In my quest to fill the void that my necessary abandonment of oats (know them and love them, friends) has left in my soul, I’ve been experimenting with countless different takes on the hot cereal–“fauxtmeals”, if you will. You name it, I’ve tried it–tofu fauxtmeal, egg white fauxtmeal, paleo fauxtmeal, and other hot cereals like cream of rice and wheat. The sad truth is, nothing could live up to the nutritional and delicious legacy that oats had left behind. The texture–oats were chewy and toothsome, my friends. They blended so perfectly with runny nut butter and they lent themselves to endless flavor combinations and they were a wellspring of iron and protein and soluble fiber and they were oats—
In the end, I couldn’t recreate oats. My newest breakfast staple doesn’t taste remotely the same, but it retains that comforting warm creamy hot cereal aspect, it’s still scrumptious in its own right, and it delivers an equal, if not even more powerful, nutritional punch than its predecessor. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…
Cream of Quinoa.
Cream of Quinoa is a little bit like polenta and a little bit like cream of rice, but mostly it’s like Cream of Quinoa and does not deserve to be pitted against other hot cereals in a quest for oatmeal resemblance. It’s simply a nutritious and delicious quickie breakfast.
Cream of Quinoa tastes good drizzled with olive oil, cheese, coarse salt and black pepper like grits….
…and Cream of Quinoa tastes good prepared with a sweetener and some fruit like “traditional” oatmeal (here, I’ve paired it with some cream cheese, honey, and blueberries).
Recipe: Cream of Quinoa
-1 cup quinoa
-5.5 cups water
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and rinse quinoa in a sieve.
2. Arrange quinoa evenly in an enclosed (edged) baking sheet and blot with a paper towel to absorb excess rinsing water.
3. Toast quinoa in oven for ~12 minutes, giving it a good stir every five minutes or so. (You could also probably toast the quinoa in a skillet!)
4. Allow quinoa to cool, and send it through the spice grinder, food processor, or, in my case, the Magic Bullet (with the “grinding” blades, not the “blending” blades). It should turn from the consistency of, well, quinoa, into a soft sort of flour…it feels and looks like golden sand.
5. Now two roads diverge in a yellow wood…
For a single-serving microwave breakfast:
Take 1/4 cup of your toasted quinoa flour, mix with 3/4 cup water (or milk of choice) in a deep bowl (it will poof), and microwave on high for 1 minute–stir WELL–and another minute. Let cool and top!
To prepare a bunch of future breakfasts on the stovetop:
First, mix the full batch of quinoa flour with 1 cup of the water and allow to sit. Bring the remaining water to a boil. Combine the flour-water mixture with the boiling water, cover, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Let cool and top! There are endless topping combinations…let your imagination run wild! 😀