A delicious breakfast bowl, packed full of nutrients. Made with protein-rich quinoa and topped with fruit, nuts, milk and a sprinkling of unrefined sugar, this is a breakfast to set you up for the day.
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The Qunioa Breakfast Bowl : Inspired by travel
Looking for a healthy new breakfast? This Qunioa breakfast bowl is incredibly nutritious and easy to make and may be just the change you need.
I don’t know about you, but I love discovering new things to eat and travel is the best inspiration. Whatever the reasons for travelling abroad, it is always an opportunity to discover new foods and experience new ways to prepare, serve and eat already familiar ingredients. Sometimes, the least expected menu choices become the ones that top the ‘must try and make when I get home’ list.
This is one such dish… stumbled upon during a visit to the States a few years back on a journey to Utah and a town called Moab. Moab is the gateway to the popular national parks of Canyonlands and Arches. If you ever find yourself down that way, make absolutely sure to go there to see the amazing geographical wonders that nature has created.
Sight-seeing aside, you can also find some great healthy food. On recommendation, we ate a couple of meals (lunch and breakfast) at the Peace Tree Juice Cafe in Moab, which serves great nutritional, tasty and organic foods. Lunch consisted of a wonderful Apple, Walnut, Goats Cheese and Cranberry Salad… But it was this amazing vegan breakfast which really bowled me over. The natural simplicity of ingredients, as well as the interesting combination of textures, flavours and colours are unexpectedly delicious. And the nourishment and ability to sustain you for hours, make this quinoa bowl a total winner.
What’s in the Quinoa Bowl and is it a Vegan Breakfast?
Easy to Prepare
The beauty of this quinoa breakfast bowl, is that it requires very little preparation, making it perfect for those in a hurry. If you pre-prepare your quinoa by cooking (without any seasoning, salt or sugar) and ‘bulk’-store in the fridge, you can have this prepped in 5 minutes in the morning. It is simply a case of adding dried fruit and nuts, a little extra sweetness and topping with some milk (hot or cold… the choice is yours).
Healthy Vegan Ingredients
All the ingredients in this recipe are vegan, using plant-based almond, coconut or an alternative milk in place of dairy. I’ve tried it with a whole range of vegan milks and all have been good. If you prefer dairy however, then by all means use it. There are really no rules about how you eat your quinoa breakfast…
But be sure to sweeten naturally… A sprinkle of unrefined sugar (such as coconut palm or brown) is not only a little bit healthier, but adds a gorgeous, decadent caramel depth to your breakfast bowl. If you prefer a liquid drizzle, opt for a natural syrup. Maple, date or fruit syrups are perfect. Not vegan? Top with a splash of runny honey.
Pick fruit and nuts for your quinoa breakfast bowl as the mood takes you too… Your choice will vary the texture, flavour and character as well as natural colour, sweetness and a little contrasting tartness. A sprinkle of nuts will guarantee crunch and extra body and depending on your choice, a diversity of flavour including a hint of bitterness to compliment the caramel notes mingling from the coconut palm sugar.
For my breakfast bowl, I picked the fruit and nuts for their amazing vibrant, natural colours and complementary flavours. The original quinoa bowl that I had in Utah, used cranberries and walnuts. I’ve also thrown in some blueberries and Iranian pistachios.
Either way, this is a dish packed full of good stuff and full of slow-release energy to set you up for the day ahead.
What’s so great about Quinoa and why is it a perfect base for a Vegan Breakfast Bowl?
Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wa’) originates as an ancient South American staple. A whole-grain seed, it has grown massively in popularity in recent years, particularly in gluten free, vegetarian and health-aware circles. Quinoa offers an unusually high source of plant-based protein, and is also a great slow-release carbohydrate (and therefore low-GI). In addition, it is packed with fibre, calcium and other essential nutrients.
Quinoa makes for an ideal vegan breakfast base, not least because it is a complete protein. This means it contains all nine essential amino acids (rare in plant-based ingredients). It also contains high levels of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which may be potentially beneficial in the prevention and treatment of disease. If that isn’t enough to convince you… when cooked, it has a great texture and flavour and is amazingly versatile as an alternative to rice, couscous, bulgar wheat or ground as a gluten-free flour source.
If you use coconut or almond milk, this breakfast bowl is almost as virtuous as they come… In addition to being gluten free, it is also dairy free, soya free, vegan and refined sugar free.
Not sure how to cook Quinoa for your Bowl?
Quinoa is really easy to cook, but you need to give it the right amount of liquid and time to absorb. Typically, it needs twice the amount of liquid to dried volume of quinoa to puff and pop open the kernels. Get it right and you will have moist, fluffy quinoa. Get it wrong and the result may be gritty and tough… Not the best way to enjoy your quinoa breakfast!
I’ve put together a helpful guide on How To Cook Quinoa (with illustrations and a handy Infographic), which takes you step by step through the quinoa cooking process.
Have you tried the Quinoa Breakfast Bowl?
As always, if you give this recipe a try, let me know. I love to hear from you. It makes recipe-sharing so much more fun! There are loads of ways to contact me… Leave a comment on the post, rate it, take a pic and post it on social media and tag me in. You’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
So that’s my take on the quinoa breakfast bowl that I fell in love with in Moab. I hope you love it too.
Have you any favourite recipes that have been inspired by travel? Let me know!
Other Recipes Inspired by Travel on Gluten Free Alchemist & From Fellow Bloggers
- Spanakopita Galette – Greece
- Japanese Fried Tofu with Egg, Spring Onion & Bonito Flakes – Japan
- Easy Spanish Tortilla (from Tin & Thyme) – Spain
- Hazelnut-Cacao Energy Balls – French retreat
- German Gingerbread Cookies – Germany
- Cheats Croque Madame (from Fab Food 4 All) – France
- Baked Greek Feta with Barbecued Red Pepper, Tomatoes & Mountain Oregano – Greece
- Fish Bolognese – Maldives
- One-Bowl Apple Cake (from Glutarama) – France
- Indian Flatbreads – India
- Easy Thai Salad (from Apply to Face Blog) – Thailand
- Swordfish Cooked with Lime, Pistachio & Coriander – Mediterranean
- Green Beans Cooked in Tomatoes – Italy
- Gluten Free Bakewell Tart – Bakewell, UK
- A Trio of Marzipan Chocolates – Lubeck – Germany
- Reggae Potatoes – Caribbean
- Coca de Vidre (from Recipes Made Easy) – Catalonia (sub with GF flour)
- Gluten Free Lebkuchen Cookies – Germany
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond. And if you are looking for other amazing gluten free breakfast ideas, we now have a dedicated Index for Breakfast & Brunch.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- fine-holed sieve (if quinoa is not pre-rinsed)
- saucepan with lid
- wooden/silicone spoon
- microwave (optional – for warm milk)
- bowl & spoon to enjoy x
- 50 g uncooked quinoa (⅓ cup) For 1 portion. Tip : cook quinoa in advance for several portions. Store in fridge.
- 25 g dried cranberries
- 20 g dried blueberries
- 30 g walnuts halved/rough chopped
- 15 g Iranian pistachio nuts or chopped ordinary pistachios
- 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 80 ml coconut or almond milk or other milk of choice (approx amount)
To Cook Quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa (if not pre-rinsed) by placing in a sieve and running under cold water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well.
- Transfer the quinoa into a saucepan and add twice the volume of water. Bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the kernels have 'opened'.
- Remove from the heat and leave to stand for a further 5 minutes with the lid on to allow the quinoa to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork. It is now ready to use. If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make the Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Measure a portion of hot or cold quinoa into a bowl.
- Add about half of the dried fruit, nuts and a sprinkle of coconut palm sugar to taste and fold through.
- Pour over some (hot or cold) coconut or almond milk (or alternative milk of choice).
- Add more fruit, nuts, sugar and milk to taste on top as you wish.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Shared With :
- Cook Blog Share with Peachicks Bakery
- Meatless Monday with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands
- What’s For Dinner? #234 with The Lazy Gastronome
- Creative Muster #366 with Fluster Buster and Adoring Creations
- Fiesta Friday #306 with Angie and Zoale
This post was originally published on 29.06.2016 and updated on 7th January 2020.
Previously shared (2016) with : Meat Free Mondays with Tinned Tomatoes; Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse; Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma; Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum; Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilkas Blog and Marathons & Motivation.