My favourite day of the week has changed quite often, usually dependent on whether a new show on TV I’m watching is showing that day. I think it’s safe to say easy laid-back Sundays are now my favourite since they allow me to make items such as this Cinnamon Apple Maple Quinoa. That’s quite a mouthful! I’ve had a bag of quinoa for a while now sitting and wondering what to make with it, quite curious about what it tastes like and whether I would enjoy this strange rice/couscous looking substance. I finally decided to go with a sweet taste palette for it and I can promise that it didn’t disappoint; I will be going back for seconds!
Quinoa is one of those base ingredients that can be used in so many foods, that you could easily turn this into a richer meal of a pudding which is my next plan. For now I wanted something lighter, akin to oatmeal or cereal. It absorbs flavours deliciously and has such a nice texture that I keep wondering why haven’t I tried this before? Like, this is really, really good! I like that I can take it from subtly sweetened to sweet all with the small addition of some maple syrup. It’s sort of chewy like oatmeal, and blends well with other flavours as I found with the apple and the almonds.
Although the quinoa is clearly the star of this dish, the apples really won me over. I broke them down in a pan on the stove lightly sprayed with PAM and drizzled with maple syrup and they become as soft as if they were baked for near to 30 minutes in just 5 minutes. The cinnamon sprinkling as well as adding a cinnamon stick to the base quinoa while it is cooking (similar to cooking pasta before a meal) also contributed greatly to the overall flavours and tied everything in. I loved the almonds in mine; you could also substitute for walnuts or pecans but it adds a great crunch and texture difference to the entire meal.
Here’s to plenty more quinoa in my life, specifically Cinnamon Apple Maple Quinoa!
Cinnamon Apple Maple Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- Handful toasted almonds (or pecans or walnuts) for sprinkling on top (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, for drizzling
- Cinnamon for sprinkling
Cooking the Quinoa
- Add the dry quinoa, water and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the maple syrup together. Add the cinnamon stick, cinnamon, salt and the tablespoon of milk. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing it to absorb the ingredients. For a richer quinoa, you could use milk instead of water.
- While the quinoa is cooking, add apple into a pan that is sprayed with PAM. Drizzle with remaining maple syrup to the apples to coat. Stir and allow to simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes until cooked down and soft.
- Toast the chopped/slivered almonds at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- When Quinoa is finished cooking, taste to see if you need to add more maple syrup; add up to 1 teaspoon at a time to your acquired taste.
- Place into a bowl and add the softened apples on top and the almonds. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup.