We’ve been busy this month. Wrapping up certain school requirements, getting ahead. Hiking, playing, visiting friends, enjoying a new balance between work and life. Halloween has come and gone, and every night we have watched the progression of the harvest moon, and smiled as our copper friend rises. This morning’s breakfast is in honor and reflection of this time of year, when the brisk air is so finely complimented by the spice of cinnamon and good company.
This isn’t the first breakfast recipe I’ve put out, but it is the first ‘sweet’ recipe I’ve written for the blog. I’m excited to share a healthy sweet meal. This filling breakfast is a more nutrient dense alternative to the traditional oatmeal. Replacing oatmeal with quinoa is a great step to take towards health through efficient nutrition. Keeping the heart healthy benefits of “whole grains” while cranking up quality protein content is a no-brainer. This is the powerful type of breakfast I’d love to be able to freeze-dry and take backpacking, it would be great to fuel me along the 500 mile Colorado-trail.
The warm fall flavors of spiced apple and pumpkin are ultra-comforting, while providing ample nutrients and fiber from whole food sources. Packing in vegetables and fruit to your breakfast is a great way to wake up your system and fuel you throughout the day.
Stirring in the subtle creaminess of chopped nuts, coconut milk, and a touch of butter adds a satisfying and sustaining boost of beneficial fats and proteins. A drizzle of local raw honey on top creates a final irresistible homey aroma. I’ll be making this filling and powerful breakfast several times this season – it makes for great fuel before chilly fall hikes and active, busy days.
This recipe yields two hearty, filling servings. Take a look at the summarized nutritional benefits of the ingredients below before getting started on this delicious and simple recipe! I’ve included links to more in-depth articles for those who crave more information!
Quinoa is packed full of vitamins and minerals like zinc, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and phosphorous. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is a seed, heavy in low glycemic, slow digesting carbohydrates with a good amount of fiber.
Quinoa is cooked as one part grain/two parts water. Measure one cup dry quinoa, pour into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly, until suds no longer form. Drain and place in pan. Cover with two cups water, and bring to rolling boil. Turn your heat down to low and place a tightly fitting lid over pot – allow to simmer for fifteen minutes – do not remove the lid. After fifteen minutes, turn off stove or remove from heat, and allow to sit covered for five minutes. After that, your quinoa should be ready to fluff, very lightly salt, and good to go!
Apples, skin on, are one of the healthiest fruits you can regularly consume. For such a simple and accessible fruit, they pack a whole lot of nutrition. I’ll summarize below, but check out this article for some in-depth nutrition facts and a bit of history on apples.
An average apple contains 5g of heart and gut healthy fiber(that’s about 20% DV) They contain notable amounts of vitamin C for immune health, Vitamin A for eye health, and even calcium and iron.
I would prefer to use a Honeycrisp apple for his recipe, because they are my favorite. I had Red Delicious available, so used that. Use your favorite variety!
Other than contributing a whole lot of fiber, pumpkin provides ample amounts of Vitamin A, K, C, E, etc. The popular squash also contains notable amounts of minerals; Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese. Read a full nutritional analysis here!
You can make your own pumpkin puree by baking or boiling pie variety pumpkins. If you have the time, I recommend baking halved, cleaned pumpkins and pureeing the resulting carmelized flesh. Boiling results in a runnier puree, but you are able to include the skin with this method – and amp up the fiber and nutrient content. Alternatively, pick up quality cans of pumpkin puree at the store and call it good.
Coconut milk, though calorie dense, is pretty nutritious. It is full of beneficial fatty acids and vitamins. Coconut milk provides a decent serving of protein, a surprising amount vitamin C, niacin and folate. Coconut milk is heavily laden with Manganese, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Selenium, Copper and zinc. Read this in-depth analysis!
I have used unsweetened vanilla almond milk as a coconut replacement in this recipe – it works just fine for lower calories, though it does cut the creaminess.
Raw nuts like pecans and almonds (which is what I used in this recipe) don’t just add flavor. They add a myriad of health benefits including healthy fats, protein, and important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and manganese.
Feel free to create your own mix to suit your taste preference; I would have also included walnuts and hazelnuts if I had any on hand
Butter has long been viewed as a dietary evil. This really isn’t the case – but a blanket statement on it’s health is inappropriate. It contains a large amount of saturated fat, but is countered with a variety of health benefits attributed to fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. You have to decide if it fits into your healthy daily diet. Read this article for a more informed opinion.
Either way you choose, this recipe includes only a very small amount of butter, and it is easily excluded. Choose grass-fed butter.
Herbs and spices add incredible hidden nutrition, flavor, and depth. Explore with your nose and play around, I guarantee when you do this frequently you will become a better cook!
Herbs I used include; Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger. These warming spices are known to increase the metabolism. I added a touch of vanilla extract to taste
If you have a pumpkin or apple pie spice, feel free to use that!
Honey, local and raw
IF you require some added sweetness, feel free to drizzle a bit of local, raw honey over your bowl after it has cooled to the point that it won’t burn your tongue (to keep the beneficial enzymes within good honey active)
Hearty, homey, and delicious, this fall breakfast quinoa recipe will satisfy on crisp mornings.
5 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
Yields 2 large servings
- Cooked Quinoa 1 cup
- Apple, 1 medium, cubed
- Pumpkin puree, ½ cup
- Coconut Milk, ¼ cup
- Chopped nuts, 2 tablespoons
- Butter, unsalted, 1 tablespoon
- Spice Mix and Vanilla extract – to taste
- In a pot, melt butter and add diced apples. Cook apples to medium firmness.
- Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree. Stir
- Add cooked quinoa, and chopped nuts. Add spice mix and vanilla to taste.
- Serve up! Drizzle with honey and enjoy a warm fall breakfast!
Spice mix includes Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger. Pie spice may be substituted.
Now, for the disclaimer – I am not a vet, adventure guide, personal trainer, doctor, nutritionist, or medical authority, this is meant to be only a source of information and inspiration, implementing these techniques into your daily life is something you do of your own free will and at your own risk.
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