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Quinoa: Breakfast Sets a New PR

October 18th, 2012

We’re sure you enjoy your a.m. oatmeal, but sometimes it gets a little tiresome to wake up to plain ol’ oats day in and day out. Recently we’ve been mixing up our morning with an ancient grain called quinoa. This grain (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is native to the Andes Mountains and was eaten by the Inca people thousands of years ago. Today runners can enjoy the nutritional benefits and earthy taste of quinoa as an alternative to oatmeal.

The carbohydrates:fats:protein ratio is similar in oatmeal and quinoa, with about 70% carbs 15% fats and 15% protein. This caloric ratio makes quinoa a great grain for runners because it’s heavy on the carbs, but still has a little fat and protein to keep your energy levels high for a longer period of time.

Keep it fresh with a few of your favorite mix-ins to beat the breakfast blues. Prepare quinoa according to the instructions on the package, then add a few choice ingredients to power you through ‘til lunch. Here are a couple suggestions:

Nuts about Bananas

We’re always ready for an extra dose of potassium to help prevent cramping, so this spin on quinoa is a great option pre-run.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small banana, sliced into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped nuts (we like it with walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Peaches and Cream

Fresh, juicy peaches remind us of autumn pies and hayrides. Capture that essence in this decadent breakfast (or add a little whip and try it as dessert).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ ripe peach (or ½ cup defrosted frozen peaches), chopped into half-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
  • ¼ cup of your favorite vanilla yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg (to taste)

Cocoa-Nut

Shredded, toasted or raw, coconut is one superfood we love. Throw in a little dark chocolate, and we can’t resist.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cranberries

What ingredients would you add to this ancient grain for a tasty breakfast?

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