Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, High in ProteinGluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers

It was recently my 21st birthday, resulting in an indulgent few weeks involving lots of sugary and fatty foods. A few weeks and a few too many cakes later, I need to get back on track.

My key tip to a maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always a good breakfast. Having a good wholesome breakfast full of protein, carbs and healthy fats, not only keeps you fuller for longer but sets you up for a great start to the day, providing you with energy to get up and make the day your own.

My go-to get back on track breakfast is Quinoa Porridge.

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is gluten-free, high in fibre and high protein grain. During the Incan Empire, it was referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.

Nowadays, it’s hailed as a “Superfood”. Quinoa is a great choice (especially for Vegans and Veggies) as its high in protein and unlike other grains, contains all the essential amino acids, so is a “complete” protein. Quinoa also contains antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and a portion contains 30% of your RDA for magnesium and 15% of Iron (both essential during your time of the month).

What I love about this recipe is the ability to mix and match and adjust the recipe to your preferences. Today, I had a chai spiced quinoa breakfast with raspberries, chia seeds, yoghurt and a bid drizzle of almond butter. Other times I love the indulgence of adding a teaspoon of cacao powder and having a chocolatey treat. Another favourite of mine is lemon and coconut quinoa porridge.

Feel free to experiment with any combinations and let me know how you get on.

Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers
Quinoa Porridge
Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge

Serves 1

30g-45g  Quinoa or Flaked Quinoa
150ml Milk of Choice (I use almond milk)
150ml Water
½ tsp Desired Spices (Usually, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and occasionally turmeric or vanilla)
40g+ Fruit of Choice (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, Lemon and apples all work well)
Pinch of salt

Optional add-ins

10g Nuts (I usually use pecans or Almonds)

If you’re feeling adventurous, grate half a courgette in. Adds double the volume for an extra 10 calories.

Cacao powder if you want an indulgent chocolatey feast

20g of Protein Powder for an added protein kick (I usually use Pea protein but Whey works well too)


Optional Toppings- Mix and Match to your heart’s content

Nut butter (I always choose almond butter!)

Dollop of yoghurt

Mixed Seeds

Drizzle of Agave syrup, Honey, Date Syrup, Choc Shot or another sweetener

More fruit

Desiccated coconut

Chocolate buttons or pure cacao melts luxuriously on top


How to:

Place the milk, water, spices, quinoa and pinch of salt in a saucepan on a medium heat.

Pop the lid on and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.

Cook until a preferred porridge consistency (I like mine thick). With standard quinoa, this will take about 25 mins but flaked quinoa will take less than 10 mins.

Transfer to a bowl and go wild with toppings


Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers


For me, Cinnamon is the holy grail of spices, not only is it utterly delicious, it has an plethora of health benefits. From aiding weight loss by increasing circulation to having great anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. From a day to day basis, I enjoy cinnamon in my life, from cinnamon tea, you can either just pour boiling water over a cinnamon stick or I enjoy Pukka tea’s Liquorice and Cinnamon Tea, I also add a sprinkle of cinnamon over yogurt or mixed with oats and fruit for breakfast.

Home baked cinnamon buns are a good way to get cinnamon into your diet as they’re irresistibly moreish, and by making them yourself, you can monitor the amount of sugar and adjust the recipe to suit you. Sometimes I change the flour to be 50/50 plain flour to rice or Tapioca flour and I often change caster sugar to coconut sugar or honey which is a healthier alternative. I also add Cardamon which creates another dimension of flavour but you can remove this if you prefer.

Cinnamon and Cardamon coconut sugar buns – a twist on the classic Swedish cinnamon buns

Great for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Cooked buns

Makes 8 buns – double the recipe for 16

50g unsalted butter (room temperature)
65g coconut sugar
350g plain flour
Half a sachet of dried instant yeast (9g)
150ml milk
Half a beaten egg (you will use the other half for the glaze)
Small pinch salt

45g coconut sugar
75g unsalted butter (room temperature)
Half to One Tablespoon of Cardamom according to taste
2 Tablespoons of cinnamon

Half a beaten egg
Syrup to glaze (this can be a sugar syrup with a little hot water or, if you have it, golden syrup or agave syrup.
Dusting of sugar – I used granulated as the white sugar looked pretty against the crisp top of the buns, but you could use coconut sugar again.


1. Cream butter and sugar together.  Add the egg to the creamed mixture and beat for a minute or two.

2.Sift the flour if you want to, I didn’t bother, and stir in the yeast and salt.  Alternately add a few spoons of flour and a splash of milk until all added.  If you have a mixer with a dough attachment, or a bread maker, you can use this, or knead by hand for 15 minutes until the dough is elastic.  Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or cling film and put somewhere warm to rise. If your house is cold, you could heat the oven to a low temperature, put the bowl in and turn off the heat.

3. While the dough is rising, cream together the butter and sugar for the filling, crush the cardamom pods to remove seeds and give them a quick squash in a pestle and mortar if you have one.

4. After about an hour, take the dough out of the bowl and shape into a rectangle. Roll it out (a wine bottle with the label removed will do if you don’t have a rolling pin) to about 2cm thick.   Spread the sugar/butter filling over the central part of your dough rectangle. If you get too near the edges it all squidges out.  Sprinkle your cinnamon over the top and then add a few pinches of cardamon.

Dough with filling

5. Fold in half one way and then in half again the other way.  Roll out the dough again until it is about 2cm thick.  It doesn’t matter if some of the filling gets on the outside of the full movie Baywatch

6. Cut into 8 strips.  Take one strip in your hand, wrap it around two fingers of your other hand, take it off and tuck the outer end through the centre of the bun so it looks a bit like a knot.

Dough rolls

7. Put the buns onto a tray lined with baking paper, or just grease a tray with butter if you don’t have baking paper to hand.

8. Put the dough knots back somewhere warm for a further 45 minutes.

9. Put the tray in the oven Gas Mark 5, 200C, 400F for 10-15 minutes. You want the buns just slightly brown on top.

10. Remove from the oven, brush with the syrup and dust with sugar.

Try not to eat them all at once.


Bun on plate with tea