In the interest of keeping it real, I must confess that I’m having one of those weeks that only mama’s with toddlers can sympathise with. Whether my little Captain Chaos is cutting some new teeth, or has a sore throat or just gets a kick out of turning my kitchen walls into a Jackson Pollock art exhibition is anyone’s guess.
*Huff… Pours her 12th cup of coffee for the day*
How did we get through motherhood without caffeine? Hats off to you Wilma Flintstone, because I’m ready to feed my little Bam-Bam to our pet dinosaur. No, not really. But if it was an option… I wouldn’t put it past myself in the heat of the food-flinging moment.
All my fail-safes of yoghurt, crumpets, scrambled egg and even the all-hailed blueberry have ceased to come to my rescue this week. You know it’s bad when Sir Poopalot turns down blueberries! Help! Send more caffeine!
BUT the one thing he is still entering into negotiations over is Quinoa Porridge. But not just plain ol’ porridge, nooooo. It has to be apple & cinnamon flavour, and in a last-ditch attempt to get some protein in I’ve gone with quinoa. Not only is it gluten free, containing all the essential amino acids, (not too shabby for a plant-based food) it’s also relatively low in blood sugar-spiking carbs. So in my desperation to get this teething little velociraptor (yes, he actually bit me the other day!) to take in as much nutrients in the dinky little freezer pot that he agrees to eat, I’ve shoved, squeezed and jammed in as much healthy goodies as is humanly possible! On top of the protein packed quinoa I’ve also thrown in goji berries, chia seeds, linseed, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Then to bind it into a nice porridgey consistency I added in some eggs and banana.
It’s not just great for baby’s brekkie, it will satisfy the rest of the hungry hordes you no doubt have scrounging around your kitchen asking to be fed. So I’d suggest making a double batch, you won’t regret it! Here’s the recipe:
Apple & Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge
1 tin full-cream coconut milk*
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp goji berries**
1 Tbsp linseeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
– In a saucepan add the coconut milk and start to bring to the boil.
– Add the well-rinsed quinoa into the heating up coconut milk. Once the coconut milk starts to bubble, turn it down to a rolling simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes or so.
– Meanwhile peel, core and chop your apples. Adding the chunks into the coconut quinoa milk to let them cook slightly. But don’t worry if they’re not complete mush, I’ve even added them in raw before, but I do find cooking them a bit adds to the porridgey consistency.
– The quinoa is cooked when the individual grains start to look slightly split with a tiny wispy little “string” dangling out of it. But if you’re not sure, taste a few grains to see if they’re not still too crunchy. Roughly 10 minutes usually does it.
– Now dust off your blender*** and add the quinoa apple coconut mixture along with the cinnamon, seeds, banana and eggs and blitz it immediately. Only add the eggs as you are just about to blitz it, otherwise they will start to scramble if left unmixed in the hot quinoa coconut mixture.
– Once all the ingredients are incorporated, pour the porridge mixture back into your saucepan and on a low heat cook it again for a few minutes stirring continuously, just to make sure that the eggs are completely cooked.
– Allow to cool and then fill your individual storage pots for the freezer or just keep it in the fridge and use it over the course of 2-3 days. Strength be with you to not polish off the whole lot once you taste how nummy-licious your little one’s brekkie is. That apple cinnamony smell wafting around your kitchen is going to make you go weak at the knees…
Coconut milk * – You can use any milk of your preference, I sometimes make it with ordinary full cream milk. But as I started giving this to my wee man from 6 months old, I kept it coconut milk until he was allowed cows milk once he was a year old. But it could work just as well with any milk substitute.
Goji berries** – By all means you can substitute these with any berry you can get your hands on. I just like the bumper levels of anti-oxidants that goji’s pack, even if they do slightly resemble pink little rat poos.
Blender use *** – If you have a glass jug blender you’ll be fine, but if your jug is plastic it’s advisable to allow the coconut quinoa mixture to cool before blending, otherwise your blender jug might crack.