Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Banana quinoa bake 1

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. When I was in high school, I was often late for my first period because I thought that eating breakfast was more important than the first five minutes of physics class. Even now, I would rather be a little tardy than miss out on a sunny side over egg on top of avocado toast or a waffle spread with peanut butter and cinnamon-sprinkled banana slices.

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As these two examples suggest, my breakfast selections tend to be split fifty-fifty when it comes to savory or sweet options. Both omelets and pancakes reign supreme in my mind.

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I do notice, though, that my savory breakfasts tend to keep me fuller for longer. Oatmeal is often one of those sweeter dishes that leave me hungry just a mere two hours later. Regardless, I woke up yesterday morning craving a baked banana oatmeal. But since I am now mostly gluten-free and since there were no gluten-free oats to be found in my parents’ kitchen, I decided to substitute quinoa for oats.

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At first I was a little nervous about how the quinoa would bake, as this was my first time making a quinoa bake. But I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

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Cooking the quinoa in almond milk provides additional flavor and creaminess. Maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this early morning treat. Walnuts compliment the nuttiness of the quinoa and add texture. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and bananas combine to create the flavors of banana bread in this protein-packed bake. And because of the protein, this bake is heartier and more filling that its oatmeal counterpart.

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I love this bake served with Greek yogurt drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. If you’re looking for a vegan accompaniment, it would also be great with coconut whipped cream.

The next time you’re thinking of reaching for oatmeal and have a few minutes to spare, I hope you give this quinoa bake a try. It is definitely going to be a new addition to my weekend breakfast rotation.

Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Adapted from CookingQuinoa.net

Serves 6-8

–       2 ½ cups almond milk

–       1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa

–       1 egg

–       2 tbs. coconut oil, melted

–       1 tbs. vanilla

–       1/4 cup maple syrup

–       ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

–       2 tsp. cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling on top)

–       ½ tsp. nutmeg

–       ½ tsp. baking powder

–       1/2 tsp. salt

–       1/2 cup chopped walnuts

–       1 ½ to 2 bananas

Bring almond milk and uncooked quinoa to a boil in a medium-sized sauce pan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Check on quinoa every few minutes and stir. The quinoa will be ready when the milk is absorbed and the quinoa is softened but still has a slight bite. While the quinoa cooks, combine all other ingredients except for the bananas. Add the mixture to the cooked quinoa. Spread into a baking dish, and top with slices of banana and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes. Serve with Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and more cinnamon, if desired.

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