Beautiful and nutritious Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl. Naturally coloured and flavoured with freeze dried fruit and topped with the colours of nature. Free from gluten, dairy, egg, soy and refined-sugar. Vegan
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Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl – incredibly nutritious
This Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl is ‘up there’ in the running for healthiest breakfast ever. Why? Because Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) has to be one of the most incredible seeds on the planet. It is so amazing that 2013 was designated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation as the International Year of Quinoa. And rightly so! It is nutritional magic.
First and foremost, it is a complete protein… Meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs to regenerate and grow. This little gem contains twice the level of protein that you will find in either rice or barley. That alone makes it a perfect base for a breakfast that will set you up for the day. And being plant-based, is also perfect if you follow a vegan diet.
Quinoa is naturally gluten free. In addition to great protein, it contains high levels of calcium, magnesium and manganese and is a great source of vitamins B, E and dietary fibre. It is also considered to be among the least allergenic of grains… What’s not to love?
Making Quinoa Pink and fruity
My original Quinoa Breakfast Bowl recipe (inspired by travel in Utah) may have been less colourful, but it was no less delicious. But for this update, I have taken quinoa to a new level.
Usually known for savoury use, this quinoa has been cooked with freeze-dried red berry fruit powder and a little maple syrup for colour, flavour and a touch of sweetness. Instead of boiling in water, it is also cooked in dairy free milk.
The result? A pretty pink, perfectly nutritious bowl, ready to be topped with naturally colourful fruit and nuts that will make it the quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl.
Cooking quinoa for a rainbow breakfast bowl
If you are new to cooking quinoa or have had trouble getting it fluffy, soft and delicious in the past, then check out my illustrated guide : ‘How to Cook Quinoa to Fluffy Perfection’. I’ve even included a handy downloadable Infographic that you can grab and keep in the kitchen.
When cooking a pink freeze-dried fruit version for the quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl, you follow all the same rules. Simply substitute savoury liquid stock for milk (or water) and fruit powder when cooking.
I wasn’t sure how milk would work in place of water to cook quinoa initially. However, as you don’t ‘drain’ quinoa or rinse it following cooking, it is a perfect choice. All the goodness and creaminess of the coconut (or other) milk remains in the dish, enhancing every mouthful with a little extra very healthy breakfast decadence.
What milk can I use to cook quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl?
I used Vita Coco Coconut Milk to make quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl. You can however make it with any other milk you like (dairy or non-dairy). Or, alternatively use water instead. It comes down to preference of flavour and any intolerance issues or dietary needs. Try and use a no added sugar variety.
I am a huge fan of coconut milks and often also use the Koko brand in coffee as an alternative to Vita Coco. I actually prefer coconut milk in drinks because it is lighter and easier for me to digest. There are however a number of coconut milk brands on the market. And all vary considerably in taste, wateriness and also the slightly grainy residue they can leave at the bottom of the cup. So, choose yours carefully. Both of those I have mentioned would work well for my quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl.
Why use freeze-dried berries?
Regular readers of Gluten Free Alchemist will know that I am a huge fan of freeze-dried fruit. It provides a huge concentration of flavour from a process that locks in all the vitamins and minerals.
Because it doesn’t add extra liquid in the form of fruit juice, it is also perfect for baking. Check out rhubarb upside down cake (using strawberry fruit powder), pink strawberry cookies (there’s also a blackcurrant version), gluten free cherry-almond pastry and my raspberry and lemon drizzle bundt cake to see just how versatile freeze-dried fruit can be. I’ve even used it to make cherry marzipan for a cherry-chocolate Battenberg cake, in raspberry macaron shells and in instant fruit and nut porridge jars.
The best place to source freeze-dried fruit powders (whether for quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl or anything else) is on-line. It’s cheaper and the choice is way more extensive than you will find in any supermarket. My absolute go-to store for freeze-dried fruit and veg is Healthy Supplies.
What else goes into a Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl?
Set against the slight tartness of the perfectly pink freeze-dried cherry, the ‘nutty’ quinoa makes a delicious base for fruit, nuts and other additions.
I topped my quinoa rainbow breakfast bowl with a veritable array of natural textures and colours… Soft, squidgy, fruity blueberries with their amazing anti-oxidant properties (as well as a healthy dose of vitamins)… Crunchy green Iranian pistachios for extra protein and heart-healthy fat… Some soft, slightly chewy dried peaches (another great source of vitamins and fibre)… Some of my favourite freeze-dried melt-in-the-mouth raspberry pieces, adding tangy sweetness and extra vitamin C… And a show-stopping physalis for good measure.
For a little extra sweetness (and because I love the caramel notes it brings), I also added a sprinkle of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has much lower ratios of fructose than standard sugars, making it a healthier choice for those of us who are prone to guilty indulgence.
Fancy trying Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl?
Let me know how you get on. What did you top yours with? How did you find my guide to cooking quinoa? Leave a comment or tag me on social media (links at the top). I always love feedback and seeing what you’ve been making.
If you prefer the idea of making breakfast porridge with Quinoa Flakes, advice on how to cook it (so that it doesn’t become mush) can be found in my How to Make Gluten Free Porridge Post.
Quinoa Rainbow Breakfast Bowl
- fine-holed sieve (if quinoa is not pre-rinsed)
- saucepan with lid
- microwave (optional – for warm milk)
- bowl & spoon to enjoy x
- 90 g uncooked quinoa (½ cup) For 2 portions. Tip : cook quinoa in advance for several portions. Store in fridge.
- 240 ml milk of choice (1 cup/240g) see post. Preferably no sugar added
- ½ tbsp freeze-dried cherry powder (or freeze-dried raspberry/strawberry powder)
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 2 physalis fruits
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry pieces or alternative red fruit
- 4 dried peaches (or apricots) – cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp Iranian pistachio nuts or chopped standard unsalted pistachios
- 4 tbsp fresh blueberries
- 1½ tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar of choice
To Cook Quinoa
- You can prepare the quinoa the night before and eat it cold. Or warm it in the microwave in the morning with a little additional Milk if you prefer a warm breakfast.
- 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 the milk, freeze dried fruit powder and maple syrup.
- Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring intermittently.
- 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 Rainbow Breakfast Bowl
- Measure a portion of hot or cold quinoa into a bowl.
- Arrange the fruit on top of the quinoa as you wish.
- Sprinkle with a little coconut sugar.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist