Nutrition Tip: Think Outside the Cereal Box for a Satisfying Breakfast

By Cheryl Forberg, R.D., May/June 2011

Quinoa and almond milk add nutrients and flavor in this breakfast recipe.

Breakfast isn’t just about oatmeal—plus, I like to eat non-traditional things for my morning meal—so I get my whole grains fix from gluten-free quinoa, which is packed with protein so it’ll keep you feeling full. That’s why I included this recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa in my new book, Flavor First (Rodale, 2011). Enjoy!

Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
This delicious, high-protein, gluten-free grain is not just for savory dishes. Quinoa is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast to dessert. To sweeten the quinoa, add 1 to 2 tablespoons agave nectar, honey or maple syrup.

Makes 4 (3/4-cup) servings

2 cups unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk
1 cup dry quinoa, well rinsed (see note)
1 medium apple, diced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Garnish (optional)
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds or walnuts

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the almond milk over medium-high heat. When the milk is almost boiling, stir in the quinoa, apple, and cinnamon and salt. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until most of the milk has been absorbed. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, cover tightly, and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Garnish with currants and nuts, if desired.

Note: After measuring, rinse quinoa with cold water in a fine strainer to ensure that any saponins are removed. These plant chemicals can add a bitter taste to your cooked quinoa if not thoroughly rinsed away.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 35 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars), 5 g fiber, 7 g protein

Reprinted from: FLAVOR FIRST by Cheryl Forberg, RD. Copyright © 2011 by Cheryl Forberg, RD. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735 or visit their website at