Quinoa, lightly spiced and sweetened with maple syrup, then topped with walnut cream and fruit, makes a grand change from your typical breakfast cereal. Serve the quinoa warm, cold or at room temperature, and when fresh blueberries are not in season, substitute frozen or dried berries, or dried cranberries or cherries. Note that the walnut cream needs to be started the day before you use it.
For the walnut cream:
- 1 cup California walnuts
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (use a little more if you want a slightly sweeter cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted California walnuts
- To prepare the walnut cream, put the walnuts in a bowl, add water to cover and let stand overnight. The next day, drain the walnuts well and spread on a baking pan. Toast in a preheated 350ºF oven for 8 – 10 minutes, then cool completely.
- Put the walnuts, 1 cup water, the lemon juice, maple syrup and salt in a blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth, 1 – 2 minutes. Transfer the cream to a bowl or jar. (A food processer may also be used to make walnut cream, though it will not be quite as smooth.)
- To prepare the quinoa, rinse it in a strainer and drain it well. In a medium-sized saucepan bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low, then cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside off heat to cool for a few minutes; then fluff the quinoa up with a fork.
- When you are ready to serve, stir the 1/2 cup of prepared walnut cream, the orange juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into the cooked quinoa. Serve the quinoa in bowls, and top each serving with a dollop of the remaining walnut cream, a small handful of blueberries and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts.