A healthy, new way to start your day, Peruvian Quinoa Porridge with Peaches combines nutrient-rich quinoa with fresh (or dried) fruit, milk, and spices, and served up drinkable style... You've got to give this a try! No more "same old, same old" breakfast, K?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, but the content and opinions are my own. I have enthusiastically used their products for years!
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
"This porridge is too cold," she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up.
I remember reading this story to our young sons years ago, and until our first trip to Peru in 2017, had never thought much about what "porridge" might actually be. 🙂 Since that first trip, I found myself looking forward to a steaming hot pitcher of quinoa porridge served by our campesinos (Quechua men that fed us and helped lead our treks). The Andes Mountains are so cold in the morning, and the challenging level of physical activity meant a hearty breakfast was a must.
I have to admit the first time I had the porridge I was a little uncomfortable with drinking it from a mug. Here in the US, we like our hot cereal thick, in a bowl, and eaten with a spoon... right? My hesitance quickly turned to pleasure. The porridge was loaded with fruit, and the milk was infused with flavor from the spices.
Quinoa exploded on the healthy food scene several years ago, and has managed to become a regular part of a nutritious diet for many people outside of Peru. Quinoa is not a "grain," rather it is a seed that is prepared like a grain. It is naturally gluten free, considered to be a "complete protein," and offers gut benefits similar to fermented foods. It is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. For more on the health benefits of quinoa, see Quinoa 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.
The photo to the left is of my husband (a biology professor) showing his students the quinoa plant that a Pisac villager cut in his backyard garden. Quinoa originated about 5,000 years ago in the Andes region of what is now Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. There are 120 species of quinoa, and they're further classified into about 1,800 varieties. Whew! Both the US and South Africa are in the process of developing their own domestic production of this super food.
Yes, I bring quinoa home with me from Peru, but obviously, I cannot get it year 'round. My "go to" is Bob's Red Mill Organic Tricolor Quinoa. I love the colorful blend, so I usually have some in my well-stocked pantry.
Making Peruvian Quinoa Porridge with Peaches
I mentioned this is a loose cereal rather than the scoopable-spoonable kind. Does that require a paradigm shift? I grew up (and continue to this day) on thick breakfast cereals - cornmeal "mush," Cream of Wheat, oatmeal. Even when my focus turned towards savory breakfasts like my Green Chile Savory Oatmeal With An Egg, they were still thick and eaten with a spoon. 😯 Peru changed all that!
Making a loose porridge like Peruvian Quinoa Porridge with Peaches may require a shift? Maybe not. The milk (I use Protein Nut Milk from Silk) gets brought to just below a boil. Whole spices are added (be flexible here). I use whatever whole spices I have in my pantry - star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom pods... You can add thin sliced ginger if you like. Cover the saucepan. The spices need to steep 60 minutes. You may wish to do this in advance. Simply strain and store in the refrigerator.
While the milk steeps, make the quinoa (if you're really lucky, you have leftovers?). Dice the peach (or other fresh fruit). When ready to serve, spoon quinoa and fruit into a large mug (or bowl if you must 😆 ) Bring the spice-infused milk to scalding but not boiling, and pour over top. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or some fresh grated nutmeg.
Our Peruvian quinoa porridge always came with a variety of fruits and spices. Be creative! It is my aim to get you away from recipes...
You may also enjoy the infused milk in your coffee or tea, or on your oatmeal. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days!
- 2 cups milk, I use Silk Protein Nut Milk (dairy free)
- whole spices, (see notes)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar, (see notes)
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup peaches, very small dice
- cinnamon or nutmeg, for garnish
- Add milk to saucepan. Gently bring almost to a boil (steaming). Add whole spices, and cover pan. Steep 60 minutes. Stir in sweetener of choice.
- Note: You can do this in advance and store in the refrigerator for quick use later. You might even like to make extra!
- While spices and milk are steeping, prepare the quinoa. Rinsing is key. This removes the starch and bitterness that is associated with it. Bring water to a boil, add quinoa and salt. Reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer quinoa until water is absorbed (check package instructions if available). My Bob's Red Mill Tricolor Organic Quinoa takes about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and cover until ready to serve.
- Your peaches are prepped while the quinoa is cooking. You should be ready to serve. Layer quinoa and fruit in a large mug or bowl. Pour steaming hot infused milk over top. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or fresh grated nutmeg as desired. Enjoy!
We love spice! I use whatever I have in my pantry, but on photo day, I used 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 allspice, 1/2 nutmeg (from my grater), 4 cardamom pods smashed, and 2 star anise. It might have been a little "heavy-handed," but we think it's delish! Other options might include fresh ginger slices and citrus peel.
Peaches are in season right now, but apples are also amazing! Do a very small dice or grate them. You can cook them (steam or sauté) first if you wish.
I use brown sugar. If you prefer honey or raw sugar, go for it! Be sure to taste and adjust.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 353 calories; 17 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 10gCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 17g