Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Move over, baklava! Sugar-kissed nuts and cinnamon have found a new home.

In this Mediterranean-inspired quinoa recipe, I let dried fruit and cinnamon contribute all of the sweet taste — no added sugars needed. Dried figs are startlingly sugary, and when joined with Turkish apricots, raw walnuts, and cinnamon, this breakfast cereal is given a decidedly Mediterranean flair. Oatmeal is usually my go-to breakfast grain, but warm summer mornings call for cold cereal, and this quinoa fits the bill.

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

^^Dried fruit (apricots left, figs right) and nuts make this recipe easy to enjoy year-round

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

^^New to quinoa? You can tell that it’s done cooking when a little white tail separates from the grain

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained (any color – I used red)
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 4 extra large dried figs (or 8 smaller dried figs)
  • 8 dried apricot halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk (I used organic skim milk)

Method:

  1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 15 minutes. (The outside coat of the grain will separate into a curly tail when done cooking.)
  2. While the quinoa is simmering, chop the figs, apricots, and walnuts into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add the chopped fruit and nuts and cinnamon to a large bowl.
  4. When the quinoa is done cooking, add to the bowl and toss with the fruit and nut mixture until combined.
  5. How to serve: Divide the quinoa mixture among 4 mason jars, and add ½ milk to each jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (This allows the fruit to soften a bit, and also allows the flavors to mingle more freely.) Alternatively, you can also keep the quinoa mixture in a covered container in the fridge. Then, when you’re ready to eat, simply scoop about 1 cup quinoa mixture into a bowl, top with ½ cup milk, and eat like regular cold cereal.

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Nutrition per serving (including milk): 290 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 47g carbohydrates (5g fiber, 16g sugar*), 12g protein, 60mg sodium, 10% Vitamin A, 1% Vitamin C, 21% Calcium, 15% Iron

*All sugars are naturally occurring – none are added sugars

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

– Kelly

Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

Don’t let the name of this recipe fool you. Tart from the cranberries, sweet from the apple cider, and warm and gooey from the slow-cooked steel cut oats, this oatmeal tastes remarkably like cherry cobbler. Don’t ask how I got from cran-apple to cherry (sweet and tart, remember???), just go with it.

Even though this is naturally sweetened steel cut oatmeal we’re talking about, it may even be too rich for breakfast. (But don’t worry, I won’t tell!) I mean, I really can’t overstate the uncanny resemblance between this dish and cherry cobbler.

Regardless of when your hunger strikes, this deliciously fruity porridge will go perfectly with a cold glass of milk, a creamy latte, or a sizeable scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’ll leave the choice up to you!

Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups unsweetened Apple Cider (0r apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Method:

  1. Lightly coat the inside of a programmable slow cooker with oil or cooking spray.
  2. Pour all ingredients into the slow cooker, then stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4.5 to 5 hours. I use a programmable slow cooker so that I can get more than five hours of sleep and still wake up to warm oatmeal. (Once the oatmeal is done cooking the programmed amount of time, the slow cooker automatically switches to a ‘warm’ setting and holds the food warm.)
  4. Divide into 4 bowls and serve immediately, or put leftover servings into the fridge for later. To reheat individual servings, simply microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.

Nutrition per serving: 300 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 51g carbohydrates (9g fiber, 15g sugar), 10g protein, 20mg sodium, 1% Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 12% Iron, 8% Calcium

Cranberry Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

– Kelly

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for Two

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

I’ve been looking for a way to make my daily oatmeal habit more conducive to the warm summer weather, and after stumbling upon this recipe from The Oatmeal Artist, I think I’ve found the perfect solution! Usually my oatmeal recipes are single serving. However, 1 serving of this recipe would leave me with half of a grapefruit and half of a yogurt carton, so it’s easiest just to make 2 servings. If you don’t have anyone else to cook for, you can save the other bowl of oatmeal for the next morning. It will keep a few days in the fridge.

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for Two (inspired by the Oatmeal Artist)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (divided)
    Old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 individual container (divided)
    Plain Coconut Yogurt (vanilla is also good!)
  • 4 teaspoons (divided)
    Chia seeds
  • 1 whole
    Grapefruit (segmented)
  • 1 cup (divided)
    Water

Cooking Directions

  1. Evenly divide ingredients between two cereal bowls. Each bowl gets 1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, half of a grapefruit (segmented and in chunks), 1/2 cup of water, and half of the yogurt cup.
  2. Mix well, cover, and place in fridge overnight (at least 7 hours).
  3. Give it a good stir before serving. Enjoy!

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Most overnight oats recipes are made in Mason jars. I don’t have Mason jars. But I do have cute Anthropologie Latte bowls! So that’s what I use. As long as you can cover it in the fridge and give it a good stir before serving, bowls work just fine. Plus, digging my spoon into the bottom of a tall Mason jar does not seem appealing. Latte bowls for the win!

Overnight Grapefruit Coconut Oatmeal for 2

Nutrition per serving: 322 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated), 8.5g protein, 52g carbohydrates (16g fiber, 17g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 200mg potassium, 20% Vitamin A, 110% Vitamin C, 22% Calcium, 16% Iron

I do wish this recipe had more protein, but believe me when I tell you that the healthy dose of fat and fiber will keep you full for HOURS. And did I mention that this recipe is vegan?

– Kelly