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These gluten-free veggie fritters are made with a blend of zucchini and carrots, then sauteed in coconut oil instead of deep frying. Quick, easy and tasty!

It's veggie fritter time and I'm so excited. To me, summertime is fritter season. They're one of those recipes that are so simple to make, everyone loves and make the perfect side dish.

I don't know why I associate them with summer, but I do and now that it's summer, we're making another version.

I'll admit, my favorite fritters of all time are zucchini fritters, but I thought we would change things up a little today and throw in another veg. We're making these gluten-free veggie fritters out of sweet potato, carrots and zucchini, so they're packed with good ingredients. They also taste incredible!

The Fastest Way to Grate Vegetables

The first secret to the perfect fritter is the grating method. Fritters are made from grated vegetables and grating vegetables is the worst. Like I actually despise it.

If you've ever had to grate a sh*t ton of veggies on that dumb box grater, you feel me. It's dangerous – I've cut so many knuckles on those this – your arm gets so tired, and it takes FOREVER.

Well…I have the solution: your food processor!

Grating vegetables in the food processor is by far the fastest method. All you have to do is attach the grating blade, feed your vegetables into the top and in a matter of seconds, you'll have an even, perfectly grated mixture. It's genius. And it will save you so much pain, frustration, and soreness.

If you're looking for a good food processor, this is the one I use and I love it!

How to Make Veggie Fritters

Veggie fritters are actually pretty easy to make. They don't require any fancy ingredients and while they are typically deep-fried, I'll show you my method shortly for making them a bit healthier.

Here's how to make veggie fritters:

  • grate your veggies
  • stir them with some flour
  • add your spices
  • fold in an egg
  • cook until crispy

Literally so easy! If you've never tried before, you're going to be blown away. And they'll definitely become a summertime staple for you.

How to Make Veggie Fritters Healthy

Okay so let's talking cooking methods for veggie fritters. Most of the time you'll see them deep-fried in vegetable oil. I've never personally deep-fried anything in my life, so we're not doing that.

The other two methods for cooking them are:

  • pan searing in a healthy oil
  • baking

Now baking would be the healthiest, but I also don't find it yields the best consistency. So I always land on pan searing my veggie fritters in a healthier oil. Pan searing reduces the amount of oil that actually gets into the fritter and because you're controlling the quality, you're also controlling how healthy they are.

My two favorite oils for searing these fritters are coconut oil an avocado oil.

The Best Gluten-Free Veggie Fritters

Fritters are also super easy to make gluten-free. They don't rely on gluten forming, so pretty much any grain-based flour should work.

To make our gluten-free veggie fritters we're doing quinoa flour because it's my fave and I love it and I use it all the time. If you're not a quinoa flour fan, that's a-okay! You can use brown rice, sorghum, chickpea, etc., to make your fritters. The only flours I think you might need to tweak a little are almond and coconut. I'm sure they would work, but they absorb and bind very differently, so it might take a little adjusting on your end.

And now you can see…veggie fritters are the easiest. I can't wait for you to make these because I know you're going to love them! If you're looking for some serving ideas, I'd recommend a tahini dipping sauce, ketchup or some vegan cream cheese. SO DANG GOOD.

More Healthy Veggie Fritter Recipes:

Simple Veggie Fritters

These gluten-free veggie fritters are made with a blend of zucchini and carrots, then sauteed in coconut oil instead of deep frying.

  • 1 cup grated sweet potato
  • ¾ cup grated carrots
  • ¾ cup grated zucchini
  • ⅓ cup quinoa flour ((or gluten-free flour of choice))
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 large egg (, lightly beaten)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  1. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, flour, scallions, egg, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture together with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined.
  2. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, form small patties out of the vegetable mixture in your hands.
  3. Cook the fritters until golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes, then flip cook an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Transfer the fritters to a cooling rack.
  4. Repeat this process with the remaining mixture.
  5. Serve slightly warm as a side dish.

The post Easy Gluten-Free Veggie Fritters appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These easy almond butter brownies are a unique twist on the traditional brownie, using way healthier ingredients. No butter, vegan and gluten-free too!

We're getting a little fancy with our dessert today! See that drizzle of chocolate and chopped walnuts? Might look like a million bucks, but have no fear, these easy almond butter brownies are just that…EASY!

When it comes to baking, I sometimes have to do a few tests to check all my boxes. If you aren't familiar, my boxes include: gluten-free, dairy-free, usually egg-free, definitely refined sugar-free and always with a healthy twist.

That's a long list to get through and still give you guys the same traditional textures and flavors that you love. But we nailed it today. And you're going to gobble these up. We're talking healthy, gooey, fudgy and easy almond butter brownies!

The Secret to Making Fudgy Brownies

I'm all about the fudge factor when it comes to chocolate brownies. The gooier the better in my eyes. But that can take a little work when you're also making them healthy.

Traditional fudge brownies get their fudge from the combination of butter (or vegetable oil) and eggs.

We're not using either of those in this recipe, but we still managed to pull it out. Rather than filling your treats up with those not-so-good ingredients, we're using almond butter, coconut oil, flax eggs and then a little quinoa flour to bring it all together. They're light, they're tender and they are fudgy AF!

Vegan & Gluten-Free Brownies for the Win

Luckily, if you're looking to make super fudgy brownies, using a vegan egg substitute is actually going to help with that texture.

To make these brownies vegan and gluten-free, we're using just a few simple swaps:

  • flax eggs for the chicken eggs
  • almond butter + coconut oil for the butter
  • quinoa flour for the all-purpose flour

Otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward recipe! And it's so simple to make. Just stir everything into your bowl, transfer it to the pan, bake it up, cool, drizzle and slice. SO GOOD.

You'll Love These Almond Butter Brownies

Okay so now that you know how to make the ultimate gluten-free vegan brownie, let's chat about these ones specifically.

Why will you love these easy almond butter brownies? Here's why:

  • 10 ingredients
  • one bowl
  • ready in 30 minutes (with baking time)
  • just 1/4 cup of oil
  • packed with plant-protein & fiber

And of course, these beauties are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free! Best of all, we're finishing things off with a drizzle of dark chocolate and sprinkled with walnuts.

I seriously can't wait to see your recreations! Make sure to share a photo with me on Instagram by tagging @simplyquinoa ❤️

More Healthy Brownie Recipes

Vegan Almond Butter Brownies

These vegan almond butter brownies are a unique twist on the traditional brownie, using way healthier ingredients. Rather than butter, we’re using coconut oil and almond butter.

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 flax eggs ((2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 tbsp water))
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup toasted quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. Beat together coconut oil and almond butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla, flax eggs, and almond milk, and beat until combined.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients and add to wet, mixing until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and bake on the center rack for 22 – 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool in pan completely before cutting into squares.

The post Easy Vegan Almond Butter Brownies appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These super easy garlic sesame zucchini noodles make an awesome side dish or base for a healthy meal. Simple to make, flavorful, vegan and gluten-free too!

It's almost summer which means it's zoodle season! I'm a big fan – like big, BIG fan – of zucchini noodles, but I really only eat them in the summer. I don't love cooked zucchini noodles because I find they get a little soggy, but I'm all about the cold zucchini noodle salad.

A few reasons why zucchini noodles are the best:

  1. they take almost zero time to make
  2. they're a low cal version of pasta
  3. you can jazz them up any which way you like

And today we're doing all three! We're making my quick and easy Garlic Sesame Zucchini Noodles which take just 10 minutes to make, use only 6 ingredients, and are the ultimate summer side!

What is the Best Spiralizer?

First things first…how the heck do you even make zucchini noodles!? There are a few ways to make zucchini noodles, but my favorite is to use a spiralizer. The only one I recommend (and I've tested quite a few) is the Inspiralizer. It's powerful, it's easy to use and clean, it gets through tough veggies and it's smaller than other options out there.

If you don't have access to a spiralizer, you can also make zucchini noodles on your own. The best way to do this would be to use a mandolin slicer to cut the zucchini into wide strips. From there you'd like the strips into thinner strips that would resemble noodles.

That method would take quite a long time, but it still works. I guess it's mostly just personal preference!

How to Make Zucchini Noodles Not Soggy

One of the problems I have with zucchini noodles, especially when you cook them, is they get a little soggy. Zucchini is about 95% water, so it makes sense that the longer they sit, the more water they release.

Because of that, unfortunately, there isn't a super easy fix for making them not soggy. It's kind of the name of the game with zoodles.

BUT I do have a few ways to help them not be too wet and soppy:

  • Cook them for just a little. The longer they cook, the more water they release.
  • If cooking, drain the noodles before adding any sauces
  • Pat the zucchini noodles with a paper towel before using
  • Use a thick sauce (either cold or wet) to not add too much additional moisture

And my girl Ali from Inspiralized has even more tips for avoiding soggy zucchini noodles!

Simple Garlic Sesame Sauce

Okay so speaking of sauce, let's talk about this amazing sauce we're using our on zoodles today.

These zucchini noodles aren't cooked, so we're going to a thicker sauce made from tahini, sesame oil, garlic, and some salt. It's super simple, but also has this lovely creamy texture which tastes fabulous with the noodles.

Toasted sesame oil is one of those things that is very pungent (in a good way). It brings a ton of flavor, it's healthy and it really carries through most recipes. I recommend using sesame oil as a finishing oil in things like dressing, sauces or even on stir fry. Cooking it can reduce some of its benefits, but also its flavor.

Since we're making a garlic sesame sauce, we need some garlic. I went with garlic powder for this recipe because we're not cooking it and I sometimes find the flavor of raw garlic a little much. Garlic powder is a little milder but still packed with flavor. And it's easy. You just pour it out of the bottle and go.

The Absolute Best Garlic Sesame Zucchini Noodles

If you're a fan of Asian style noodles, you'll love these garlic sesame zucchini noodles. They're a cinch to make – take less than 10 minutes – and are packed with flavor.

They're also a great base. Whether you want a quick and healthy side dish or you want a flavorful base to another meal, these noodles are here for you. I love serving them at summer parties, but will also top them with baked tofu and roasted veggies or a light and healthy meal.

You really can't go wrong with sesame-flavored anything. It's just a bonus that it feels like pasta but is actually just vegetables 😉

More Healthy Zucchini Noodle Recipes

Garlic Sesame Zucchini Noodles

These super easy garlic sesame zucchini noodles make an awesome side dish or base for a healthy meal. Simple to make, flavorful, vegan and gluten-free too!

for the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime ((about 1 tablespoon))
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Water as needed to thin
for the noodles
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • garlic sesame dressing
  • Sesame seeds to garnish
  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (minus the water) until smooth and creamy. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir until you get a pourable consistency.

  2. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles using your favorite spiralizer tool (I like this one).
  3. Add the zucchini noodles to a bowl and top with dressing. Toss to combine until the noodles are coated in the sauce. Divide among plates and garnish with sesame seeds.

The post Quick & Easy Garlic Sesame Zucchini Noodles appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These quinoa chocolate chip cookies are to die for. Not only are they super easy to make, but they're also packed with healthy quinoa & are gluten-free!

Is there anything better than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? The smell alone has me shaking at the knees.

They've always been my favorite kind of cookie. Ever since I was a little kid and my dad would make us chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I'd sit in front of the oven door watching them bake and would stand – somewhat impatiently – near the cooling rack until he gave us the go ahead.

Chewy, crispy, chocolatey. Pure heaven.

Since I'm a major cookie monster, I'm always trying to come up with new ways to turn my favorite treats healthy. So today I'm sharing my newest love: quinoa chocolate chip cookies!

How to use Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is one of my all-time favorite gluten-free flours. It's high in protein which helps give baked goods structure, but it also has this amazing nutty flavor that adds depth to the flavor.

It's also a light colored flour so you don't have to worry about it affecting the look. Someone tasting these cookies would never guess they're gluten-free and vegan!

But what I love most is that there are so many different ways to use quinoa flour. From pancakes, cakes, bread, cookies and more. There's really no end to possibilities when it comes to using quinoa flour in your baking. It's for sure a staple in my own pantry!

The Best Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

The secret to these perfect quinoa chocolate chip cookies? Quinoa flour!

The entire flour base of these cookies is quinoa flour, which makes them nutritious and delicious. For recipes that I'm using 100% quinoa flour, I actually like to gently toast it first to smooth out the flavor and make it taste less bitter. Here's a tutorial on how to toast quinoa flour at home if you've never tried!

In addition to the quinoa flour though, we've also got almond butter which gives the cookies a somewhat crispy exterior and a lovely chewiness on the inside. And of course, dark chocolate chips to finish things off!

All in all, these quinoa cookies use 8 ingredients, one bowl and are ready in about 20 minutes. You can't beat that!

More Quinoa Cookie Recipes:

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies are healthy, gluten-free, vegan and have the perfect texture!

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (or egg)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

  2. Combine the almond butter, sugar, syrup and egg into a bowl and beat until smooth.

  3. Add in remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, into the bowl and mix to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough onto the cookie sheet and repeat until all the dough as been used.

  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

The post The Best Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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A healthy quinoa breakfast bowl made with homemade strawberry milk and served with fresh berries and almonds. Nutritious, high protein and delicious too!

For many of us, breakfast is the hardest meal of the day. I mean in reality it's probably one of the easiest meals to physically make, but being creative, different, interesting and flavorful isn't something that usually happens. At least for the majority.

Let me guess. You're just like me and your breakfast looks similar almost every morning.

Maybe it's a smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal, a juice or even some eggs and toast. And if you don't eat the same thing almost every day, I bet you're rotating through a set three or four. And I totally get it; it's hard to push yourself to come up with something new and different when all you're trying to do is get out the door.

Why? Because mornings are stressful and breakfast needs to be fast. You're trying to get your day started as quickly as possible, while still getting something healthy and nutritious to eat, and it yet seems totally unrealistic to get up half an hour early just to make sure you have enough time for a fabulous breakfast. Which is exactly where this quinoa breakfast bowl comes into the picture!

How to Make Quinoa for Breakfast

In my opinion, quinoa is the ultimate breakfast food. It's packed with protein, it's a complex carbohydrate meaning it digests slowly in your system to help keep you feeling fuller for longer, and it also has many hard-to-find nutrients.

And what makes quinoa so perfect for breakfast is that you can jazz it up for whatever you're in the mood for.

There are three main ways to add quinoa to your breakfast:

  • cooked quinoa
  • quinoa flakes
  • quinoa flour

Today we're using cooked quinoa to act as our “cereal” and then topping it with fresh fruit, almonds, and some homemade healthy strawberry milk. If you're using one of the other two, try my 90-Second Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa or my Quinoa Flour Pancakes.

What I love about quinoa is its versatility. There's really no end to the ways you can use it!

How to make Healthy Strawberry Milk

The real secret behind this recipe? The milk.

I've always been a cereal fan. It's what I grew up on and still to this day is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. And while breakfast cereal is totally delicious, I've found a way to take it up a notch without doing anything crazy. Instead of using plain almond milk, I've started making fruit infused milk instead. And I gotta tell you, it's totally rocking my world!

This recipe is for strawberry infused milk, which is just four ingredients and tastes incredible. All you're going to need to make it is:

  • hemp seeds
  • water
  • strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • maple syrup

Add all those ingredients to the blender, blend it up until smooth and in a matter of seconds you've got healthy strawberry milk! It's the perfect addition to our quinoa breakfast bowl.

The Easiest Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Ever

I've gotten comments before that this recipe is too simple, but I'm a firm believer that recipes don't have to be complicated to be good. Especially when it comes to breakfast. The easier your breakfast is to make, the less stress you have in your day and the more likely you are to properly nourish your body.

So here's what we're doing with these breakfast bowls…

  1. We're starting with our cooked and cooled quinoa
  2. Then we're topping it with fresh berries
  3. And some sliced almonds for a little crunch and protein
  4. Finishing it off with our strawberry milk

Sure it's easy, but I promise it's fabulous!

An Easy Meal Prep Breakfast Idea

Aside from the fact that these breakfast bowls are packed with good-for-you ingredients, they're also meal-prep friendly. That means you can make a batch of the quinoa and milk on a Sunday and enjoy this type of meal all week long.

Want to change things up? Awesome! Feel free to change up your toppings, stir in some spices (cinnamon or cacao would be awesome), or even make a different flavor of milk.

You'll find that after having a quinoa breakfast bowl in the morning, you're going to be energized, full and ready to tackle your day with confidence! Make sure to come back and share your fun quinoa breakfast creations with the rest of us…I'm dying to know what you're waking up with!

Other Breakfast Recipes Using Quinoa

Strawberry Infused Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

This Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl is the best easy and healthy recipe to start your day with. It’s so simple to make – ready in just 5 minutes! Vegan, gluten-free, and great for kids in the summertime too.

for the strawberry milk
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup strawberries ((fresh or frozen))
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (any variety)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  1. Add the 4 milk ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy (will be the consistency of milk). Set aside.

  2. Place quinoa in a bowl, pour milk over and sprinkle on toppings.
  3. Enjoy immediately with a warm cup of tea or coffee!

The post Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These healthy superfood chocolate quinoa bars are a tasty little snack that is packed with energizing ingredients. Great for on the go or before a workout!

Does it get any better than chocolate? I mean I'm a chocolate-any-time-of0day kind of girl, but I especially love it as a snack. I almost always find myself craving something chocolate in the mid-afternoon and rather than reaching for dark chocolate, lately, I've been reaching for these:

Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Bars 🙏🏻

They're packed with good-for-you ingredients, but taste amazingly decadent. I've even snuck on some melted dark chocolate for those who need a little more persuasion. After all, life is about balance and when you can combine superfoods with chocolate you know you're on the right path.

The Best Superfood Ingredients

I think people classify superfoods differently, but for me, to be a true superfood, an ingredient has to have a multitude of benefits. While the ingredient list for the chocolate quinoa bars might seem long, I've chosen each one specifically for what they bring to the table.

Here's a highlight of my favorites:

  • walnuts: full of healthy fats and omega-3s
  • pumpkin seeds: high in calcium, iron and other minerals
  • raw cacao powder: packed with antioxidants and naturally energizing
  • spirulina: highly detoxifying, high in protein & full of calcium & iron
  • hemp seeds: high in protein and omega-3s

And that's just a few of them. These bars are LOADED with amazing ingredients!

How to make No Bake Energy Bars

Just like how we make energy balls, we make no-bake energy bars the same way! In your food processor.

We'll begin by blending up our nuts and dates until they resemble a sandy texture. Then add in the rest of your ingredients and blend it together until it forms a sticky dough.

This step is where it differs: rather than rolling the dough into balls, you'll simply dump it into a baking pan and press it evenly into the bottom to form a smooth, packed surface.

Pop it in the freezer and let it harden up (or in this case drizzle it with chocolate first). Then just slice it into bars and you're good to go!

Why You Need These Chocolate Quinoa Bars

You know I love a good energy ball, but sometimes I just want a bar instead. These chocolate quinoa bars are my new thing. They're easy to make, they're a great change of pace, they're packed with an insane amount of nutrients and they taste pretty freaking great too.

They've also got a rocking texture!

We've got softness from the dates, crunch from the quinoa crispies, chewiness from the dried fruit and just the right amount of chocolate. Not too dark, but also not too sweet.

If you've been looking for a new healthy snack, you've found them. These babies are nourishing, they're energizing and they're tasty. Pretty much the ultimate combo if you ask me!

More Healthy No Bake Snack Recipes

Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Bars

These healthy superfood chocolate quinoa crunch bars are an awesome little snack that is packed with energizing ingredients. Take them on the go for a quick pre- or post-workout snack!

  • 1 cups dates
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup cacao
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp hemp
  • ¼ cup goji
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1/2 cup quinoa crisps
  • 4.5 oz dark chocolate (, melted)
  • To top: chopped walnuts (, coconut, sea salt + cacao nibs)
  1. Add the dates, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and coconut into a food processor. Blend on high until a sandy texture has formed. Add the cacao, hemp, spirulina and almond butter and process until a dough starts to form. Pulse in the quinoa crisps.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a parchment lined 8" x 8" baking pan. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan, making sure to get it into the corners.

  3. Pour the melted chocolate on top and garnish with desired toppings.

  4. Place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, remove the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Store in the freezer for best texture.

The post Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Bars appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These Gluten-Free Banana Quinoa Waffles are healthy, easy to make, absolutely delicious! They freeze well for meal prep and are great for weekend brunch!

Ever since I was a little girl, weekends were meant for decadent and semi-elaborate breakfasts. Throughout the week, our mornings are jam-packed and we can't shake that rushed feeling. We're busy getting ready for work, packing lunches, getting kids ready for school, and mornings just seem to fly by in a blur.

And for many of us, breakfast is the last thing on our minds.

Even though I work for myself, I still do feel rushed in the mornings and almost always resort to my green smoothies or smoothie bowls. They're quick, easy, nutritious and filling.

But as soon as the weekend hits, friends, time is on our side – we can actually slow down and unwind a little. No more rushing. Wake up a little later, stroll into the kitchen, eyes still groggy with sleep, hair wild and unruly, and make breakfast. A special breakfast. A weekend-worthy breakfast.

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Breakfast

Waffles, quinoa flour pancakes, and pumpkin cornbread french toast are my idea of a special breakfast. Having a plate full of golden brown treats in front of me, drizzled with warm maple syrup and topped with fresh fruit, my eyes begin to sparkle and my heart fills with warmth.

These meals will forever remind me of my Dad. In the kitchen every weekend morning, whipping up his fabulous blueberry pancakes {here's my gluten-free version} and his fluffy, light waffles. Some of my favorite memories are sitting at the island watching him cook, eagerly waiting for the light to turn green on the waffle machine, knowing it was time to dig in.

With that image in your mind, I leave you with my own version of Sunday waffles. With smashed bananas and toasted quinoa flour, these waffles are still light and fluffy but have a subtle sweetness and hint of nutty flavor, that makes them truly unique.

How to Make Gluten-Free Waffles Fluffy

Gluten-free waffles actually don't require anything special over their traditional counterparts. As long as you get the flour combo right, it's super easy!

The trick to getting incredibly fluffy waffles is the eggs. You'll want to separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks into the other wet ingredients and beat the egg whites into stiff peaks.

The reason you want to beat egg whites for waffles is you'll get waffles that are:

  • Lighter
  • Fluffier
  • Better texture internally

It's not required, but dang does it make a difference!

The Best Quinoa Waffles…With Banana!

Honestly? Banana makes everything better in my book and that's exactly what it's doing in these quinoa waffles! Banana adds some natural sweetness, but also helps keep the inside of the waffle tender. It also adds fiber, complex carbohydrates and helps you use less syrup!

We're also using quinoa flour to give these waffles a nutrition boost. Quinoa flour is one of my favorites and it's so great in pancakes and waffles. It helps keep the texture light, but you get that little jolt of protein.

For the topping, you really can't go wrong. We've got a fairly simple “base” so pretty much any topping goes. Here's what I did:

  • Coconut yogurt: love the tang & creaminess!
  • Walnuts: hello, banana bread
  • Chia seeds: because they're cute & healthy
  • Sliced banana: because why the heck not!?

And of course, we finished it off with my all-time favorite maple syrup. VERMONT! It's the best and it 1000% needs to be in your kitchen at all times.

Weekend breakfasts just aren't the same if they don't include syrup!

More Gluten-Free Waffle Recipes to try:

Banana Quinoa Waffles

These easy banana quinoa waffles are gluten-free, dairy-free and so delicious! They're simple to make, freeze well and make a fabulous weekend breakfast!

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flour ((toasted if desired))
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 eggs (separated – 1 yolk + 2 whites)
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Turn on the waffle iron on medium heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, spices and salt and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the banana, egg yolk, milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir together with a wooden spoon – trying not to over-mix.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter – careful not to over mix.
  7. Lightly grease your waffle iron and pour a scoop of the batter into the bottom and close the top.
  8. If your waffle iron has a sensor, wait until it indicates that the waffle is done – checking it before you remove it from the iron – if it's golden brown, slightly crispy and comes off easily with a fork, you're good to go!
  9. Top with fresh fruit, yogurt, maple syrup or whatever toppings your heart desires. Go wild.
  10. Enjoy!

Cooking times may vary slightly. I had to let mine sit in the waffle iron for about 30 seconds longer than the light indicator told me. We had extras so I cut them up into quarters and froze them – the perfect accompaniment to a smoothie, with almond butter and homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam (recipe coming soon!)

The post Banana Quinoa Waffles appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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This healthy Triple Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bake is full of berries and flavor. It's also gluten-free and vegan so it doesn't use any eggs, milk or dairy!

I'm all about simplicity in the morning. I don't want to spend more than 10 minutes on my morning meal because honestly who has the time. I'd so much rather whip up a smoothie or reheat something that I made over the weekend than worry about cooking something.

I'm sure you're in the same boat, especially on the weekdays, which is where this fabulous quinoa breakfast bake comes into the picture. It's not only easy to make, but it's also meal prep-friendly. Meaning…you bake it up and can have a healthy breakfast ready to go all week long.

This recipe uses just 9 ingredients, one dish and makes a total of 6 meals. It's going to become your summer go-to!

Is Quinoa Better Than Oatmeal for Breakfast?

Oatmeal is like the classic of the classics when it comes to breakfast foods. But for me, even though oats and quinoa have a lot of similarities, quinoa is actually the better breakfast option.

But it's the protein content of quinoa that makes it stand out. We know that we need protein and I love starting my day with a protein-rich meal because it helps me stay full for longer, but also more energized throughout the day. And because quinoa has more protein than oatmeal, to me, it's a better option.

Why I Eat Quinoa for Breakfast

In addition to the protein content of quinoa, quinoa has so many other benefits that make it a great morning food. Here are some benefits of eating quinoa for breakfast:

  • full of fiber & micronutrients
  • can be made ahead and will keep well
  • can be reheated
  • take on whatever flavors you want

And best of all, quinoa can be used a million different ways. It's versatile, it's easy, and it's healthy. Everything from cookies, to muffins, pancakes, waffles, and now this amazing quinoa breakfast bake, this is an ingredient that can be added to pretty much every type of food you'd like to eat for breakfast.

How to make a Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Aside from a smoothie, this quinoa breakfast bake might just be one of the easiest recipes ever. Truly all you need are your ingredients and a baking dish.

You just add everything into the dish – the quinoa, the berries, flavors, milk, and vegan eggs – give it a quick stir and pop it in the oven. About 50 minutes later you'll have a dish full of hot quinoa, infused with berries and ready for eating!

This breakfast bake is perfect for the summer, but can also be made year round using frozen fruit. You can also change up the berries if you wanted for something more seasonal!

How to Store Your Quinoa Breakfast Bake

You might be wondering how you actually keep this breakfast bake fresh, right?

Luckily it keeps super well in the fridge. But if you aren't sure if you'll finish in the next 4 – 5 days, you can divide it into separate servings and freeze it. When you're ready to reheat the breakfast quinoa, either pop it in the microwave or let it thaw and enjoy it cold. (I personally like it warm!)

For serving, I love doing a dollop of coconut yogurt, a drizzle of almond butter and some fresh berries on top. It reminds me of a blueberry crumble, only a little more breakfast-friendly!

More Make-Ahead Quinoa Breakfast Recipes:

Triple Berry Baked Breakfast Quinoa

This healthy baked breakfast quinoa is studded with berries and full of flavor. It's also naturally gluten-free, vegan and high in protein!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups coconut milk ((lite))
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Add all the ingredients into a baking dish and stir to combine. Pop the pan in the oven and bake for about 50 – 60 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the center is no longer liquidy.
  2. Allow the cool for at least 15 minutes, then scoop and serve with your desired toppings!
  3. For my toppings, I like a dollop of non-dairy yogurt, a drizzle of nut butter and some more fresh berries.

The post Triple Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bake appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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The 5 best yoga exercises for good sleep. These yoga poses are easy ways to promote better, more restful sleep. Do them before bed to relax and sleep well!

We could all use a little help sleeping, right? Even if you're the best sleeper in the world, sleep is always something we want more of.

We've talked before about the importance of sleep and how to create a night routine that helps you wind down, but one of the things I haven't mentioned before is yoga. Specifically, how yoga can help you sleep.

Yoga is probably my favorite form of exercise, but it's also a tool I use to relax. So today I'm going to share 5 of my favorite yoga exercises for good sleep. These exercises are easy to do, can be done in bed and I swear will help you SO much!

5 Yoga Exercises for Good Sleep

Yoga, in general, is a great tool to use to promote relaxation and rest, but there are a few specific yoga exercises that are good for sleep. These poses are going to help your body downregulate, help you unwind and get you in the space of being ready to go to sleep.

I recommend doing these gentle yoga poses right before bed. Hold each for 8 – 10 breaths and repeat them on both sides where applicable. You're going to feel so zen after you go through this little sleepy yoga routine.

1. Child's Pose

This simple yoga pose helps to open up your lower back, increase flexibility and really helps you ground down. Child's pose also opens up your hips and helps you lengthen while also relaxing. It's also great at relieving lower back tension if that's something you struggle with.

To do child's pose, come down to your knees on the floor. Bring your toes together and spread your knees hip widths apart. Then slowly fold forward and lay your stomach on top of your knees. If possible, put your arms and hands above your head on the floor to get a good stretch into your shoulders. Stay in child's pose for as long as feels good!

2. Gentle Seated Spinal Twist

Twists are a great way to release tension before getting into bed. I love doing this either seated or once I'm laying in my bed because it's relaxing, it's detoxifying and I can almost feel my spine releasing. This one is a bit more gentle than the one we shared in our Yoga Poses for Energy post, but it's definitely one of my favorites for bedtime because it's also downregulating and relaxing!

To do a seated spinal twist, sit in a cross-legged position. Take one hand to the opposite knee and rotate towards that knee gently pulling your spine while also elongating in the kneck. Keep your spine as upright as possible. Then take your gaze in that direction as well and take at least 10 breaths. Come back to center and repeat on the other side.

3. Seated Forward Fold

Similar to child's pose, seated forward fold is one of my favorite yoga exercises for good sleep because it's really relaxing while also being a big stretch. It loosens up your hamstrings and your lower back. Additionally, whenever your head is down towards the floor like this it feels incredible and helps you release.

To do seated forward fold, sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Reach your hands towards the sky, then fold from your hips and reach towards your toes. If you can't reach your toes, bend your knees as much as you need to in order to feel the stretch. Continue trying to keep your spine as flat as possible so as not to create tension in the lower back.

4. Seated Side Bend

One of my favorite places to stretch is my sides. I love yoga poses that involve stretching and lengthening this area of my body and seated side bend is one of my favorites. You feel so long and stretched and relaxed at the end!

To do seated side bend.

5. Legs Up The Wall

My all-time favorite yoga pose because it just feels so darn good. I actually end my yoga classes with legs up the wall a lot because it's so relaxing. Legs up the wall is a great way to straighten out your spine, remove pressure on your lower lumbar area, as well as drain lactic acid from your legs. And it just feels like you've drained everything out – such a great pose to do right before you get in bed!

To do legs up the wall, scooch your butt as close the wall as possible. Lay down parallel to the wall, then spin your body so your head is facing the center of the room and place your legs so they are going up the wall. Your body will essentially look like an “L” shape against the wall – your legs are up, your body is flat on the floor. Lay in this pose for as long as feels good!

Do you Practice Yoga for Sleep?

I'd love to know if you're a yoga before bed type of person! And if so, what some of your favorite poses are! And if you do end up trying out our favorite yoga exercises for good sleep, drop a comment down below and let us know which one helped the most!

And lastly, if you're looking for a longer routine that you want to do before bed, I love this one from Yoga with Adriene!

The post 5 Yoga Exercises for Good Sleep appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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These cake batter energy bites are vegan, gluten-free and made without refined sugar. They're easy to make and are a healthy sweet treat everyone will love!

My energy ball addiction is back and coming at you in full force today. We're changing up my standard chocolate or fruity base and making something so fabulous that you might just never look back.

When I first made these cake batter energy bites, I felt like it was too good to be true. They taste like vanilla cake, have icing on top, and even are studded with sprinkles.

And the best part? They don't require any baking, have only 9 ingredients and are ready in about 15 minutes!

How to Make Cake Batter Energy Bites

Just like my other energy bite recipes, you're going to need a food processor to make these cake batter energy bites.

We start by adding our base ingredients: cashews, coconut, oats, and dates. Blend that up until you get a sandy texture. This combination gives you a really nice “plain” base for your cake. The coconut adds a little sweetness and the oats give it a really soft texture.

Then you'll add your flavorings: vanilla extract, cashew butter, and maple syrup. The cashew butter helps bind the dough together and has a really subtle flavor. The maple syrup is our sweetener and the vanilla is our flavor. Together this forms the perfect base for our energy bites.

The final thing we want to do is pulse in some sprinkles. I like these natural sprinkles!

The Perfect Vegan Cake Icing

What would a cake batter energy bite be without a little some healthy icing, right?

I've used coconut butter as icing on all sorts of things. All I do is melt it and drizzle it on everything. I've used coconut butter icing on recipes like my Healthy Quinoa Carrot Cake, Healthy Blueberry Muffins, and even Pumpkin Spice Truffles.

What's fabulous about coconut butter is its natural sweetness. Coconut is something that inherently has a little sugar in it, so when you melt it, you really don't need to add anything else. You can totally stir in a little vanilla extract, but for this recipe, it's just plain old coconut butter.

A Quick & Easy No Bake Snack

I've shared before about how much I love having a stockpile of energy bites on hand for a quick and easy snack. What's great about energy bites is that they're portable. I'll grab one on my way out the door as I head to yoga, but also bring them when I travel.

To help make my energy bites last longer, I keep them in the freezer. You can store them for at least 6 months. But if you're traveling, for example, you can also keep them in the fridge (like your hotel mini fridge!). Some recipes – like these cake batter energy bites – can also be stored at room temperature.

Either way, they are ready in about 10 minutes, don't require any baking, are packed with fiber, healthy fats and some protein, and honestly just make the best little snack ever.

No Bake Cake in Bite-Sized Form

I like to think of these cake batter energy bites as the healthiest way to eat a slice of cake! While they don't have the same texture as something like a cake pop (which is made with cake batter), they do honestly taste like a slice of vanilla cake.

Not to mention our natural sprinkles that help give them a funfetti flavor.

These are really one of my new favorite no-bake dessert recipes. I've always loved vanilla cake and now I can have it – icing and all – in bite-sized form!

Other Energy Bite Recipes to try:

No-Bake Healthy Cake Batter Energy Bites

These cake batter energy bites are vegan, gluten-free and made without refined sugar. They're a healthy sweet treat everyone will love!

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 dates
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • 3 tbsp syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-natural sprinkles ((+ more to garnish))
  • melted coconut butter for icing
  1. Add cashews, coconut, oats, and dates into a food processor. Process on high until crumbly.
  2. Add in cashew butter, syrup and vanilla and blend again until a dough starts to come together. If that's not happening, stream in water one tablespoon at a time until a sticky dough forms. Pulse in the sprinkles.
  3. Remove the lid and form the mixture into balls.
  4. Transfer to a plate, and drizzle with coconut butter. Top with sprinkles to finish. Enjoy immediately, or for an even better texture, cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

The post Healthy Cake Batter Energy Bites appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

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