Quinoa porridge with cinnamon, coconut and fresh fruits

More grains for breakfast this week! Well, seeds, actually, because the base for this week’s breakfast is quinoa.

If you’ve read more of my recipes, you’ll know I just love quinoa. When boiled, it’s good in sweet as well as savoury dishes; when ground, it makes a flavoursome gluten free alternative to wheat flour and when rolled, the flakes make a fibre rich addition to muesli and a crunchy porridge topping. It’s a good source of complete protein, iron and magnesium as well as slow-releasing carbs. So, turned into creamy quinoa porridge topped with nuts and fruits, it makes a good start of the day! *)

As is the case with many seeds and vegetables, quinoa is naturally coated with saponin, a bitter-tasting protein, which protects the plant in the field from insects and birds and inhibits bacterial and fungal growth. It is best to remove this coating by thoroughly washing the seeds in a sieve under running cold water. Once rinsed, the bitterness will be gone, leaving only a lovely nutty flavour.

The oatmeal in my previous breakfast post was unsweetened and got its flavour from the sweet baked apple and crumbly quinoa topping. In this week’s breakfast the quinoa is flavoured with cinnamon, grated coconut and maple or agave syrup, so all it needs to top it are some nuts and fresh fruits of your choice.

In this case I chose baked almond shavings and sliced fresh plums. If you’re in the mood for a completely warm breakfast, you can make the plum slices extra sweet and soft by brushing them with a little oil and briefly griddling or frying them. A quick sweet and soft alternative is a topping of fresh banana slices and roughly chopped walnuts.

Whatever you choose to combine it with, I wish you a wonderful start to the day!

quinoa porridge

Quinoa porridge with cinnamon, coconut and fresh fruits – serves 3


  • 275 g quinoa
  • 750 ml boiling water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp. grated desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. maple or agave syrup
  • fruits and nuts of your choice, for example:
    • 2 plums, sliced, and 60 g almond shavings, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
    • 3 bananas, sliced, and 100 g roughly chopped walnuts



Tip the quinoa into a sieve and thorougly wash the seeds under cold running water to remove the bitter saponin coating. Put the rinsed quinoa into a pan, together with the boiling water and the cinnamon stick. Bring the water back to the boil and leave the quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes. All of the water will be absorbed by then and the quinoa will be fluffy and creamy.

Take the pan off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Stir through the grated coconut and the syrup, then divide the porridge over three bowls.

Top with the nuts and fruits of your choice and enjoy!

quinoa breakfast bowl

*) Besides iron, calcium and magnesium, quinoa is also rich in potassium. For people with normally functioning kidneys, this isn’t a problem, but people with kidney malfunction can suffer from alleviated potassium blood levels. In this situation it can be advisable to lower the potassium intake from your diet; when in doubt, consult your health care provider.