April 28, 2014

flaked quinoa, chia and flax meal porridge with caramelised pear and walnuts

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The seasons are slowly but surely changing and with the drop in mercury I find myself reaching for woollen jumpers, long pants, socks and slippers.  Winter blankets that have been collecting dust bunnies during the warmer months are being pulled out, washed and aired ready to adorn our beds.  Hot water bottles have been rescued from the back of the linen cupboard and flannelette sheets are making an appearance.  Stews, casseroles and soups are making their way onto our menu and the kettle is rarely off the boil in anticipation of the next cuppa.  As desperate as summer was to hang on by a bare thread, autumn is making her presence known while winter is whispering that she’ll soon be on the heels of autumn.

I’ve been lingering in bed in the mornings lately, enveloped in the warm cocoon of my blankets.  Not yet completely dreading the idea of rising as I do in the midst of winter when the chill factor is numbing but enough that I prolong the inevitable and the patience of by belly grumbling children.

Now that the weather is decidedly cooler first thing, we’ve been starting our day with a bowl of warm porridge.  Where once I would soak the oats overnight trying to emulate the porridge of my youth, I now favour a speedier somewhat healthier version.  In my humble opinion, if you are yet to try flaked quinoa porridge get in that kitchen pronto!  This porridge has a different texture to traditional porridge, it is smoother, silkier and creamier.  It is also much lighter than oats but just as filling and we find it doesn’t require the addition of milk though you could add a splash of milk of your liking.  I encourage you to play with the topping, you are only limited by your imagination.

Flaked quinoa, chia and flax meal porridge with caramelised pear and walnuts – serves 2 but can easily be halved or doubled.

1 cup flaked quinoa
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp flax/linseed meal
1 cup coconut milk/cream
1 cup water
1 pear
1/4 cup walnuts
10 g butter or 2 tsp coconut oil
honey to serve

Place the quinoa, chia, flax meal, coconut milk/cream and water into a small pot and place over a low to medium heat.  Stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes until thick and creamy.  While the quinoa is doing it’s thing heat the butter in a small pan and quarter, core and chop the pear into small bite size pieces.  Cook the pear over a low heat for 2-3 minutes tossing the pan a few times then add the walnuts and cook a further minute or so.  You want the pears to be caramelised and sweet but still intact and the walnuts to be lightly toasted.
Half the quinoa porridge between two bowls, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and top equally with the pear and walnuts.  You are good to go.

Topping suggestions
- Caramelised or stewed apple with cinnamon
- Caramelised or mashed banana with lightly toasted slivered almonds
- Chopped date and toasted walnut
- Berry compote with greek yoghurt

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