A warm bowl of lightly sweetened quinoa filled with tart blackberries and nutty pecans. Breakfast Quinoa Bowl with Blackberries is a delicious, vegan, gluten-free, healthy way to start the day.
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Meal prep this recipe
And, this easy to make recipe can be prepared in advance, so mornings are nice and easy. Try serving this Breakfast bowl with a dollop of yogurt as well.
A healthy start
I first made this recipe back in 2012 when I was doing a healthy eating project.
Sometimes I like to work on lowering my cholesterol the old fashioned way, through diet and exercise. And, it helps to keep me out of the Doctor’s office that way too. See, I think that food has the ability to help heal us and keep us healthy.
This Breakfast Quinoa Bowl is one of those recipes that can help heal and keep us healthy.
I’ve updated the recipe a bit, as I’ve learned that toasting the dry quinoa in a skillet first gives it so much additional nutty flavor.
I remember quinoa
You remember liking quinoa. So do I. But, now that you think about it, you haven’t had any in a while. Maybe a few years.
Why is that?
I’m with you, I really liked it. It’s nutty. Healthy. It’s yummy. Easy to prepare. Why did I stop cooking with it?
Well, it’s time to get back to quinoa!
What is quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. The part that we eat is actually the seed of the plant.
It’s very healthy, and rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. And, it’s naturally gluten-free.
It’s also a whole protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. So if you learned about combining amino acids like beans and rice, this means that quinoa doesn’t need to be combined with anything to be a whole protein. Which is geeky nerdy interesting to me!
What recipe substitutes can I make?
Swap the type of quinoa: White quinoa is the most commonly found in grocery stores, so that’s what I used.
I’ve also found red quinoa at some health food stores, and it’s great in this recipe. It has a richer, nuttier flavor with a chewier, heartier texture.
If you can find black quinoa, give that a try. It has a sweeter earthier flavor than white quinoa.
Swap the milk: I love using unsweetened almond milk in this breakfast dish. It adds a nice nutty flavor. But really, any milk (plant-based or dairy) will work in this recipe. Using a sweetened plant based milk, will, of course, make your final dish sweeter, and may work better for some people, kids included.
Mix up the berries: any berry will be great here! Use your favorite. Blueberry, strawberry, raspberries, or use a mixture of berries. Frozen or fresh berries both work equally as well. I’ve made it with both. The frozen berries tend to melt into the quinoa a little bit more than fresh berries. And the convenience of using frozen berries is so nice.
Swap the sweetener: I love the flavor of maple syrup in this dish. It has a well-rounded complex sweet flavor. But other liquid sweeteners work equally as well. Try a dark honey like avocado honey or buckwheat honey. Or try a simple clover honey. Love your agave nectar? Give it a try.
Swap the nuts: Any toasted nuts are perfect in this dish. Walnuts will have a nice bitter crunch. Almonds will add a sweetness to the dish.
And, nuts can be toasted in the oven, in a skillet on the stovetop, or try toasting them in an air fryer!
To toast nuts in an air fryer, simply place the nuts in the bottom of the basket in a single layer, you may use a piece of parchment paper to keep them from falling through if you need to, set the cook temperature to 300° F, and air fry for 4-6 minutes.
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Breakfast Quinoa Bowl with Blackberries
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans toasted
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- Place the uncooked quinoa in a dry medium pan (with no oil or butter), and cook over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until you hear a little popping, and the quinoa will small nutty and toasty. Keep an eye on the quinoa, and be careful not to burn it!
- Pour the milk and water, and mix the cinnamon into the toasted quinoa, and continue to cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat, and let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries. Transfer to four serving bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon maple syrup over each serving.
- While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350° F degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Or toast nuts in a dry skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Or toast in an air fryer, by placing the nuts in the bottom of the basket in a single layer, you may use a piece of parchment paper to keep them from falling through if you need to, set the cook temperature to 300° F, and air fry for 4-6 minutes.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
I mentioned that I had posted this recipe a few years ago. So, I thought I’d add the original (yet very embarrassing) photo. Both so I can see how far I’ve come with my photography, and so that if you followed a link with that image from social media, you would know you came to the right place.