Pear and Quinoa for breakfast

I didn’t realise that so many were unfamiliar with quinoa, so an introduction is in order. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain which was apparently eaten by the Inca’s which is why I associate it with The Mysterious Cities of Gold and probably also why it holds a special place in my heart. There are several varieties, though I have only tried the regular pale one and the red. Quinoa has many health benefits, but in all honesty I find the taste a little bland. It is slightly earthy and quite nutty, but for me, it’s lack of flavour and wonderful nutritional properties makes it perfect for breakfast, when often you don’t want something that is punch-in-the-face flavour. Your quinoa will need to be cooked, and when it is the tiny grains puff up and little spirals pop out, and can be used in a number of ways, such as salads, as breakfasts or as a replacement for other grains. 


Two breakfast post in a row. Well, sometimes all I feel like eating is breakfast. Especially on chilly, rainy Sundays when you need all the energy you can muster to fight what feels like a losing battle. When you don’t want to read your email for fear of what you might find. To give up now would be easy, but it feels so wrong to step down and just allow someone else to benefit from your hard work. So, this sunday was filled with reading and thinking and breakfasts.


For a while now I had been eyeing off a fruity cinnamon quinoa recipe at 101 Cookbooks. Although I had red quinoa in the cupboard, none of the other ingredients were to be found, and I certainly wasn’t going out in the rain. So I used a pear instead, just ripe and sweet and when warmed through with the nutty quinoa and cinnamon it complemented wonderfully. Add almonds for crunch and second breakfast was served, giving me just enough energy to fight a little longer.


Quinoa and Pear, for Breakfast
Adapted from the the Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa on 101 Cookbooks.

serves 2 or 3.

1/2 cup quinoa, I used red, though this is not necessary/
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 pear, cut into small cubes.
1/2t ground cinnamon
2t sugar
handful of toasted almonds.

Rinse quinoa well. Carefully shake as much water as you can off and place in a pan with the water and milk. Cook covered over medium heat, stirring frequently until quinoa is cooked, about 15 mins. When the quinoa is ready, stir in the pear, cinnamon and sugar and heat through. Serve sprinkled with almonds.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


  1. Posted May 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    You’ve inspired me to attempt to cook quinoa again. Last time I tried, I followed the microwave directions on the box and ended up with the most enormous mess!

    Reemski’s last blog post..Pony, The Rocks

  2. Posted May 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    This is the first time I’ve come across quinoa. Based on your photos, it doesn’t look too bad as breakfast fare.

  3. Posted May 11, 2009 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    I have no idea what quinoa is either but it looks interesting. What do they taste like?

  4. Posted May 11, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Damn this looks gorgeous.

    I know what you mean about checking emails, I get the feeling every morning I check my email at work in fear of forgetting to do something the day before.

    Howard’s last blog post..Take it slow wine dinner MuMu Grill, Crows Nest

  5. Posted May 11, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    It sounds like a nice breakfast with cinnamon and pear. I have quinoa in the cupboard, so hopefully knowing it only needs 15 min cooking will inspire me to use it.

    I hope a good breakfast got you through your bad day.

    Arwen from Hoglet K’s last blog post..A Food Tour of Hartley

  6. Ella
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    My Sundays are always filled with reading and thinking and breakfasts. Now they can be filled with quinoa too! I’d never thought about eating quinoa for breakfast. This looks awesome. Any suggestions for a sugar alternative? An alternative that isn’t honey? Would it work without the sweetener?

  7. Posted May 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, you learn something new everyday. Thanks for introducing a new food to me! My first impression, I thought quinoa might be a strange new grafted fruit variety related to quince and feijoa. Clearly I would’ve gotten that question wrong at Trivia. I have no idea how they would taste, their texture – zero point of reference. I’ve gotta go buy some of this stuff and try it for myself now.

    Forager’s last blog post..Masterchef Australia: The Martini Club battle

  8. Posted May 12, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Never knew of Quinoa – thought they look just like mustard seeds!

    Yas’s last blog post..Susan’s mini house warming & Miracle fruit tasting test

  9. Posted May 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    i haven’t tried it before but looks super healthy!
    s :-)

    Simon Food Favourites’s last blog post..Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Sydney (13 May 2009)

  10. Posted May 17, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Very nice! I must try this, looks simple and wholesome. I have cooked quinoa with jaggery and milk in the past to form a loose porridge, topped with some light butter, utterly yum!

    Sneh | Gel’s Kitchen’s last blog post..Potato Proscuitto And Matzo Balls For Paperchef

  11. Posted May 20, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Reemski: Oh no! Although this recipe is prepared like a porridge, I have also successfully cooked quinoa in plenty of boiling water. Try again!

    Simon: Oh, I put in a little ‘quinoa 101’ at the top of this post. I had eaten it previously in salads and warmed as an accompaniment to a main meal, but this was my first sweet quinoa and breakfast experiment, and it worked really well.

    FFichiban: See my quinoa intro at the top of the post. It is a little nutty with a very subtle flavour, perfect for breakfast!

    Howard: Thanks. Yeah, checking the emails, has to be done – just sometimes not on a Sunday :)

    Arwen: It did, it did. It is a shame your quinoa didn’t live up to expectation.

    Ella: Um, ok. It would be a bit boring without the sugar, can you have agave syrup/nectar? If so, then you could use that. You need to have some sweet pear with it, or other fruit, or it would be boring.

    Forager: No worries. Haha! I love the quince cross with feijoa! I put a little into up the top of the post, but the texture changed depending on how far you cook it. The ones in the pictures still had just a little bit of a bite, a little bit like tiny tiny grains of brown rice. Give it a go :)

    Yas: Hah, now that would make an interesting breakfast! :)

    Simon Food Favourites: It is super healthy, full of all that good stuff that isn’t sugar/fat.

    Sneh | Gel’s Kitchen: Wholesome is a great word for it. Oh, that sounds great, what is light butter?

  12. Posted May 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Looks good! I like making breakfasts like this with quinoa.

  13. Posted July 7, 2009 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed reading this thank you!

  14. Posted September 2, 2011 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    This looks lovely! I am not an oatmeal lover as I find the texture to mushy – but this looks like something I could do :) I am going to give it a try.
    I just wanted to say I have been googling breakfast quinoa recipes for about 40 minutes and your recipe is the best sounding one so far! I’m going to give it a try – thanks for posting it.
    Jo and Sue´s last [type] ..Quinoa Salad

  15. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I just made a variation of your wonderful recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. Here is the link to our blog if you want to have a look.
    Jo and Sue´s last [type] ..Breakfast Quinoa

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