Meals that Heal - Hot Quinoa Cereal with Spiced Soy Milk

Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah" is a delicious, protein rich pseudo-grain that dates back to the time of the Incas. They revered this extremely nutritious grain as sacred and called it "mother of all grains". Related to beets and chard and not grasses, you can find it in your local grocery store. Combined here with pungent spices like ginger and cinnamon that kindle the digestive system, this warming dish is especially good for Kaphas. 

Eastern View:

Quinoa is a grain that provides an excellent source of protein and is good for all doshas. Its especially good with a little ghee or coconut oil for Vatas and Pittas. Not sure what dosha you are? Take my online quiz here.

Quinoa helps build bone tissue and muscle and gives bodily strength and endurance. Adequate quantities of grains are particularly important for growing children or those on a vegetarian diet. Quinoa helps in creating a whole protein when combined with legumes, beans or milk products and helps provide adequate energy for the body. Quinoa's high fiber and low calories will still have you feeling full and it will help improve your digestive fire to ensure good weight. It helps Kaphas lose weight. who often struggle with heaviness after grains; it is light and provides a feeling of satiation. 

Quinoa is a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammation food that is just loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and a is a complete protein. Consider quinoa as a staple in your diet this winter, when we need high-protein foods to combat the coldness and dryness of winter.

Cinnamon pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas, but it may aggravate Pitta dosha if taken in excess.  It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter taste, it is heating, and has a pungent aftertaste.  Cinnamon is used to improve digestion and absorption, and promote elimination.  It removes toxins from the body, and improves circulation by strengthening the heart and warming the kidneys.  As a blood thinner, cinnamon prevents heart attacks. Additionally, cinnamon may be used in the treatment of respiratory and sinus congestion, bronchitis, colds, and the flu. It is both an expectorant and a decongestant.

Western View:

Quinoa, which has been a staple in South America for 4000 years, is a low-fat, high-fiber, super high-protein, low-glycemic index, vitamin-, mineral-, and nutrient-packed seed. Quinoa is one of the only plant foods that supplies a complete protein profile, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids with an essential amino acid profile similar to milk or an egg. It is also rich in essential amino acids like lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair. 

A gluten free seed, quinoa is a good source of magnesium which is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and supports healthy blood sugar. Quinoa is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains. Interestingly, even though quinoa maintains healthy low blood sugar levels, it provides more satisfaction, satiety and fullness after the meal compared to wheat or rice. According to the glycemic index , quinoa is around 53, which is considered low and thus makes an excellent grain that will not spike blood sugar levels. Quinoa also contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants that support the kidneys and heart function. 

Cinnamon: is loaded with antioxidants and protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, even outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano states a study by the Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry.  The antioxidants in cinnamon have potent anti-inflammatory effects which is good for Pittas and can lower the risk of disease. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa 
  • 2 cups filtered water 
  • 2 cups organic soy milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
  • 1/4 cup honey or brown rice syrup

Directions:

Put the water and quinoa in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

When the quinoa is almost done, put the soy milk, ginger, and cinnamon in another small saucepan. Warm the mixture over low heat.

Divide the quinoa among 4 serving bowls. Pour the warm soy milk over each serving and drizzle with honey or brown rice syrup.

Great dairy free and gluten free breakfast. If you would like to see more meals using food as medicine, take a look at an Ayurveda Meal Plan for your dosha. It has 5 meals a week complete with a shopping list - and these meals are just right for your metabolic type. That way you know you are eating all the right foods for you in the right season.

I can't wait to start cooking with you,

in health,