I love berries. Especially blueberries.
I often find a place for a handful of fresh, bright and juicy blueberries at breakfast.
Which is why my attempt to beautify a colorless bowl of quinoa lead to this vibrant blue concoction (thanks to an obnoxiously large serving of blueberries) …
…followed by a sprinkle of garnish, and voila! Quinoa breakfast bowls at their finest.
The only problem with these quinoa breakfast bowls?
It’ll make all other breakfast concepts seem mundane and you’ll soon be eating this exclusively.
Peace out eggs and toast, I’m over you green smoothies, this comfortingly delicious bowl of goodness is just what you’ve been craving.
Packed with antioxidants, whole grains and healthy fats to keep you feeling strong, satiated and energized.
So, grab some quinoa and berries and let’s get this day started!
Let me guess…
The word porridge sparks nostalgic memories of your grandmother’s beaming hot oats soaked in whole milk and sprinkled with sugar.
More than likely not quinoa, coconut milk and berries.
I get your apprehension. This recipe is a little less sugary and a lot more healthy.
But trust me… you should choose these quinoa breakfast bowls instead. Why? It’s simply a health-a-fied version of what you already know and love!
I’m talking a balanced meal. Including more protein, tons of antioxidants and way less sugar. In other words, digesting this meal won’t lead you into a sugar induced snooze in the middle of the work day.
Here are a few additional motivating reasons for giving up oatmeal packets and making this instead:
Let’s be real. No bowl of porridge, oatmeal, or cream of wheat are complete without some sort of sugary topping.
Now the obvious approach would be to drench your bowl of grains in sugar… maybe a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar or maybe some chocolate chips (just like grandma).
But if you want to throw a curveball at tradition with me, let’s try smothering our quinoa breakfast bowls with berries.
Berries are an awesome way to pack a serious nutritional punch and add a delicious burst in flava.
As you’ve probably gathered from looking at the blue colored grains, I added blueberries to the quinoa while cooking (this infuses the quinoa with the color and sweetness of the berries).
I try to eat blueberries as often as possible…
…Not only for their delicious taste, but also because “a half cup of blueberries provides the antioxidant power of five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli” (source).
A delicious snack that happens to be ridiculously good for you? I’ll take it!
I top each bowl with a sprinkle of strawberries and raspberries.
If you don’t have a bunch of berries on hand you can skip this step, however I added them because every berry has its own unique health benefits worth capitalizing on.
Such as raspberries, which contain high amounts of essential nutrients plus “ellagitannins, natural health-protective compounds that appear to have potent anti-cancer activity” (source).
Then we’ve got strawberries which “can help promote heart health, and protect against cancer and inflammatory diseases” (source).
I’m about to blow your mind… ready for this?
Quinoa is technically not a grain, rather a seed.
Most us won’t notice a difference. But if you’re interested in the technical details, the distinction is that quinoa is the seed of a broadleaf plant rather than the seed of a grass as most grains are (source).
Despite this, quinoa is prepared and consumed as any other grain.
But what makes quinoa so much more exciting is that it’s higher in protein than any other grain.
It’s particularly high in lysine, an amino acid that is typically lacking in most grains.
In addition, it’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 of the amino acids our bodies cannot produce on their own which is hard to come by in the plant world (source).
Not to mention quinoa is gluten free! Bring it onnnn!
It comes in a bunch of colors – I used white for this recipe because I wanted the quinoa to look as blue as possible after cooking it with the blueberries.
I personally can’t taste a difference in the quinoa, but have heard people say red tastes hardier? Have you noticed a difference?
Quinoa tends to have a slightly bitter taste, which can be mitigated by rinsing the grains before cooking them.
When making a sweet dish (such as these quinoa breakfast bowls) I typically soak the quinoa for an hour or so, then rinse them just before cooking.
This recipe’s instructions call for cooking the quinoa in a half water half coconut milk solution. This step is flexible.
I started making quinoa breakfast bowls because I’d make ridiculously large batches of quinoa to serve with dinner and needed to find ways to utilize the leftovers (you know how much I hate wasting food).
Quinoa made for savory dishes (like my leftovers) are typically made with water, which you can still use. To make this quinoa a little creamier, try reheating it in a pot of milk.
You can also cover your already cooked quinoa in milk and other yummies and call it a day.
Feel free to get creative with your toppings! This recipe is a combination of some of my favorites, but if you’re looking for something a little less berry, here are a few ideas:
- Nut butter, cocoa, and bananas when I’m looking for something sweet and reeses-y
- Greek yogurt, nuts, hemp seeds and fruit of choice when I need extra protein
- Kefir, blueberries and coconut when I want some extra probiotic love
- Coconut milk, pineapple, coconut flakes and macadamia nut when it’s cold but I want a pina colada
- Almond milk, almond butter, apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg when I’m missing fall
Those are my favorite combos so far… but to be honest I typically just toss in whatever is calling my name from the fridge. What are your favorite combos?
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂