in my ayurvedic cooking. First of all it has twice as much fiber as most other grains, it is one of the foods, not animal based, with more protein we can get – perfect as a post-workout meal, to help recover those muscles!-, it’s gluten free, its vegan, it’s easy to cook – just like rice-, and has a pleasant nutty flavor. It’s a superfood: in just a cup you have 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Plus iron, lysine, magnesium, B2, and manganese. You can’t ask for more from this potent seed.

IS IT EASY TO DIGEST?

In Ayurveda, in order to be healthy, you must first consider your digestion. Asking the question “Is this easy to digest?” in regards to the foods you eat, may save you future headaches. Quinoa is super easy to digest if cooked properly, and the good news is that it pacifies Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, the Ayurvedic body types. Quinoa is a medicinal food: it is a nutritive and tonic, and it’s anti inflammatory. In fact, it’s a great food to add to your diet if you are looking forward to losing weight.

HOW TO PREPARE IT?

I normally prepare it in batches and keep it in the fridge. On a hectic morning, I want to have it ready to go. So, I first roast it in a pan to get more of the nutty flavor, which I love, and then for each cup of Quinoa, I add 2 cups of water. I add any spices that would seem appropriate with oatmeal like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. But, I also know how it is prepared in Colombia in certain regions, and add dry ginger to it. Somehow it makes it more aromatic, easier to digest, and the flavor is just perfect. Then, bring to a boil, cover, and low the heat.

I serve it warm with non-dairy milk – my favorite is soy- and add some or all of the following: dates, raisins, almonds, coconut flakes, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, bee pollen, and honey.

You can pair it with a nice cup of ginger, fennel, or green tea. What a fantastic combo to start your day!

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