This maple vanilla quinoa porridge is easy to make, tasty, and so nutritious. I like it as an alternative to oatmeal because of its creamy, yet light and fluffy texture. Top the porridge with fresh fruit, chopped or sliced nuts, and some toasted coconut flakes for crunch.
Porridge. Doesn’t the word alone give you a cozy feeling?
Quite simply, porridge means a grain or starchy plant that’s cooked—either whole or in a crushed form—in warm milk or water.
The porridge that I eat most often is oatmeal. But I also love to create porridges with whole grains that aren’t oats. This maple vanilla quinoa porridge is one of my favorite recipes along those lines.
If you’re a gluten-free eater, or you’re just exploring more gluten-free breakfast options, this recipe may be for you.
When I first developed the porridge, I made it with maple cream. Maple cream is delicious, but it’s not easy to come by.
Nowadays, I make the recipe with good old maple syrup. The quinoa porridge still has a maple-sweetened flavor.
The other main flavor here is vanilla. Vanilla, maple, and cinnamon will fill your home as you cook the porridge, making you very excited for your breakfast.
Quinoa is usually grouped together with whole grains, like barley, rice, or farro.
In actuality, it is an edible seed, which works similarly to a grain for culinary purposes. This type of seed is called a psuedograin. Other pseudograins include millet, buckwheat, wild rice, and amaranth.
For years, I’ve cooked plain quinoa the same way. I rinse it through a fine-mesh sieve, allow it to drain, then add it to a pot with water.
Some quinoa cooking instructions call for 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. I’ve found that a 1.75 : 1 ratio is actually better. It results in fluffy, light quinoa, whereas the 2 : 1 ratio can result in quinoa that’s a little mushy.
Most of the time, then, 1 use 1 3/4 cups water and 1 cup of rinsed quinoa.
I bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover it, and cook the quinoa for 13-15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. After that, I uncover the pot, fluff the quinoa, re-cover, and let it steam for 5 minutes before using or storing.
So, what’s the difference between this type of quinoa preparation and the process of making quinoa porridge?
For this porridge, the aim isn’t light, fluffy, defined grains of quinoa. It’s something creamy, like cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat.
Therefore, I use a full 2 cups liquid for 1 cup of quinoa. Instead of cooking the quinoa, fluffing it, and steaming it, I bring it to a simmer, then cook it with some periodic stirring. This is the same way I cook my morning oatmeal.
Here’s another reason to try quinoa porridge instead of traditional oatmeal for breakfast: like oatmeal, it’s incredibly rich in good nutrition.
First and foremost, quinoa is a source of complete protein. With six or seven grams of protein per serving, it’s higher in protein than rice and comparable to oatmeal as a protein source.
You can combine quinoa with other vegan protein sources, too. For this quinoa porridge, you can use soy milk as your non-dairy milk of choice to increase the protein in each serving of the recipe.
Quinoa is also rich in dietary fiber, which means that it can contribute positively to your digestive well-being. Dietary fiber is associated with maintenance of healthy blood lipids and, therefore, a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.
What else? So much else! Quinoa provides zinc, which is positively associated with immune function, folate, and magnesium.
Moreover, quinoa is an iron-rich vegan food. One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 2.8 milligrams of iron. This is 16% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron for premenopausal women and an impressive 35% of the RDA of iron for men of all ages.
By having quinoa for breakfast in the form of this delicious bowl of porridge, you’ll be supplying your body with solid nutrition to fuel your day.
If you’re on a quinoa kick, check out these other nutritious vegan quinoa recipes from my blog.
Quinoa can have different colors. The quinoa that’s sold most commonly in the United States is white, but red and black quinoa are often available in American grocery stores, too.
Any one of those types of quinoa will work for this recipe. You see white quinoa in the images, as that’s usually the cheapest and easiest for me to find. But I like using red quinoa sometimes, too.
In order to make the quinoa porridge, quinoa is cooked in non-dairy (plant) milk.
I like to use soy milk for the recipe, as I believe it’s the most nutritious option. Soy milk has a healthful fatty acid profile, and it’s a great source of plant protein.
Moreover, the isoflavones—a type of micronutrient—found in soy foods have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’d like to maximize the nutrition of this porridge, try using a fortified non-dairy milk, which will contain both Vitamin D and calcium.
Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.
Do you love vegan meal prep breakfasts as much as I do?
Well, great. Because the quinoa porridge is an excellent candidate for make-ahead morning meals.
Once you prepare the porridge, you can store it in an airtight container for up to four days.
To reheat the porridge, you have two options. You can place it in a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and microwave it for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
You can also transfer one or a few portions of the quinoa porridge to a small sauce pot, add a splash of your non-dairy milk of choice, and cook over low heat, stirring, until the porridge is warmed through.
The quinoa porridge will have even more nutrition, color, and flavor if you add some lovely nut and fruit toppings.
Many variations are possible here. When I first made this porridge, I used thinly sliced fresh figs as the fruit for the recipe.
Over time, I’ve made the porridge with many different types of fresh fruit. Usually, raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries are my go-to.
However, chopped fresh apple or pear can be especially nice in the autumn months.
If you don’t have fresh fruit, you can try adding raisins, chopped dates, chopped, dried figs, or chopped, dried apricots to the porridge.
So long as you don’t have an allergy to work around, you can add any chopped or sliced tree nut or seed that you like to the porridge. I’ve used:
All of these options are a nice addition of crunch and healthful fat.
In particular, I like to combine some chopped nuts and some toasted coconut flakes, which is the preference that you’ll see reflected in the recipe.
Speaking of, here’s how to make warm, delightful maple vanilla quinoa porridge for your next whole grain vegan breakfast.
One of the things that I love about the quinoa porridge is that it feels like porridge for all seasons.
I love oatmeal, whether it’s sweet or savory oats. But, with its dense texture, oatmeal can sometimes feel a little wintery to me.
The texture of quinoa remains somewhat light and fluffy through cooking. Therefore, the porridge recipe is both hearty and light, which is a lovely combination for spring or summer.
I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe through any and every season!