I love fall for many reasons; bright orange leaves, crisp breezy weather, big Halloween pumpkins, and the amazing apple fritters sold at the cider mill down the road. Drool. I have to limit myself to only a half-dozen per season or who knows what might happen.
This morning I remembered another (healthier) reason that I love fall – porridge. Just the word porridge makes me feel all warm and cozy! It conjures images of a roaring fires and fuzzy socks. I rarely eat hot cereal in the summer months, but come fall, I start to crave a comforting bowl of chewy, nutty goodness. And quinoa makes for an extra nutty porridge, not to mention an extra nutritious breakfast. Chock full of vitamins and protein, this is the real breakfast of champions.
If you haven’t jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet, breakfast is a good time to do so. The quinoa makes for a great texture here. With oatmeal, grits and rice pudding I often feel the need for a bit of crunch, a few nuts or a sprinkle of granola. But the quinoa provides such an interesting mouthfeel and so much robust flavor, that I find nuts unnecessary. Even so, some toasted almonds would be lovely sprinkled on top. So would flaked coconut. I went for a bit of extra sweetness with the chopped dates, but the possibilities are endless. And if two bananas for two servings sounds like a lot, well, it is. But trust me. Sweet silky bananas and fluffy, chewy quinoa are an alluring combination.
Quinoa Banana Breakfast Porridge
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
pinch of cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dried dates (optional)
In a small saucepan, bring the water and almond milk to a simmer. Stir in the rinsed quinoa and the spices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring every so often, for about 15 minutes. Add in the chopped bananas and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the bananas chunks begin to break down. Spoon into two bowls and top with the dates, if desired. Serve hot.