My grandmother often made cream of wheat when I was a little girl and I loved eating it, topped simply with a sprinkle of brown sugar.  Quinoa flakes offer a modern spin on that tasty breakfast with a gluten-free grain that cooks in two quick minutes.  It takes almost as long to pour cereal from a box…Well, maybe that is quicker and we certainly do that sometimes, but this option is warm, comforting and has just one ingredient on the label!

Compared to the old days when I topped hot cereals with brown sugar alone, now I load on the toppings.  I almost always stir in half a chopped banana for added sweetness and heft. Berries or peaches, when in season, are favorites.  And, always, slivered almonds for crunch.  (I toast a large amount of almonds at once and store in an airtight container in the fridge.)  During the colder months, I like to take about a third of a cup of frozen blueberries, warm them in a small dish in the microwave, then pour over the finished hot cereal.  The extra juice that develops as the berries thaw is a tasty bonus.

If you have ever eaten cream of wheat or farina, the texture of quinoa flakes is much the same with the slightly nutty flavor quinoa is known for.  I include my favorite ways to dress up this quick-cooking breakfast in the recipe below.  I do think that a dusting of sea salt adds the perfect finishing touch and allows a little bit of your favorite sweetener to shine.   So you know what to look for if this is a new idea for you, I took a photo of the box, shown below.

Cream of Quinoa

Yield: one serving

One of my favorite combinations is cooking the quinoa in coconut milk and then topping with berries, coconut and toasted almonds. I chop half a banana and stir it into the quinoa during the last 30 seconds of cooking. It offers natural sweetness and a bit more heft to my morning meal. A pinch or two of sea salt and a drizzle or sprinkle of your favorite sweetener finishes this bowl off perfectly!

  • 1/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup milk (regular, almond, coconut, soy all work well)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional Add-Ins:
  • A pinch or two of sea or kosher salt
  • Honey, maple syrup, stevia, or sweetener of choice
  • Slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Sunflower seeds or pepitas
  • Chopped bananas, peaches, berries, or fresh fruit of choice
  • Raisins, chopped dried apricots, shredded coconut or dried fruit of choice

  1. Bring the milk and the cinnamon to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa flakes, and then reduce the heat to low.
  2. Cook for two minutes or until thickened, adding a little extra milk to thin according to personal preference. Scoop into a bowl and top as desired.

So you know what you are looking for…you can find these quinoa flakes, or a similar brand, in the organic or gluten-free aisle of most large grocery stores and many smaller markets.