Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs
August 27, 2015

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Porridges are my go-to breakfast all year round, so it seems a little silly for me to make a special to-do about them as we head into September. But I think there’s something special about a bowl of warm cereal on a cool, crisp autumn morning–a particular kind of comfort and satisfaction.

New York was hot and muggy at the start of this week, but when I woke up and stepped outside this morning it was dry and cool and brightly sunny. In spite of the fact that there are plenty more hot days in store, I can’t help feeling fall in the air. This makes it a particularly appropriate day to be sharing the delicious vanilla maple quinoa porridge you see above. And it’s a great day to be telling you all about the decadent maple cream that makes this recipe special–courtesy of Roxbury Mountain Maple.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

Early this summer, the Holscher family, who owns Roxbury Mountain Maple in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, reached out to me. As it turns out, they’ve been reading Choosing Raw for a while, and they have a special interest in vegan blogs generally, since many of their maple products are particularly well suited to vegan diets.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

Conventional sugar isn’t part of a vegan diet because it’s typically bleached and refined with bone char. Among unrefined sweeteners, honey, which is featured in many health foods and products, is also not vegan. Vegans have plenty of alternative sweetening options, including organic cane or demerara sugar, coconut syrup and sugar, brown rice syrup, pitted medjool dates, and agave.

Among syrup sweeteners, maple syrup is most definitely my personal favorite; I love its characteristic flavor and versatility. Roxbury Mountain Maple sells plenty of maple syrup, but it’s also famous for it’s remarkable maple cream.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

I was first introduced to maple cream by Angela, who brought me a Canadian sample when we met up for coffee at Vida Vegan II. In spite of the fact that I spent chunks of my childhood in New Hampshire, I had never tasted maple cream before, and I was instantly hooked on its incredible sweetness and rich texture.

Maple cream is actually a form of maple syrup–maple syrup that’s been boiled down and reduced into a spreadable, pale colored cream. It’s so much more delectable than the regular syrup, if you ask me, and it’s ideal for spreading on toast, drizzling onto fresh granola and fruit, whipping into frosting, or–best of all–spooning into warm oatmeal or other porridge. The Roxbury brand is great, and you’ll have a chance to win some for yourself in my giveaway below. But you can try your hand at making maple cream, too, using Food52’s tutorial.

 Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

In this recipe, I’ve chosen to pair the flavor of maple syrup and cream with vanilla and one of the season’s most wonderful treats: figs.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

I’ve only recently come to relish fresh figs (I’ve loved the dry ones for a good long time), and right now, while they’re abundant, I’m taking any opportunity to make them the shining ingredient in salads, toast, and breakfast bowls. It’s hard not to love the subtle sweetness and the bright, beautiful color they add to recipes. I used brown Turkish figs in this recipe because they’re what I found, but you could certainly use black mission figs or Calimyrna figs instead–whatever you can get your hands on locally.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

I love this recipe because it’s easy, but it feels like a special treat. Quinoa is such a nutrient dense and satisfying grain to eat in the morning, and it cooks up quickly. I also like this porridge because the quinoa and figs give it a light, bright touch–it’s a perfect hot cereal to transition with as we move from warm to cooler weather. Sweet vanilla and maple flavors, coupled with some optional crunchy toppings (like toasted coconut flakes or nuts) seal the deal. Here’s the recipe.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs (gluten free)

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 heaping teaspoons maple cream substitute additional maple syrup
  • 4 figs quartered or sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts almonds, or coconut flakes (optional)

Instructions

  • Rinse the quinoa through a fine sieve for about a minute. Place the quinoa, almond milk, water, salt, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium sized pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and allow it to rest for about ten minutes.
  • Transfer the quinoa into four serving bowls. Top each with an extra splash of almond milk, along with a heaping teaspoon of maple cream, a sliced fig, and a tablespoon of toasted nuts or coconut. Serve, topped with extra cinnamon if desired. Leftover porridge will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

The recipe is easy to adapt with other fruits–and I’m sure I’ll be doing that when figs are out of season. Try using chopped pear or apple, fresh citrus sections, berries, or sliced banana. You can also vary the spices a little–both cardamom and ginger would be nice additions!

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

The porridge is fairly filling on its own, but to make this an even more substantial breakfast or brunch option you could pair it with a light green smoothie or additional fresh fruit.

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

Now for the fun part of this post: the folks at Roxbury Mountain Maple have been kind enough to offer an awesome sweetener giveaway package to one Choosing Raw reader! The company is really trying to get the word about their maple products out to vegans and other folks who are trying to focus more on natural sweeteners. A few more facts about Roxbury Mountain Maple:

•Set in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, Roxbury Mountain Maple has been providing the region’s finest, purest maple syrup since March 2011.
•Roxbury Mountain Maple is a new adventure on an old farm—an old farm with fifty acres of sugar maples. Years ago, some of the trees were tapped by hand and the sap was boiled down in an old sugarhouse that now serves as a bicycle shed.
•Roxbury Mountain Maple is a family operation. From the owner, Dave Holscher, to the youngest of his eight children, Joel, nearly everyone in the Holscher family is involved, either in the preparation of the facility or the production of the syrup.

In addition to the heavenly maple cream and several varieties of maple syrup, the company also produces granulated maple sugar. This product is brand new product to me, and I think you guys will love it–sprinkling it lightly on any food imparts a distinct maple syrup and light sweetness, and it’s perfect as a baking substitute.

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If you want to read more about Roxbury Mountain Maple and what the company’s up to, you can check out the Roxbury Mountain Maple website. If you’re ready to check out some maple cream and sugar for yourself, the easiest place to find Roxbury Mountain Maple products is the company’s convenient Amazon store. There, you’ll find the maple cream, the maple sugar, and the company’s stellar grade B maple syrup. If you’re in the New York area, you can also find Roxbury Mountain Maple at the Union Square Farmer’s market, or you can visit the sugarhouse and farm in Hobart, NY.

Want to try Roxbury maple cream and maple sugar for yourself? Enter below to win:

•One container of pure, Grade B maple syrup
•Two 16 ounce and one eight ounce tubs of pure maple cream
•One large shaker of maple sugar

The giveaway is open to US residents only, and it’ll run for two weeks. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And in the meantime, I hope you’ll all soon be digging your spoons into this nutritious and wonderfully sweet breakfast bowl. A note to fellow students and all of you who bring breakfast to work: leftovers of the quinoa porridge keep really nicely. Just store your toppings separately, warm it, and put it all together when you’re ready to dig in!

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge with Fresh Figs

Have a wonderful end of the week, and I’ll see you all on Sunday for weekend reading.

xo

This post is generously sponsored by Roxbury Mountain Maple. All opinions expressed are my own.

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    66 Comments
  1. These maple products sound amazing, & fall is the perfect season for them. Of course, I love maple syrup on pancakes. I also have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses maple syrup for the sweetener & is fabulous!

  2. I love making maple mate lattes. Almond milk, brewed mate tea, and maple syrup. A decadent treat 🙂

  3. I love maple syrup in so many things, I can’t choose a favorite! Possibly my favorite indulgence is to drink a small glass of it. The maple cream sounds AMAZING!

  4. Maple syrup is usually my go-to sweetener. I love some basic vegan peanut butter cookies sweetened with maple syrup.

  5. Def oatmeal! I looove oatmeal for breakfast and maple syrup is one of my favorite toppings 🙂

  6. I love maple syrup, and use it in a wide variety of dishes. Something I made fairly recently was the Spicy PDX Bowl of Goodness from Vegan Noms. Yum!

  7. As a Canadian, maple syrup has a special place in my heart. To be honest though, I haven’t even ever heard of maple cream. But I want to try it!!! It sounds amazing. It would be especially good in this breakfast porridge =)

  8. I love using maple syrup in homemade granola. Also, my son and I tried your quinoa bowl and absolutely loved it!! I had never tried quinoa as a breakfast base but it is delicious and so versatile! Will be making often! Thank you!!

  9. Maple syrup is my sweetener of choice in just about everything! I use it a lot in a quick fruit compote.

  10. Hi Gena, Although I’ve never tried anything maple I will give this a shot because it looks so good in your pictures!

  11. I’m an oatmeal-every-morning girl. Time to switch it up! This looks delicious! I love using maple syrup to make homemade granola.

  12. This porridge makes me want fall to arrive so badly. I’m ready for cooler weather so I can snuggle up on the sofa or my bed with a big bowl of porridge! Also, Gena, I was listening to the latest episode of the Food52 podcast and there you were! What’s funny is I was making cashew cheese just as you were talking about it, hehe- I just can’t get enough of cashews!

  13. I love maple syrup as a sweetener in just about anything! My favorite use is as a topper, because I think the flavor shines through the most there.

  14. I have made so many batches of Dreena Burton’s Maple Banana Muffins that it’s a little ridiculous. Definitely one of my favorite uses for maple syrup.

  15. Where to begin?! Maple syrup mixed with peanut butter, vanilla, and salt….maple syrup on oatmeal, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butternut squash….maple syrup, eggs, and smoked sea salt (sorry vegans, but it’s delicious!)….somebody stop me!

  16. I adore all things maple, and my family is similarly addicted. We always have some on hand, because quite frankly, waffles aren’t worth eating without it. My favorite recipe is a maple-pecan pie, which I’m hoping to bust out again for the holiday season.

  17. Definitely giving this a try! I just found fresh figs in my Trader Joe’s for the first time this year and adore them. Of course, I also love maple and am so lucky to have family who makes maple syrup (sugaring) .

  18. Maple is just the best! You can’t be a good New Englander and not love maple syrup 🙂 When we go up to our farm in New Hampshire, we love stocking up on maple products made by local producers. However I’ll always be partial to my home state of Connecticut’s maple syrup 😉

  19. I love using maple syrup in cornbread or granola! You really can’t beat it on top of oats though.

  20. sounds fantastic and figgy and nutrient dense, seriously soulful breakfast eats for the coming fall season, and who doesn’t love maple syrup, plus it has a notably high mineral content and quite low glycemic!

  21. Wow, this recipe is mouth watering :D! I have been eating fresh figs a lot lately, they are so delicious.
    That maple cream sounds so amazing…yum. I imagine it’s great in an oatmeal or porridge. Looking forward to trying it

  22. Wow, Gena–this bowl has so MANY of my favorite things in it. And LOVE fresh figs. I am eating them all the time. I had, quite possibly, the best fresh fig I’ve ever had in my life the other day when I bought a brown turkey fig at the Alberta Cooperative Grocery. I love black mission figs, too, and all around my new neighborhood are green figs that taste like light honey when they are ripe. Of course I love quinoa–cook it with millet and eat it for breakfast almost every day. And I love maple syrup when I use a sweetener–easiest one for me to digest and handle in general. I’ve never heard of maple cream–it would be fun to try it. Thanks for the great recipe! xoxo

  23. Thank you for reminding me how much I love quinoa for breakfast! I’m an oats girl through and through but it can be nice to switch things up and it’s been ages since I’ve had quinoa porridge. I bet it’s extra delicious with that maple cream!

  24. I’m a little bit obsessed with maple syrup – I always put it in my oatmeal, though I don’t know if that counts as a recipe. Probably my favorite that I’ve made is Naturally Ella’s Cherry Maple Crisp – so delicious!

  25. I love making a maple recipe on the first day of September every year to ring in Fall. Last year, I made maple cookies with maple frosting and used a moose cookie cutter!

  26. Tempeh bacon! Just made some this week. And Angela Liddon’s cookie dough glaze for oatmeal!

  27. I use maple syrup in everything, so I’m not sure I have a favorite maple-filled recipe. I first discovered maple cream, however, upstate. My husband’s parents had some local maple cream, and I spent our time up there putting it on everything I could. Cereal, toast, bagels, no carb was safe. So good!

  28. Woops- was referring to “you could pear it with a light green smoothie or additional fresh fruit!” Looks like I shouldn’t be editing at all!

  29. Wonderful freudian slip in “Try using chopped pear or apple, fresh citrus sections, berries, or sliced banana.” Made me smile!

    I love maple syrup on top of pancakes, cliche as it is- reminds me of childhood. And, of course, on top of oats.

  30. I’m a fan of maple syrup as a sweetener in a super simple apple crisp-I toss a sliced apple in a baking dish, throw a handful of oats and sliced almonds on top, drizzle with some coconut oil and maple syrup, and bake until it smells good and I run out of patience 🙂

  31. I use so much maple syrup! My mom gifts my husband and me a gallon every year at Christmas, and we usually run out before the following year! Eek haha. I’m not sure I have a favorite recipe but my most-used is maple candied pecans. Just coconut oil, maple syrup, and sometimes a little salt and/or cinnamon. Amazing on everything from salads to ice cream!

  32. I love maple syrup!! I eat a more raw based diet so I will try this maple cream on my favorite Chia porridge. Thank you for sharing!!

  33. I’m so bad – I don’t have a favorite recipe with maple syrup. I mainly love to just eat (drink?) it by the spoonful!

  34. I mean I love ANYTHING with maple syrup (I could drink the stuff) but I have a soft spot for sweet potatoes with cinnamon and a drizzle of maple. Simple and satisfying for breakfast for lunch or dessert or whenever.

  35. This porridge sounds sooo good! I can’t wait to try this. And the maple cream looks so delicious!

  36. That sounds amazing! I must try some!
    And quinoa porridge and figs….that’s just one happy morning bowl! So beautiful! xoxo
    Gotta say though, nothing will beat goo old maple syrup poured over some lovely weekend pancakes!