All of a sudden there is a distinct coldness in the air! We have gone from lovely Autumn days to cooler Winter days and I don’t know about you, but I know getting out of my warm bed in the morning is becoming harder and harder! This is the time of the year when I drag my Crock Pot out of the dark recesses of my pantry and use it to make yummy and healthy foods such as vegetable soups or this amazing porridge that I am about to share with you.
Last night before I went to bed, I was feeling a little restless from working particularly long hours at the moment. So I headed to my kitchen where I decided to play around with some of the food in my pantry and refrigerator and before I knew it, I had whipped up this amazing porridge. It was so creamy and delicious and it filled the house with beautiful smells of apple and cinnamon. It was sheer bliss to sit down this morning in my PJs, with a cup of green tea and a steaming bowl of this supercharged breakfast. It was so good that I wanted to have a second bowl but the reality is, that it is so filling that I couldn’t fit it in!
Porridge has always been a comfort food for me. I have memories of cold winter mornings of stumbling out of my bed when I was a little girl and my Mum placing a big bowl of porridge in front of me. The only difference now, is that I don’t pile it with sugar like my Mum did and I make it from scratch using quinoa. You can use oats as well but make sure that they are gluten-free. I personally prefer quinoa as it is much higher in protein and it suits my body better.
Starting the day with a good protein source is so important for fueling the body and stopping insulin spikes. Combining quinoa and chia seeds will give you a powerful protein hit. I added LSA mix (linseeds, sunflowers and almonds) as it adds a nice subtle nutty taste to the porridge and of course it is filled with essential micro-nutrients such as magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, D, calcium, zinc and potassium. It is full of omega-3 fats which will protect your heart as well as having the added benefits of being full of soluble fibre which will lower the bad cholesterol and help to balance your sugar. LSA contains approximately 50 percent omega 3s, almost twice as much as what is found in fish oil. As well as fighting cholesterol, omega-3 improves the quality of hair, nails, and skin, lowers blood pressure, and helps to prevent arthritis. The almonds in LSA (or if you don’t want LSA, top your porridge with some almonds) will also help lower bad cholesterol as well as decrease insulin spikes. LSA is a great anti-inflammatory food to add it to your diet on a regular basis and it will help to fight oxidative stress (see previous blog on why you need to avoid oxidative stress).
I decided to add cacao to the recipe as I LOVE chocolate! Cacao is so full of anti-oxidants and will help to fight any free radicals in your body. Combined with LSA, you now have a powerful anti-inflammatory response happening in your body. I prefer to use fruit to sweeten food. Dates in particular are very sweet but they are also very good for you as they are an ideal food for improved energy and brain function. Dates are a good source of vitamin A & B-complex and they are rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, copper, and potassium. They are also a great source of soluble fibre and also an anti-inflammatory food. Adding apples adds a smooth contrast between the quinoa and chia and it too will add extra soluble fibre. I will write a blog in the near future about the differences between soluble and insoluble fibre and the important role both play.
Feel free to experiment which is what I did. Throwing in the LSA mix was a last minute decision but it worked well. If you don’t have it on hand, then don’t worry. Because this is cooked in a slow cooker and it contains both quinoa and chia seeds which absorb a lot of liquid, I have used more liquid than I would normally use. For example, I generally use a ratio of 1:2 when cooking quinoa (eg one cup of quinoa and two cups of liquid). Adjust the liquid depending on your slow cooker. This recipe will also work well when cooked on the stove top but it will only take 15 minutes. Top with your own preferred toppings. I had mine with coconut yoghurt but tonight I will have another bowl topped with thick coconut cream. Why not??
My Kitchen Heals Supercharged Quinoa Porridge (Slow Cooker Recipe)
- 2 cups quinoa (rinse well)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup Natural C Raw Coconut Milk
- 4 apples chopped into small cubes
- 6 Medjool dates chopped
- 3 figs chopped
- ½ cup cranberries
- 1 tspn vanilla paste
- 2 tbspn LSA mix (linseed, sunflowers and almonds)
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbspn cacao
- 3 tbspn coconut sugar (don’t forget the fruit will add a lot of sweetness- personally, I leave out the sugar )
- ½ tspn cinnamon
- 1/8 tspn dulse salt
- 2 – 3 cloves
- Toppings – bee pollen, buckini, cacao nibs, sliced banana, blueberries, etc
1 Make sure you rinse the quinoa well. Add all ingredients to a crockpot/slow cooker and place on the lowest setting if making at night time for the morning. This will take approximately 10 hours to cook.
2 If you want to decrease the cooking time, place on highest setting and it will take approx. 6 hours. Note, that if cooking on a higher setting, that you will need to stir at least twice as the quinoa and chia seeds will soak up the liquid quickly. If this happens, add more coconut milk.
3 Add your preferred topping – I added homemade coconut yoghurt and cacao nibs.
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