A nutritious breakfast with a girlish charm.
Perhaps you saw this coming; I mean I racked my brains for other ‘Q’ ingredients but Quinoa is all I could think of. Nevertheless working with quinoa is fun since it’s so versatile and can be used in practically any dish from sweets to savouries. In a double stroke of luck, pink guavas and fresh figs were on sale this week and so I thought of combining these exotic fruits with red quinoa to create a pretty breakfast.
Quinoa is riding a popularity resurgence and much has been written about it (in fact I wrote about it in my Superfood Series which sadly has failed to take off) so there’s no need to delve too much into explanation. A gluten-free pseudo-grain, it is often highlighted for its complete amino acid profile (including lysine and isoleucine – the limiting amino acids in other grains) and highly concentrated nutritive value such as calcium and flavaoids (quercetin and kaempferol). Did you know that 2013 is also officially recognized by the United Nations as the International Year of the Quinoa? In fact, it is the only food ingredient to make this list apart from the humble potato.
Between red and white quinoa, I prefer the former for its more intense nutty flavour and visual impact. Apart from breakfast quinoa porridges and granola, which I enjoy occasionally as a departure from oats, some quinoa recipes I’ve got my eyes on include the famouus Life Changing Loaf of Bread (My New Roots), and a quinoa quiche or pizza. Quinoa flour is also something I want to experiment with, but probably not anytime soon, given the growing number of half-opened bags ingredients in the kitchen.
If guavas are not available, I suppose you may use guava paste of another intense-colored fruit of choice, like mangoes or strawberries. The main idea is to have a nice thick pool of fruity smoothie for the quinoa to swim in. I also added protein powder and pectin to the soup, which added a nutritional boost as well as help to thicken it.
- ¼ cup uncooked red quinoa
- Flesh of 1 pink guava (about ½ cup), seeds removed
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I used hazelnut milk)
- ½ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon pectin powder (optional – for thickening)
- Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
- Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
- ½ scoop protein powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon maca powder (optional)
- Your choice of toppings (I used fresh figs and desiccated coconut)
- Soak the quinoa overnight in a bowl of water. The next morning, place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse well under running water.
- Cook quinoa. Place the drained quinoa into a saucepan. Add about ½ cup water, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and you can see the white curly rings of the quinoa. Fluff and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the guava puree. Place the guava flesh into the saucepan and add the milk and water. Bring to boil, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until the guava flesh becomes soft.
- Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and other powders (if using). Stir well.
- Pour the mix into a blender and blend (for less clean up use immersion blender).
- To serve, place quinoa into a ramekin and using a spoon, press down to make the quinoa stick together. Invert the ramekin onto a plate, then pour the guava soup over. Garnish with fresh figs or other fruits and nuts.