Monday, March 2, 2009

Quinoa, it's not just for breakfast anymore

...but that is when I like to eat it. Pronounced keen-wa, it "contains more high quality protein than any other grain. The National Academy of Sciences calls it 'one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom'" (Ancient Quinoa Harvest, back of the box).

RULE OF THUMB FOR REMOVING BAKED GOODS FROM PAN: Let them cool for 10 minutes, they come out so much nicer.

Gluten-free Quinoa Recipes; all of these are my own recipes and were developed using the Aunt Lorena method, adjust as needed.

Hot Quinoa Cereal
What I have been having for breakfast this week is as follows (please note that except for the Quinoa and water, the other ingredients are approximated)

1/4 c whole grain Quinoa
1/4 c (scant) water
1/2 t pure maple syrup
1/2 t Brer Rabbit molasses
1 t cocoa powder (Saco says their cocoa is gluten free, I also use their powdered buttermilk), adjust to taste
1 t cinnamon
a handful of raisins

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and give them a stir to mix up (put your spoon on a clean spoon rest, or a clean saucer if you are not in a gluten-free home, to avoid cross-contamination). Bring to a boil and then cover with lid and reduce heat to low. The box says to cook this for 10 to 15 minutes until the germ appears as a little ring around the grain. I don't know if it is the elevation or the additional ingredients, but I usually need to cook mine for 20 minutes.

Depending on the length of time and amount of liquid you used to begin with, at this point the liquid will either be absorbed (like with rice) or some will still be separate. I prefer to cook it until the liquid is gone...which can take even longer than 20 minutes.

When it is finished cooking, I add the following:

about a scoop of Organic Cold Milled Flax (I get mine from Costco)
a handful of nuts (whatever you like, I normally have almonds, but sometimes pecans)
a bit of Pacific Foods Organic Almond Milk, vanilla flavored, unsweetened
Whatever else suits my (your) fancy:
In the saucepan could use craisins instead of raisins; you could add a little nut butter to melt in while it cooks

After it is cooked, you could add gluten-free coconut, chocolate chips, seeds...this is only limited by your pantry contents, taste, and imagination. This is a very satisfying, nutritious breakfast that stays with me all morning and often into the afternoon a bit.

Cocoa Coconut Quinoa Cakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Dry ingredients
Mix together in bowl:
1 c whole grain quinoa, ground to a fine powder
1 c almond flour (I grind my own almonds fresh)
3-4 scoops of Organic Cold Milled Flax
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1 t each baking soda and baking powder
2 t cinnamon
3 heaping T cocoa
3 t Egg Replacer (I don't use this for the eggs, just for what it does for the texture of the recipe)
1 c gluten-free coconut
Gluten-free chocolate chips
(Whatever else you like, as in Cooked Cereal above.)

Wet ingredients
Mix together in second bowl:
1/2 c oil
3 eggs
3 T Brer Rabbit molasses
1/4 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c Almond milk
2 t gluten-free vanilla

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Spread on greesed cookie sheet or glass baking dish. Press almonds or pecans across the entire surface. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool - cut into bars.

For breakfast, I put one of these bars into a cereal bowl and top it with more almond milk, but it is also nice without the milk. I made this recipe so I could have Quinoa for breakfast when we are traveling; it works out well.

Variation on a theme:

One of the things I have missed since having to give up gluten is chocolate pumpkin cake. I came up with this recipe, which is a variation on the Quinoa Cakes above, for my daughter's graduation open house.

Pumpkin Cocoa Quinoa Cakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Dry ingredients:

Mix together in bowl:
1 c Quinoa (ground to powder)
1/4 c Organic Cold Milled Flax
1 c Quinoa flakes
1 t each baking soda and baking powder
1 t each nutmeg, cloves, allspice
2 t cinnamon
3 heaping T cocoa
3 t Egg Replacer
1 c coconut
2 c pumpkin (I need to make these and play around with the quantity, so I can get the amount needed to give it a nice pumpkin flavor, but not too mushy of a texture)
Chocolate chips, to taste

Wet ingredients:
Mix together in second bowl:
3 eggs
1/4 c Brer Rabbit molasses
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c oil
1/2 c almond milk

Blend dry and wet ingredients together. Spread on greased cookie sheet OR spoon into non-stick baking molds (follow pan's instructions on how full) OR spoon into paper muffin cups, 1/2 full) CAUTION: Make sure your pan is completely free of gluten if it was used to bake normal cakes.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

You could also put this in a regular cake pan. If you do, you will have to adjust the cooking time, watch it carefully until you figure out how long it will take to get done.

Cocoa Coconut Quinoa Cookies

These have a very nice texture and even please glutenal peeps.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Dry ingredients:
In mixing bowl, combine:
1/2 c millet flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/4 c rice flour
1/3 c quinoa flour
1/2 c finely ground almond flour (freshly ground)
2 T cocoa powder
1 T baking powder
1 t cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

In 2nd bowl combine:
3 eggs
1/2 c maple syrup
1/4 c safflower oil (or other oil)
1/3 c almond milk

Add Wet to Dry, mix well.

Fold in:
1/2 c Quinoa flakes
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c grated coconut

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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