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?
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.
“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.~~ Robert Southley.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – About Peru and Quinoa Porridge
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 above 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.
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.
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- milk – I use protein nut milk typically, but any milk is fine.
- whole spices – 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.
- sea salt
- brown sugar – Piloncillo, turbinado, and maple sugar are good options. I don’t recommend white sugar.
- dry quinoa – Rinse it thoroughly for 30 seconds before using.
- fruit – Peaches are in season right now, but apples and pears are also amazing! Do a very small dice or grate them. You can cook them (steam or sauté) first if you wish. If you want to substitute dried fruit, add them in at the last 10 minutes of infusing the spices so they don’t turn to mush!
- garnish – A sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg (fresh is fantastic!) elevates the porridge.
- Make the infused milk – Add milk to saucepan. Gently bring almost to a boil (steaming). Add whole spices, and cover pan. Reduce to lowest heat setting, and steep 60 minutes. Stir in sweetener of choice. Pour through a sieve to removed spices. Note: You can do this in advance and store in the refrigerator for quick use later. You might even like to make extra!
- Prepare the quinoa – 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, and add quinoa and salt. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer quinoa until most of the water is absorbed (check package instructions if available). My quinoa takes about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and cover until ready to serve.
- Prepare the fruit – Your fruit is prepped while the quinoa is cooking. You should be ready to serve. NOTE: See Ingredients Notes if not using fresh fruit.
- Serve – Layer quinoa and fruit in a large mug or bowl. Re-heat the infused milk if it’s been in the refrigerator to very hot but not boiling. Pour steaming hot infused milk over top. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or fresh grated nutmeg as desired. Enjoy!
YES! The spices need to steep 60 minutes. You may wish to do this in advance. Simply strain and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use – up to 2-3 days.
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!
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…
Peruvian Quinoa Porridge with Peaches
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- 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)
- ½ cup dry quinoa - rinsed thoroughly and drained
- 1 cup water
- ½ 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. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, and steep 60 minutes. Stir in sweetener of choice. Strain.
- 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. Reheat the milk if it’s been in the refrigerator. Pour steaming hot infused milk over top. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or fresh grated nutmeg as desired. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.