i've been trying for years to find healthy, yet easy, recipes to boost my picky family's nutrition, and this one is definitely a winner!
substitute quinoa for oatmeal, and you get:
- more protein (twice as much!)
- more fiber
- more calcium
- more iron
- more b-vitamins
- more zinc
- yes, more calories and fat (the good kinds), but it's also more filling, so you won't eat again as soon
(click "read more" below, to get a more in-depth comparison of quinoa and oatmeal.)
the most affordable way to purchase quinoa (and maple syrup, which is also in this recipe) is in bulk, at a warehouse store, such as bj's or costco. fortunately, these are foods which keep well, so you can buy as much as you want and just keep it in storage.
this recipe is pretty simple, and quinoa cooks up in only 15 minutes, so it's quick too!
quinoa needs to be rinsed, so measure it out, pour it into a sieve, and run cold water over it, while shaking it and flipping it around. let the water drain out and repeat at least once more.
while it is cooking, you can cut up whatever fruit and or nuts you want to add. i like to use fruit that is in season, such as peaches or berries in the summer, or whatever i have in the fridge, such as apples or mangoes. i also tend to use whatever nuts i have on hand-- cashews, walnuts, pecans... or no nuts at all, if i don't have any. this really is a "kitchen-sink" kind of meal!
here's the recipe-- enjoy!
what you need:
- 1 cup milk (i use 1%, but a heavier milk might yield a creamier result)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup rinsed quinoa (white works well, but red has a richer flavor-- i've never tried black, but i'm sure it's even heartier!)
- pinch of ground sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)-- walnuts or pecans, or whatever you want
- 1 cup fresh fruit (optional)-- use any combination of stone fruits, berries, apples, bananas, or anything you have on hand
what to do:
combine milk, water, and cinnamon in a saucepan and stir. add quinoa, stir again, and bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until milk is mostly absorbed. remove from heat, let sit for a minute, and stir once more. serve in individual bowls, topped with drizzled maple syrup, nuts, and fruit
a comparison of quinoa and oatmeal
a 1/2 cup serving of uncooked quinoa contains 313 calories, while the same size serving of uncooked oatmeal contains 153 calories. quinoa has twice as many calories as oatmeal.
proteinquinoa is a higher-quality source of protein than most grains, including oatmeal, because it contains higher quantities of the essential amino acids such as lysine, methionine and threonine. a 1/2 cup serving of uncooked quinoa contains 12 g of protein, while a serving of uncooked oatmeal contains 5 g of protein.
carbs and fiber
as a grain, most of the calories in both the quinoa and oatmeal come from carbohydrates. both are also a good source of fiber, which can aid in weight control by helping to control hunger. a 1/2-cup serving of uncooked quinoa contains 54 g of carbohydrates and 6 g of fiber, and a 1/2-cup serving of uncooked oatmeal contains 27 g of carbohydrates and 4 g of fiber.
both oatmeal and quinoa are low in fat. a 1/2-cup serving of the uncooked quinoa contains 5 g of total fat, 0.6 g of saturated fat, 1.4 g of monounsaturated fat and 2.8 g of polyunsaturated fat. the same size serving of uncooked oatmeal contains 2.6 g of total fat, 0.5 g of saturated fat, 0.8 g of monounsaturated fat and 0.9 g of polyunsaturated fat.
vitamins and minerals
quinoa is higher in most vitamins and minerals than the same size serving of oatmeal. a 1/2-cup serving of uncooked quinoa contains 40 mg of calcium, 3.4 mg of iron, 167 mg of magnesium, 479 mg of potassium, 2.63 mg of zinc, 156 micrograms of folate and 2.07 mg of vitamin E. while a 1/2-cup serving of uncooked oatmeal contains 21 mg of calcium, 1.72 mg of iron, 56 mg of magnesium, 147 mg of potassium, 1.47 mg of zinc, 13 micrograms of folate and 0.17 mg of vitamin.