I’m trying to psych myself up to wake up to a scene like this tomorrow morning (again). This winter has totally taken all the fun out of snowstorms. We’ve already had nearly 60 inches of snow, making it Philadelphia’s third snowiest winter ever. We are pretty much over it. And we are expecting another 4 to 8 inches tonight along with near record lows. Our charming old stone house with its original windows is not up for the challenge. Tomorrow morning will be like many others this winter – really, really cold. The kind of morning that makes you long for a nice, steamy bowl of hot oatmeal that warms you to your core and leaves you with that full, happy feeling.
But, alas, E is allergic to oatmeal 😦
This actually doesn’t bother him because he’s never really had it (except to thicken his bottles, but that’s a whole other post) and he doesn’t know what he’s missing. I, on the other hand, feel awful as he submerges his chubby little fingers into a bowl of Corn Chex smothered in cold applesauce. So you can only imagine how excited I was when I stumbled across a recipe for Apple Cinnamon Quinoa on Pinterest.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it. Quinoa was one of E’s first safe foods, back when we were still pureeing everything. In fact, my unscientific observation is that many FPIES kiddos do well with quinoa and it’s often one of the first safe foods, perhaps because it’s actually a seed, not a grain (who knew?). Anyway, as we added more safe foods and moved onto finger foods, we kind of abandoned quinoa. It hadn’t even occurred to me to use it for breakfast. Another bonus was that the recipe cooked the quinoa in almond milk instead of water. Another lightbulb moment. I’ve been trying to get more calcium into E’s diet and almond milk is a great safe source for him. It’s just difficult to get him to drink more milk on top of his Neocate formula, so cooking with it is an excellent option. I couldn’t wait to try it!
The recipe (with a couple tweaks to fit E’s diet) was a huge success (you should definitely check it out at FitnessRx for Women)! More exciting, it got me thinking about other ways to prepare quinoa. I happened to have a bunch of strawberries on hand, so I started experimenting. I pulled out my new favorite toy, my electric pressure cooker, and threw the strawberries in with the quinoa, almond milk, vanilla, canola oil (to prevent foaming) and brown sugar. I thought the result was delicious and E agreed! It’s so wonderful to find a fast (3 minutes at pressure!), easy, healthy, and safe way to give E that warm, full, happy feeling.
I also love the versatility of this recipe! We use almond milk because that’s safe for us, but I’m sure you could use soy, cow’s milk, or even water. Right now I can sometimes get Plant City (FL) strawberries at our local supermarket so I love throwing them in the cereal, but I’m sure you can use any fruit. In fact, I had a bag of frozen sliced peaches on hand that I used the other day and it worked great. I’m a pretty big fan of brown sugar, but use whatever sweetener works for you. This is a perfect pressure cooker recipe but I assume it would work on the stove top too, it’ll just take longer to cook. This recipe makes about 4-6 servings, which lasts us several days. I store it in the fridge and then reheat it in the microwave. I just pour a little almond milk in the bowl before nuking it so it doesn’t dry out. Let me know if you try something different and how it worked for you.
I hope you enjoy it as much we do!
Fruity Quinoa Porridge
1 cup white quinoa
2 cups unflavored, unsweetened almond milk
2 heaping tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Approximately 1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half (or any other fruit)
1 tbsp canola oil
Throw everything into the pressure cooker, give it a quick stir and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When time is up, let the pressure release naturally. Make sure you stir it well when it is finished to distribute the strawberry juices and complete the breakdown of the strawberries (warning – it might look a little gross when you open the lid and see the deflated strawberries but they should fully dissolve after stirring). Enjoy!