Apple Almond Baked Quinoa
Sometimes, I prepare a recipe many, many times, allowing for one adjustment at a time in efforts to achieve the precise texture and taste I envision. I always learn a lot from these little challenges. Occasionally, I end up with several worthy variations of the same recipe, never publishing the recipe because I have made things too complicated and can’t choose!
Such was almost the case with this recipe! But I have received multiple requests over the past months for a version of my many baked oatmeals (scan through the breakfast category on the right side of the page to view them all) that uses all quinoa and is gluten-free.
My challenge in this recipe was to eliminate the slight crumbliness that occurs with the quinoa. Initial attempts with varying the amount of eggs and other obvious factors yielded results that were perhaps a little too eggy or otherwise just okay. An early attempt incorporated cooked quinoa, but after several good versions with uncooked quinoa, I decided that was the only option. I wanted this recipe to be as easy to prepare as it is healthy and satisfying, so why create an extra step! (By the way, the final recipe mixes up in one bowl and uses no oils.)
While the addition of nut butters didn’t pass the test, a small amount of almond flour was the final piece of the puzzle. This gluten-free option acts as a binder and contributes to a slightly “cakier” version of this wholesome breakfast. Because there is a second version without the almond flour that everyone in my house enjoyed, I am including that variation in the notes section. While this version didn’t hold together quite as well, everything else about the recipe worked, most importantly the taste.
As always, if you have questions about a specific option, please ask. Chances are I have tried it. And if you try this recipe yourself, I would love to hear what you think!
For an easy morning routine, I always prepare this recipe the night before. I reheat my piece, often adding a drizzle of warm milk and maybe some chopped banana or nuts. My kids like theirs cold from the fridge with nothing added. Treat as you would your favorite bowl of oatmeal, topping as you like.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and well drained
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (may use honey)
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour (see notes)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 apple, cored and diced (I leave skin on; peel if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the uncooked quinoa and the remaining ingredients, stirring to thoroughly combine.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes or until the casserole is just set in the middle.
- Serve warm or allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate. When serving from the refrigerator, gently reheat if desired. (See serving ideas in comments above.)
In my countless preparations of this recipe, I hit upon almond flour as the final piece to bind the quinoa in this recipe, making it slightly more similar to one of my baked oatmeals. If you do not have almond flour or wish to omit it, my other favorite version of this breakfast is the following: Omit the almond flour, decrease eggs to 2, add 1/3 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, and almonds are great choices; omit if allergic), and 1 ripe, diced banana. I do like the chia seeds in this version as they act as a binder along with the banana and eggs but, if you don’t have them, the recipe will still taste great without.