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Everywhere you look today, there are articles, food products, and talk of eating gluten free.  More and more people are discovering that they have gluten intolerance and are eliminating or greatly limiting the foods they eat containing wheat. Luckily, I have no problem with gluten-loaded foods, and I am the first to grab a bagel or muffin to go along with my morning coffee.  But every once in a while I cook up a batch of Breakfast Quinoa when I am feeling the need for a different sort of hot breakfast.

Quinoa is a protein rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.  Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.  It cooks in a similar manner as rice.   Along with the many other gluten free foods available, quinoa and a less gluten diet seem to have the following health benefits:

Weight loss

Better energy

Better sleep

Clearer complexion

Better mood

Reduced joint pain

With school starting next week, who doesn’t need a better mood and more energy to get though the day.  Shake up your morning and give Breakfast Quinoa a try.

Breakfast Quinoa

Any leftover quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave for about 1 minute on 70% power before serving.

Serves  4

1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

1/2 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cups water or milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 cup dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, raisins), chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

In a medium sized saucepan, add almonds, quinoa, water or milk, cinnamon, and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed (just like when cooking rice).  Remove from heat and stir to fluff.

To serve, place about 1 cup of the cooked quinoa in a bowl and top with 1/4 cup of the dried fruits, about 2 teaspoons of butter and a tablespoon of the brown sugar.

Amy Casey has had a lifelong love of food. It began at an early age with many hours watching Julia Child on The French Chef and learning to cook from the many fabulous cooks in her family. Her love of food lead her to become a personal chef, and she is the chef/owner of EAT! A Personal Chef Service in northern New Jersey, and also a member of the United States Personal Chef Association. Always wanting to share her love of food, she chronicles her collection of recipes in the blog Dinners for a Year and Beyond.

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