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

Enjoy

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

 

cleavers, sticky weed savvy student sienna somers

Cleavers, sticky weed, goose grass, Galium aparine grows abundantly in towns, parks, roadsides has many names and is easily identifiable as the weed which made long childhood walks bearable by seeing how long the weed could stick to a family members back without them noticing, or rolling into a ball and pelting it at each other. Apart from these recreational uses, it’s also drinkable. From the same family as coffee, G. Aparine can be used to produce drinks and ointments.

To create a substitute coffee, you can gather the small seeds from inside the small burrs and roast them. However, due to the quantity needed for this coffee, it takes a significant amount of time in order to get a decent batch of coffee.

However, you can dry the leaves (so you can store the plant for longer amounts of time) and you can pour boiling water over the leaves, creating a herbal tea. I usually add teaspoonful of  honey which makes it an enjoyable drink.

cleavers, sticky weed savvy student sienna somers

Consumption of cleavers has been linked to weight loss. It has been associated with cleansing and detoxing of the body for may years, even being used as a slimming regime in the sixteenth century!

It is also edible, it can be used in a similar way that you would cook spinach, for example by steaming it.

I’ve started adding cleavers to my Green Smoothies to pack a lot nutritional value into my smoothie but without breaking my bank.

cleavers, sticky weed savvy student sienna somers

 

You can create a toner by soaking the plants in cold water overnight. This has many uses, from clearing the complexion, helping eczema, removing dandruff and soothing burns. I apply some with an organic cotton pad to my face in the evenings.