Slow Cooker Apple Pie Breakfast Quinoa (Wonderbag)

I know I lost some of you right there at the title. Quinoa for breakfast? 

Hear me out. 

Have you ever thought about why certain grains get placed into certain categories? Why oatmeal for breakfast and not rice? Why is cream of wheat usually sweet and grits are usually savory? Why do we serve polenta with chicken at dinner time but grits with eggs at breakfast? 

I'm sure there are legitimate cultural and sociological reasons for all of these categories, but I'm not convinced we have to follow them. Or that we should. 

I don't know about you, but making sure I have enough oomph in my breakfast to keep me going until lunch is kind of critical. And I'm not a "I'll just have a coffee" kind of gal. I need protein. I need something that will stick around until at least 11:15. 

Breakfast quinoa consistently gets me there. And for mornings when I don't want a smoothie or when I need to have something ready the night before, it's a perfect go-to. 

Besides, all the cool kids are doing it.  

The reason this recipe is a little bit extra awesome is that (1) it tastes a bit like apple pie, and (2) you can make it in a slow cooker (aka it can be ready when you wake up in the morning). I used my Wonderbag, but you could make this in a regular slow cooker as well. The trick with a regular slow cooker is to make sure you have it on low if you're going to cook it overnight. 

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Apple Pie Breakfast Quinoa (in the Wonderbag)
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups almond, soy, or coconut milk, divided
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or other non-dairy margarine)
raisins, optional
walnuts, optional

1. Place the quinoa, water, 1 1/2 cups of the non-dairy milk, and apple into a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. 
2. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a rolling boil and add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and Earth Balance. Let cook for 5-7 minutes. 
3. Remove the pot from the heat and place into the Wonderbag for 2 hours (can be as long as overnight). If you are using a traditional slow cooker, you can throw all the ingredients in without the first two steps, but make sure to turn the slow cooker to low if you are doing it overnight. 
4. Remove the quinoa from the Wonderbag (or turn off your slow cooker) and mix in the final 1 1/2 cups of non-dairy milk to make things extra creamy. Stir in raisins and walnuts if you'd like. 

As you can see, this makes a lot. I brought some to a brunch potluck and also packed some up into jars for a few breakfasts this week! 

p.s. Cheese + Chive Fried Grits - for breakfast OR dinner. Bam.

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