Lately, I’ve been craving warm things for every meal, and chilly Fall mornings feel especially deserving of comforting, hot breakfasts. Steamy oatmeal with spiced fruit hits that cozy spot more often than not.
Topped with quick sautéed apples and raisins, or these maple roasted pears with fresh berries, plain old oats feel particularly luxurious. For a change of pace, and little more heft (plus a boost in protein), nutty, quinoa porridge fills in nicely for the oats. The quinoa is hearty and healthy and nourishing (as oats would be), but the real star of this sweet breakfast porridge is the pear, roasted in thick, dark maple syrup: my newest, favorite breakfast treat.
There’s something rather magical about roasted fruit, the oven transforming their natural sugars into syrupy, caramelized goodness, and these maple roasted pears are no exception. They give off a lovely dessert vibe once scooped off the sheet pan (with all their wonderful juices), and would be equally at home alongside a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
In fact, if I were you, I’d use the leftovers to do just that…
But first, breakfast. I start the pears roasting, quickly tossed together with deep, amber maple syrup, melted coconut oil and cinnamon, which before long fills the house with the loveliest sweet aroma.
Then it’s on to the quinoa. I use my go-to, perfectly fluffy, savory quinoa method, but with altogether different ingredients: almond milk as the cooking liquid, bourbon vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon for flavor. Lightly toasting the quinoa in the pan first brings out additional flavor, before simmering away in almond milk.
I chose not to sweeten the quinoa during cooking, though you certainly could – both maple syrup and brown sugar come to mind. Between the nectarous nature of the roasted pear and my inevitable, heavy-handed drizzle of maple syrup on top, things are already pretty sweet.
As the quinoa finishes up cooking, the pears should be just coming out of the oven, which, along with some fresh berries and a few pomegranate arils, make for a sweet, flavorful upgrade to your basic bowl of porridge or oatmeal and an altogether decadent start to your day. Enjoy!Print
Sweet Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
- 2 tsp unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1–1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- fat pinch of fine grain sea salt
- for serving: warm almond milk, maple syrup, chopped nuts, fresh berries, pomegranate arils, etc.
Maple Roasted Pears
Roast the pears:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together the coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Toss with the quartered pears, coating well. Arrange the pears on the sheet pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, basting with the pan juices once or twice, until the pears are golden and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the pan before serving.
Prepare the quinoa:
- In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the quinoa, and stir to coat in the oil. Give it about a minute, then add the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine.
- Bring up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked through and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place a double layer of paper towel under the lid, and let stand, covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving warm.
Prepare the quinoa breakfast bowls
- Divide the warm quinoa between bowls, topping with warm almond milk, 2-3 roasted pear quarters, a drizzle of maple syrup, and any other desired toppings.