When Bets and I were hiking the Incan trail a few weeks ago, I was pretty concerned about what our breakfast situation was going to be. I knew I would want some serious breakfast since we would be walking approximately eleventy-million steps.
The last thing I wanted was for someone to toss me a granola bar and send me along the path.
Luckily, we were in the hands of some true hiking experts and breakfast would consist of at least a few wonderfully filling options. There was always some sort of egg thing, cakes, jams, and lots of tea, but what really did it for me every morning was porridge.
It took me a few tastes to figure out that it was quinoa porridge instead of oats. It was always spiced with various things and made slightly on the runny side. You could actually drink the stuff.
For my version, I made it a bit thicker but it was still very delicious.
Yield: Serves 2.
1 cup rinsed quinoa
1/4 cup oats
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1) Rinse quinoa under cold water.
2) In a medium pot, bring milk and water to an almost simmer over medium heat. Add oats and quinoa.
3) Add in pinch of salt, cinnamon, and syrup.
4) Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
5) If the mixture looks really thick, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of water.
6) Stir porridge and make sure the quinoa is cooked through.
7) Serve with butter, almonds, honey or brown sugar.
There’s a bit of a problem with this dish as a breakfast option: Quinoa is freakin’ expensive now. It has become super popular and the cost has really shot up over the last few years.
People are just obsessed with the stuff.
Frankly, I wouldn’t substitute this for my normal daily oatmeal in the winter just because it would get a bit pricy.
But it’s a great change occasionally. The quinoa has a much different flavor and texture and has more protein so it keeps you filled and energized during the morning.
Remember that it’s always a good idea to rinse quinoa before you use it. The stuff is rarely cleaned well before packaging especially if you buy it in bulk.
Heat the milk and water in a pot over medium heat so the milk doesn’t burn.
Then add in the oats and quinoa and cover the dish. The small amount of oats just help thicken the porridge a bit.
Cover the dish and let it simmer away for about 20 minutes.
The nice thing about this porridge is that you can play around with the consistency of it. Sometimes I like it really thick so I’ll just uncover the pan and let the liquid evaporate. Other times I like it more on the runny side so I’ll add some extra water to it.
Don’t forget to toss in your spices and seasonings also. They really make the porridge.
To be honest, the finished porridge doesn’t look all that special, but it’ll taste great. Promise.
As with oatmeal, I think half the fun is in the toppings. Maybe a dab of butter? Some almonds? Brown sugar or honey? All of the above?
Get creative with it.
Like I said, this won’t replace my normal oatmeal, but it is a nice change occasionally.
If it kept me energized for the trail, it’ll probably be able to get you through whatever your day brings!