Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ellie Krieger's Honey Harvest Quinoa (A Healthy and Warm Breakfast!)

I am not a good breakfast eater--especially on weekdays. Typically I grab a banana and a Luna bar and call it good, or if I am feeling ambitious, I go through periodic overnight oats and smoothie phases where I have things ready to go the night before so I don't have to deal with much in the morning. Even when I am working from home I tend to get up, work for a bit, then grab something quick rather than take the time to cook something. Still, there is something about a warm and nourishing breakfast that makes the day start better, especially on a semi-lazy weekend day. Ellie Krieger's recipe for Honey Harvest Quinoa can be on the breakfast table in 20 minutes, easily setting you up for a great day. 

I eat my share of quinoa but had not tried cooking it for breakfast before. I think I was a bit biased from doing a yoga seminar and cleanse weekend a few years ago where we were served quinoa flakes (pressed quinoa that has an instant oatmeal texture) for three days. I am not a mushy and warm breakfast cereal person so I was not a fan of the flakes but figured that since I like the firmer texture of actual quinoa, I might like it better in my breakfast bowl. I made a couple of small changes to Ellie's recipe, noted in red below and I used the quinoa I had on hand which was a blend of white, red and black quinoa. Plain quinoa might have been a better contrast in the bowl with the toppings but I think this blend looks pretty for fall. ;-)

Ellie says, "I always thought of quinoa as a savory side dish until my Peruvian friend told me that there they eat it for breakfast cooked with apples and honey. So I tried it, tossing in some chewy dried cranberries and crunchy pecans for good measure, and discovered my new favorite hot breakfast cereal.

Honey Harvest Quinoa
Adapted Slightly from So Easy by Ellie Krieger
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 1/3 cups quinoa
2 2/3 cups water
1 small golden delicious apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup low-fat milk, plus more for serving (I used unsweetened vanilla coconut milk)
2 Tbsp honey, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)

4 tsp unsalted butter (optional)
Add the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under the tap; put the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the apple chunks and cranberries and continue to cook, covered over low heat, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. (I saved out some of my apple pieces to use as topping.)

In the meantime, toast the pecans in a dry skillet over med-high heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

When the quinoa is cooked, stir in 1/2 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons honey, and the cinnamon; cook until the milk is heated through, about 1 more minute.

Spoon the cereal into serving bowls and top with the toasted pecans and butter, if using.
Serve with additional honey and milk to taste. (I added my reserved chopped apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the topping)

Nutritional Info: (Per 1 1/4 cup Serving): Calories: 380, Total Fat 14g, Sat. Fat 5g, Mono Fat 6.5g, Poly Fat 5g, Protein 10g, Carb 57g, Fiber 6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 25mg.
Excellent Source of copper, fiber, folate, magnesium, manganese, protein, thiamin.
Good Source of iron, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, zinc.  

Notes/Results:  A nice belly and soul-warming morning bowl. The sweet cinnamon and honey flavor says breakfast and since I don't like mushy cereal, the slightly chewy texture of the quinoa is a nice change. I liked the contrast in textures of the soft apples--and the crunchy ones I left out to scatter on top, the toasted pecans and the chewy tart bites of cranberry. A very adaptable recipe--milk, toppings and flavorings (I feel a tropical version with mac nuts, coconut chips and pineapple coming soon), it's an easy warm breakfast that satisfies with plenty of protein, fiber and healthy fats. I will make this again.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--our chance to cook any recipe from current IHCC chef Ellie Krieger, or any recipes from one of our previous twelve featured chefs. You can see what recipes everyone made and what chefs they cooked from by checking out the picture links on the post. 

 Happy Halloween!


  1. this sounds like a nice alternative to oatmeal:)

  2. I never cook quinoa for breakfast. Now I know quinoa can be served sweet. Thanks for bringing us another great idea.

  3. I have started more quinoa. Usually make a batch on the wknds and use it for several meals. But never for breakfast. This looks like a great breakfast for a cool morning.

  4. Agree, I haven't tried quinoa for breakfast too, this looks promising. :)

  5. Like Ellie I have never thought of this as a breakfast item. I have had it plenty of times in salads. The addition of fruit and nuts sounds good.

  6. Such a healthy and nutritious breakfast! A wonderful way of starting the day! I've got to get some quinoa, I have never tried it before, really! :)

  7. My husband can't stand quinoa so I usually have it for breakfast, too. I love the crunchy little tails.

  8. Deb,
    A banana and a protein bar for breakfast sounds great to me. I usually skip breakfast or just grab a banana. The quinoa recipe looks delicious, but a little too much for me for breakfast. I'll have my quinoa at dinner please..

  9. I love that spooky picture of Max! Too cute!

    This honey harvest quinoa is anything but mushy cereal! It is loaded with texture,color and flavor. I love the multi-colored quinoa. It makes for a fun presentation and is appealing to the eyes!


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