Think it’s hard to have a gluten-free breakfast? Think again – with these quinoa breakfast recipes you can have a delicious, healthy meal in no time!
Lately I have been incorporating more and more quinoa into my daily meals, but for the most part, I have been only trying dinner recipes. I hadn’t thought much about using it for breakfast foods until I came upon a recipe and actually made it. Usually, I find recipes I want to try but it takes a while to get around to trying them out.
Since then I have been on a quest to find a variety of good quinoa breakfast ideas that I could try and put in my monthly menu rotation.
I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see these quinoa breakfast ideas. Remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day and since quinoa is full of protein, fiber, calcium, etc. it is a great way to start your day off right. It could become your new favorite breakfast food.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is considered a pseudo-grain, which is a seed or plant cooked and eaten as a grain with a nutrient list equivalent to whole grains. Furthermore, it is an agricultural type of food that wasn’t available in the paleolithic era, categorizing it as a non-paleo food.
It is pronounced keen-wah rather than kwin-oh-a. Also known as Chenopodium quinoa or goosefoot, it is related to swiss chard, spinach, and beets and its leaves and seeds can be eaten. It is grown and harvested high in the Andes with harvest starting in March. To the Incas, it is considered sacred and is called chisaya mama (the mother of all grains).
As a popular food, it was cultivated in abundance for about five thousand years, until 1532, when Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish explorer, demolished the fields to diminish the Incan empire. Even still, small areas of it survived the destruction and were forgotten, until they were rediscovered in the 1970’s.
There are over 120 different known types of quinoa that are almost any color, such as black, red, purple, yellow, and green. The most commonly available in the market are the colors red, black and white (yellow or ivory). My favorite is red.
The plants can grow from 3 to 9 feet tall and are drought resistant, providing 1200 to 2000 pounds of seed per acre, making it a “super crop” according to the United Nations. It has become increasingly available in America, found mostly in health food stores, and it is also available as flakes, puffs or as flour.
The Good and The Bad of Quinoa
Saponins are a soap-like substance made by the plant’s defense system. When eaten, the saponins in quinoa cause inflammation in the intestines, resulting in a leaky gut. You can rinse it before cooking it, however, not all saponins can be removed.
As well as saponins, phytic acid can be detrimental to the digestive system. Phytic acid blocks calcium (a risk factor for osteoporosis), zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium from being absorbed and utilized by the body. It is found in all grains and on the outside of a few seeds and nuts. To the same extent as saponins, phytic acid cannot be completely reduced by simply cooking and washing it.
Excluding the saponins and phytic acid, it is considered to be one of the best alternatives to grains. It is gluten-free, which is good news for people with celiac disease, and produces minimal inflammation in the intestines when eaten. It can take the place of grains in breads, cereals, pastas, granola, crackers and can even be made into a drink.
Quinoa provides all the essential amino acids, making it one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein. It contains a high amount of iron, magnesium and carbohydrates. It also contains a high amount of potassium, which helps to control blood pressure. When eaten, it keeps you fuller longer, which is good in weight-loss diets.
It provides small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which increases the function of the brain and reduces the risk of heart attacks, while also giving energy to the body. Like many plants that reduce the risk for diabetes, it contains much of the same amount of fiber, protein and antioxidants, making it an advocate in lowering diabetes.
You may also like these recipes:
Gluten-Free Quinoa Breakfast Recipes
1. Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chips – My Natural Family
Quinoa Flour – Tapioca Starch – Oats – Pumpkin Puree – Apple Sauce – Milk – Mini Chocolate Chips – Cream Cheese – Brown Sugar – Powdered Sugar
These muffins are decadent and rich and just what you’ve been looking for. These are gluten-free pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips and a cream cheese filling with streusel on top. The cream cheese filling is similar to what you’d find on top of a carrot cake. If you don’t want them to be so sweet you can leave out the cream filling and/or the streusel topping. They are still very good, just maybe more appropriate for breakfast. The quinoa flour makes them protein-rich and very healthy except for the filling and topping.
2. Tropical Porridge Parfait – Kiddielicious Kitchen
Mangoes – Coconut Milk – Cinnamon – Vanilla – Chia Powder or Chia Seeds – Honey – Kiwi – Coconut – Pistachios
This recipe is a light and bright summery parfait with a variety of tropical fruits including a mango puree and a porridge. This is a good yummy healthy recipe that would be great for breakfast or even a dessert.
3. Granola – Bakerita
Oats – Almonds – Pecans – Chia Seeds – Coconut Oil – Maple Syrup – Dried Cranberries
One of my default breakfasts is granola with greek yogurt with fresh fruit. I am not a fan of cereal like a lot of people but I have always loved granola. Here is a recipe for healthy granola that is crunchy and a little of natural sweetness to it.
4. Breakfast Hash Browns – A Beautiful Mess
Potato – Egg – – Butter – Green Onions
This a high protein healthy version of hash browns which uses quinoa to add some nutritional value. This is a simple recipe to add to your breakfast menu and will provide a lot of energy in the morning.
5. Carrot Cake Quinoa Breakfast Bowls – Destination Delish
Milk of Choice – Carrots – Cinnamon – Vanilla – Almond Butter – Walnuts
I thought this recipe looked really interesting. Carrot cake is one of my favorite types of cake (and of course my mom’s recipe is the best!) and I used to love eating a slice of leftover carrot cake for breakfast, so good! So the idea of having a recipe for a carrot cake breakfast bowl sounds so yummy! This is a simple 2o minute in 1 pot type of recipe!
6. Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast – Maria Ushakova
Apple – Nuts of Choice – Milk of Choice – Cinnamon
This recipe is simply a cereal, it is cooked quinoa combined with milk and cinnamon and topped off with diced apples and the nut of your choice, I like almond or walnuts. It is as simple as that! And whoever said a healthy breakfast takes too much time or money is wrong! A tip to save time is to cook the quinoa ahead of time and then all you are doing it combining the ingredients the morning you are eating it.
7. Coffee Coconut Quinoa Brulee – Viktoria’s Table
Coconut Milk – Coffee – Vanilla – Sugar – Dates – Coconut Flakes
Although I don’t personally drink coffee, I thought I would share this recipe for those coffee lovers out there. This is a healthy recipe for a Brulee with coffee and coconut milk. It looks like an interesting recipe. Let me know if you give it a try and whether you liked it or not.
8. Egg Muffins – I Food Real
Eggs – Flax Seed – Feta Cheese – Onion – Spinach – Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Alright, this recipe is for super healthy egg muffins packed full of healthy fats and complex carbs. My absolute favorite part of egg muffins other than there nutrient value is how easy they are to make ahead of time and their ability to freeze well. I love to make a whole bunch and keep some in the fridge for the week and then freeze the rest and simply heat them up when you are on the go! It is always nice to have options like this for days you just don’t have the time for a nice breakfast (which is more often than one wishes).
9. Almond Flour Pancakes – Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Almond Flour – Coconut Oil – Eggs – Almond Milk – Maple Syrup – Vanilla
Here is a recipe for pancakes, the quinoa in the recipe is ground up so it is a subtle way to get the benefits of it and it is also gluten-free using almond flour. Years ago I loved putting peanut butter and syrup on my pancakes but now it is all about honey or maple syrup and almond butter for me!