I LOVE getting my day off to an energized start, and I never miss breakfast, ever. Eating breakfast provides us with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration, and can contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight.
Even if you've never taken your mom's advice that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there's still time to form the habit!
I'm really big on protein-rich breakfasts, as they stabilize blood sugar, and one great protein-rich breakfast option I've discovered recently is quinoa. Yes, that's right, quinoa for breakfast!
Quinoa is amazing, and versatile. It is gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fibre. It is one of only a few plant foods that is a complete protein and has all nine essential amino acids.
So, why limit quinoa to lunch and dinner? I officially declare it a Smart breakfast food. Introducing, the Quinoa Breakfast Bowl! It is loaded with fibre and protein to keep you fueled for your day.
If you're not yet convinced, here are my top five reasons that people should eat more quinoa... every meal even!
- Quinoa is high in fibre. Quinoa contains between 10 and 16 grams of fiber, per every 100 grams of uncooked quinoa, or 17-27 grams per cup, which is very high. While most of the fibre is insoluble fibre, it still has about or 1.5 grams of soluble fibre per 100 grams. Numerous studies have shown that soluble fibre can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss.
- Quinoa is naturally gluten free. Using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet. Using quinoa instead of highly refined gluten-free ingredients like refined tapioca, potato, corn and rice flour can increase the nutrient value of the diet.
- Quinoa is low glycemic. The glycemic index measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. Eating foods that are high on the glycemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity. Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53, which is considered low.
- Quinoa is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight ageing and many diseases. Allowing quinoa seeds to sprout likely increases the antioxidant content further. Quinoa is also great for hair, nourishing it with protein to reduce breakage for healthier looking fuller hair.
- Quinoa is easy to make, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Quinoa can be found everywhere now, and takes about half the time to cook that does rice. Its grains are slightly nutty in taste and become fluffy with a small tail when cooked. Use it in stir fries, burgers, bars, cookies, salads and more! It can also be sprouted and used in healthy salads, or can be found in cereals and snacks in puffed form.
To cook the whole grain, use one part quinoa and two parts liquid, bring to a boil and cook covered in a pot until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. One cup of dry quinoa yields approximately three cups cooked.
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Let’s get this out of the way: quinoa’s texture might not be a hit with some kids. If you’re concerned it might be a hard sell with your little one, then pureeing it in a smoothie is a great idea. This recipe is filled with ingredients like berries, Greek yogurt and honey for sweetness that will hopefully get your kids to eat the nutritious seed. Get the recipe: My Fussy Eater
This pudding sweetened with potassium-rich bananas and honey can be served warm or chilled. For an extra-special treat, sauté some peeled and chopped apples in butter to make a topping for it. Get the recipe: Weelicious
Kids who are cereal monsters will gobble up this satisfying granola that includes toasted quinoa, alongside nuts, seeds, cranberries and more. Get the recipe: Salt & Wind
Sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming have developed hundreds of quinoa recipes for the two quinoa-themed cookbooks they’ve written, so they definitely know their stuff. Here, they’ve created a refreshing fruit salad mixed with quinoa, and topped it with coconut and a zesty dressing that works well for breakfast or lunch. Get the recipe: Patricia & Carolyn
Baking with quinoa flour is an excellent option if your family is avoiding gluten or if you want to make treats a little healthier. These golden pancakes are packed with goodness thanks to the quinoa, bananas, Greek yogurt and egg. Get the recipe: Ambitious Kitchen
If you’re looking for a comforting quinoa recipe to try, then this pudding should do the trick. Feel free to top it with fruit for an even more nutritious start to the day. You can also try adding a bit of jam swirled in to sweeten the deal. Get the recipe: Five Heart Home
These hearty bars are a great choice when you have a busy morning and need to eat on the go. There is also an option to dip them in chocolate, which might make them even more tempting to your kids. Get the recipe: Tasty Kitchen
This porridge-like breakfast is made with quinoa flakes, and is a bit like eating banana bread in a bowl. Get the recipe: Vegan Does It
Here is another bar option for a quinoa-filled breakfast. These bars can be topped with a bit of peanut butter, fruit or maple syrup. It’s almost like eating cake for breakfast! Get the recipe: Meaningful Eats
OK, this one is the ringer, as a lot of kids would be hard pressed to say no to chocolate for breakfast. This morning treat combines quinoa with ingredients such as cocoa powder, maple syrup and coconut milk to serve up a decadent breakfast to start the day. Get the recipe: Minimalist Baker
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