Quinoa Porridge with Caramelized Bananas
A simple breakfast of quinoa in almond milk and maple syrup with fried bananas topped with some more maple syrup.
Time to get some more recipes on this food blog. I was on holidays for the last couple of weeks and for a good portion of that time I was disconnected from the net – it’s kind of nice not knowing what’s going on. So let’s just have some simple sweet recipes – this one’s from abitmoreveg.
Last week (January 2015) I was listening to the morning news and they mentioned some study which says you live longer if you eat oatmeal porridge – try telling my digestive system that. Oatmeal porridge is a delicious, creamy, healthy and very filling breakfast. If I could I’d eat it everyday, but unfortunately oats are only something I can have now and again.
That morning I did find myself having a bit of a craving for some porridge but I thought I’d make something that feels lighter in my tummy while still tasting very creamy and like a treat.
Quinoa is very nutritious. It is one of the few plant sources of complete protein and it also provides fibre and many minerals. You can find out more about how good quinoa is here.
I will admit that even if bananas were not healthy I would still be adding them to this porridge. But, as we all know, bananas are very good for you. And I recently read about two possible benefits to eating bananas that seem almost too good to be true.
The first really isn’t about bananas so much as the theory that it is more important to have a higher intake of potassium to sodium than it is to reduce your overall salt intake. Bananas are very rich in potassium. I love salt and it is the one thing I really could not go without so I’m really hoping this is true. I’m not entirely convinced – mostly because I’m worried about letting myself have as much salt as I like because I believe that I’m eating enough potassium rich foods to compensate. But I really hope this is true.
The second benefit of eating bananas is something I wasn’t aware of at all. Bananas apparently contain tryptophan, some of which the body converts to serotonin, the stuff that makes you feel good, and melatonin, the stuff that helps you sleep. So bananas, possibly, can make you feel better and sleep easier. Here is some more information on that. A lot of foods contain tryptophan, the richest sources are from animals, but there are plenty of good plant sources of tryptophan too. No wonder so many of us feel better after eating.
The bananas that I use in this are ripe but not to the stage that they are spotted brown, they are sunny yellow and not hard. It’s easier to caramelize banana if it is just ripe, i.e. yellow but not fully soft. I caramelized these when they were a little more ripe than this because it means you don’t need to add as much sugar (or maple syrup). The funny thing about banana is that the less ripe it is when you cook it (provided of course it’s not green and under-ripe) the more banana flavour it has. If you cook with very ripe (spotted brown) bananas they will barely taste of banana they just taste sweet. Lemon brings out the banana flavour and that’s why I sprinkle the slices with it.
This porridge is gluten-free but I wanted to point out that actually oats are naturally gluten-free also the reason why they are usually not suitable for suitable coeliacs is, I think, because of the way they are often collected and/or processed together with gluten-containing foods. So you can find gluten-free oats. I don’t think I have a problem with gluten – or oats really – but they are something I seem to have to limit a little. Just a little.
I have added a little butter to this but you can make it vegan by adding an extra tablespoon of oil and small pinch of finely ground salt.