Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breakfast in Peru: Quinoa and Apples

While giving blood today at the Red Cross blood drive, I had a great chat with the clinician who was drawing my blood. Carmen is originally from Peru, so of course I asked her if she ate a lot of quinoa—which she definitely does. And she told me how they fix it traditionally in Peru for breakfast: cooked with apples.

She didn't give me any measurements, but it basically involves cooking quinoa with chunks of apple, then when it's done putting it in a blender along with cinnamon and sugar and blending it until it becomes a smooth porridge, adding water or milk as needed to thin it out.

Being a pint low on blood when I got home, I decided Carmen's quinoa dish would be a perfect booster to rebuild my system. So I created my own measurements:

3/4 cup quinoa
one medium apple
Tbsp of cinnamon
Tbsp of blackstrap molasses (for iron after giving blood)
Tbsp of maple syrup
Almond milk as needed while blending to desired consistency (like oatmeal or thick porridge)

I cooked the quinoa with the chunks of apple (skin included) in the pot. When finished I poured the quinoa and apples in the Vitamix, added cinnamon, molasses, and maple syrup and blended on high. If all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa you'll need to add milk right away to allow the blending to start since it's very thick.

It was still very hot after blending, and was delicious! A really smooth, velvety consistency, and great taste (think apple pie with the apple, cinnamon, sweetener, etc.).

Carmen also told me there is a brand of spaghetti available at EarthFare made from quinoa which I'm going to look for. What a great grain!

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