This might come as a shock, but I loathe oatmeal. I know, I know: it’s staple breakfast and a great way to get some whole grains into your diet, but there’s just something about the goopy texture and flavor that I can’t get over. I’ve even given overnight oats a try and still no success in jumping on the oatmeal train. After many trials and tribulations on the hunt for a hearty breakfast to switch up my green smoothie habit, I came across the idea of using quinoa as my breakfast grain of choice. Quinoa has always been a staple in my lunch time power bowl and salad recipes, so it was such a fun surprise to find a regular place for this protein packed grain in my breakfast rotation. Inspired as a lighter, brekkie version of one my favorite Indian desserts, kheer – which is a rice pudding type dessert – these quinoa breakfast bowls just might become your new fave way to get your grains.
I love using seasonal fruits and getting inspired by what’s out in the different booths at the farmers market – especially in the summer. Warmer months call for stone fruits, and because peaches, cherries, and other fruits in the family are at their sweetest at this time of year, you don’t need to add as much extra sugar to have a tasty breakfast treat!
While I love kheer and my mom’s version is the only one I’ll eat (seriously aren’t we all biased to our mom’s versions of dishes??), the dish uses a lot of sugar. To give this quinoa variety flavor and richness without the addition of too much sugar, I opted for some sweet and rich coconut milk to give these bowls a velvet-y texture and flavor in addition to the spices. Quinoa is the perfect blank canvas to pick up whatever flavor you choose to pair it with – whether that’s sweet or savory!
So is saffron worth its usually high price tag? Simple answer – YES.
While saffron’s warm and floral taste is hard to replicate with another spice, you really only need a small amount of it to capture that flavor and harness its benefits – so stock up and you’ll be set for the foreseeable future! Especially in the summer time, saffron can help with circulation and regulating body temperature which is definitely a priority during those hot summer months. Saffron also promotes learning and memory retention, aids in digestion, and can even be used in a face mask for glowing skin!
The best part of this bowl is how easy it is to customize to the season – I might sub in cardamom and honey in the fall, and top the quinoa off with apples and cranberries come winter! As they say – breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is definitely a wonderful way to kick off your morning!
for the quinoa ::
- 3/4 cup of quinoa, rinsed
- 2 oz of almond milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 13oz can of coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 clove of star anise
for the peaches ::
- 2 bags of black tea
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1/4 tsp saffron
- a pinch of salt
- 2 peaches, halved and pitted
for the quinoa ::
- in a stovetop pot, add the rinsed quinoa, milks, vanilla, spices, and maple syrup. stir to combine.
- bring the quinoa and liquid up to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until the quinoa is cooked through - about another 10-15 minutes. make sure there is liquid leftover in the pot, if the quinoa starts to dry out add additional almond milk. the consistency should be similar to a light porridge.
- remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
for the peaches ::
- in a large stovetop pot, brew the tea bags in two cups of water - follow instructions on your tea of choice.
- remove the tea bags and add the maple syrup, cardamom, saffron, and salt, stirring to combine.
- add the peach halves to the pot and add extra water if needed to cover the peaches. bring the peaches up to a light boil on medium - high heat until the peaches are knife tender, but still keep their shape. once the liquid is up to a boil this should take about 6 - 8 minutes depending on how ripe your peaches are.
to serve ::
- to serve cold, cool the quinoa in the fridge overnight. spoon quinoa into a bowl and pour over extra almond milk if desired. top with poached peach slices, other stone fruits, and toasted coconut.
- to serve warm, spoon quinoa straight from the hot stove pot into a bowl and serve with warm peaches. enjoy!
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