Friday, October 4, 2013

Crockpot Banana Bread Quinoa

I never was a big oatmeal fan.  I mean, I ate it.  Especially when I was doing the Body For Life diet.  I bought the "weight control" version of the Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack and combined a packet of my least favorite flavor (plain) with my most favorite (banana or apple).  But it still was mostly like eating paste for breakfast.  I told myself it was healthy.  I told myself it would keep me fueled until lunch.  I told myself it was helping me lose weight.

I told myself a lot of things in those days.

Recently, while I was researching crockpot recipes, I stumbled across this idea: quinoa for breakfast.  In the crockpot.  Okay, it would have to be more like brunch, or even lunch, because it only takes four hours in the crockpot instead of overnight.  But the leftovers could totally be for breakfast!

I experimented with my modifications a few times, and this is the result.  I really enjoy it.  The savory flavor and scent of quinoa is still present -- it doesn't bother me, but I can see how it might turn some people off.  I found that toasting the quinoa ahead of time somewhat lessens its unique scent and strong flavor.

Another thing I learned is that it's important to mix the cinnamon with the wet ingredients before combining everything in the crockpot.  If you just stir everything into the crockpot, the cinnamon will rise to the top during cooking, instead of staying incorporated.  Even when you mix it with the wet ingredients, you will still encounter some of this, but it won't be as severe.

Crockpot Banana Bread Quinoa
modified from this recipe from The Realistic Nutritionist
1 c. quinoa, rinsed (or toasted)
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. water
1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 T. coconut oil, melted
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 T. chopped walnuts

Combine the quinoa, coconut milk and water in the crockpot.  Stir together the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Mash the bananas, then combine with the honey mixture.  Add the wet ingredients and the walnuts to the other ingredients in the crockpot.

Cook on Low for 4 hours, or until the quinoa is fully cooked.  Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk and top with sliced bananas.

Mashed bananas.

Pouring the honey mixture in.

Breakfast is served!

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