As a natural foods chef, I love the change of the seasons because it brings a new variety of foods to the table. In the fall, as soon as the air picks up that telltale chill, I love starting my day with something warm and nourishing.
Eating right at breakfast time can be difficult. The options that are healthy can seem a bit monotonous at times and the ones that aren’t are often nutritionally equivalent to sugar-laden desserts. But there is a great solution—whole grain breakfast bowls.
There is so much more out there than just rolled oats, like steel cut oats, amaranth, farro, bulgur wheat, polenta and, my personal favorite, quinoa. Quinoa is naturally gluten free (good news for those with Celiac’s Disease or a gluten intolerance) and a complete plant-sourced protein packed with all 9 of the essential amino acids that your body requires. It’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The best part, however, is that you can make your quinoa sweet or savory. I like to make a batch of plain cooked quinoa (just water and salt) at the start of my week so it’s ready to be incorporated into any quick and nutritious meal I feel like whipping up. In addition to a hearty breakfast, try mixing it in salads, spooning it into soups or chili or crisping it up in a pan to give a nice crunch to any side dish.
Favorite Breakfast Quinoa
1 cup cooked quinoa
¾ cup milk of choice (I used a scant ¾ c of organic whole milk )
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ ripe banana slices
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, and cook until mixture is thickened (about 3-5 minutes more). Taste for sweetness and add your sweetener of choice. Pour into bowl and top with your toppings of choice.
Some great add-in ideas:
Pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp nut butter
Annalyce Loretto spent a decade as an international model before finding her calling as a natural food chef and culinary wellness educator. She loves sharing her passion for health supportive cooking and helps her clients achieve optimal health through whole, real foods. For more information and cooking ideas go to www.thethoughtfulkitchen.com and follow her on Instagram @the_thoughtful_kitchen