Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

BY : PUBLISHED : October 27th, 2021

Cinnamon Orange Quinoa is a great way to shake up your usual breakfast meal routine. This orange-infused porridge is flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded with chewy, sweet dried fruits or berries.  It is a no-fuss and simple yet invigorating morning treat that will get you pumped up for the day ahead.

completed Cinnamon Orange Quinoa in a bowl against a light surface

We just love Quinoa! Aside from being a fantastic source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, it is simple to prepare and super versatile. It can be made into a sweet or savory dish depending on what you are hankering for. With a splash of orange juice and a sprinkle of orange zest, this recipe is a citrusy and sweet way to enjoy it for breakfast. It tastes light and refreshing but has enough oomph and energy-boosters to get you through the day.

Ingredients Used to Make Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

Spruce up your plain quinoa with these easy-to-find ingredients!

  • Quinoa – White quinoa is perfect for this recipe as it is super light and fluffy.  It also has a more neutral taste that works best for dishes on the sweeter side.  However, feel free to use other types of quinoa.
  • Vanilla plant-based milk – if you cannot find any vanilla-flavored dairy-free milk, you can buy a regular-flavored one and just mix a few drops of vanilla essence.
  • Orange juice and orange zest- bring a sweet and citrusy flavor and are good sources of Vitamin C and help cleanse our body from toxic substances.
  • Granulated sugar – sweetens the porridge further.
  • Cinnamon – A little amount of cinnamon goes a long way, so you only need a pinch. It adds a warm and comforting fall flavor to your morning.
  • Nutmeg – The flavor of nutmeg brings out the best in everything it touches. Especially good when paired with cinnamon.
  • Dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins – these sweet and tangy bits also add a chewy texture to the dish.

Cinnamon Orange Quinoa Ingredients ingredients on a white surface

How to Make Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

This recipe is quite simple to prepare. This hearty and filling breakfast or snack may be made in just three steps.

  1. Over medium heat, combine the quinoa, plant-based milk, and orange juice – adding all seasonings and mixing until well combined.
  2. Allow it to come to a mild boil before increasing the heat to medium-high. Continue to cook until the boil becomes more aggressive. Bring it to bubble for a minute, then reduce to low heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until it becomes soft. Cover with a lid.
  3. Serve with fresh orange zest, nutmeg, and dried fruit while it’s still hot!

process showing cinnamon orange quinoa in pot with cinnamon and a whisk against a white background process showing cinnamon orange quinoa ingredients being mixed in a pot process showing cinnamon orange quinoa ingredients being mixed in a pot process showing cinnamon orange quinoa in a pot

Tips and Recommendations

  • Orange Bowl.  If you are serving this dish for brunch with guests, make it fancier by serving them on orange peels as bowls.  Hollow out the center and fill with this cooked Cinnamon Orange Quinoa and serve.
  • No zester, no problem.  A vegetable peeler and a sharp knife are all you need to make orange zest. Avoid the bitter white pith by removing only a tiny strip of peel at a time. Using a sharp knife, cut them into strips or finely chop them.
  • Roll and Squeeze.  Roll the orange around on your kitchen counter a few times before squeezing it. Rolling it causes the fruit’s cell walls to disintegrate, allowing the juice to flow more freely. Also, because cold fruit yields less juice, slightly warm the orange before squeezing it.

Notes when Cooking Quinoa

If you are cooking quinoa for the first time, we have a great guide that is all about quinoa. Here are also some helpful tips for you to follow:

  1. Rinse the quinoa. Although it is safe to use right from the box, washing the quinoa will remove the natural bitter taste.
  2. Don’t forget the salt. Quinoa has a pretty bland flavor. If you’re making plain quinoa, a pinch of salt can help bring out the nutty flavor.
  3. Don’t overcook. For the best results, I always recommend following the directions in the recipe or on the box. Using too much liquid or cooking it for too long can lead to a mushy or lumpy consistency.
  4. Allow the quinoa to rest. Allowing the quinoa to stand will enable it to fully “pop.” This prevents it from clumping together and helps it dry until fluffy, ensuring that you don’t end up with clumpy wet quinoa.

completed close up of Cinnamon Orange Quinoa in a bowl against a light surface

Possible Variations

  1. Fruits. Add whichever seasonal or dried fruits you like to your spiced quinoa.  Aside from those I mentioned in the ingredients, you can include raspberries, blueberries, peaches, mangoes, dates, and a lot more options to your liking.
  2. Nuts and seeds. For that added texture, add almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or pecans.  Chia or flaxseeds are also good additions.
  3. Cooked Grains.  Quinoa can be combined with oats, couscous, or other grains.
  4. Spices. Cardamom, pumpkin spice, or ginger powder are all great options if you want some variety for your breakfast porridge.

Storing Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

  • Fridge.  Store any leftover cooked quinoa in an airtight container to keep out any moisture or contamination. Always keep it in the fridge to avoid spoilage. It should last 5 days.
  • Freezer.  Cooked quinoa can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container.
  • Reheat. Simply microwave for 1 minute with a splash of plant-based milk or water. Another way is to warm it slowly over low heat, carefully covered to allow the grains to rehydrate from the steam. Stir constantly, and don’t be afraid to add extra water or plant-based milk if the quinoa appears to be drying out or becoming sticky.
  • Make ahead. Cook the grains ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for easy reheating on busy days.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is quinoa healthy?  Yes, Quinoa is abundant in fiber, protein, and various other nutrients and has a fluffy texture comparable to rice.
  • Is quinoa a protein or a carb? Quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate as well as a whole protein.
  • Can I use couscous as a substitute?  Absolutely, couscous is a great option or alternative.

completed Cinnamon Orange Quinoa in a bowl against a light surface

More Quinoa Recipes that you’ll surely enjoy!

  1. Cheesy Quinoa Bowl – Indulge in this classic bowl of comfort with a healthy twist, perfect for lunch or snack.
  2. Brown Quinoa Chipotle Bowl – It’s a feast of fresh veggies bursting with spices and flavor in a bowl.
  3. Easy Fall Recipe – Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl – This recipe is incredibly adaptable, allowing you to substitute ingredients depending on what you have on hand and still gives you an amazing flavor.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Cinnamon Orange Quinoa in a bowl against a light surface

Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

Margaret Chapman
This Cinnamon Orange Quinoa is a great way to shake up your usual breakfast meal routine. This orange-infused porridge is flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded with chewy, sweet dried fruits or berries. It is a no-fuss and simple yet invigorating morning treat that will get you pumped up for the day ahead.
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 197 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 ½ cups vanilla plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • A handful of dried cherries cranberries, or raisins

Instructions
 

  • Combine quinoa, plant-based milk, and orange juice over medium heat, stirring in all the seasonings and mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Let it come to a light boil and then up the heat to medium-high until the boil becomes more aggressive. Let it bubble for a minute, then drop the heat to simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until tender, placing a lid on top.
  • Serve hot with fresh orange zest, nutmeg, and dried fruit!

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 205mgPotassium: 262mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 215mgIron: 2mg
Keyword breakfast, breakfast quinoa, cinnamon, dessert, fall, gf, gluten free, glutenfree, orange, orange quinoa, quinoa, sweet, sweet quinoa
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Margaret Chapman

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