Toasted Almond Quinoa Bake

by Gena on December 26, 2012

almond quinoa bake

I hope you all had the most lovely of Christmas celebrations! And that those of you who don’t observe Christmas had a happy Tuesday. My holiday was low key, which was the right mood for this season. There was gift opening by the tree, followed by hot yoga, followed by some time with a good friend who’s in town, and then dinner at the home of a another good friend. My contributions included a farro salad I’ll be posting soon, my lentil and sweet potato loaf (a hit last year and this year!), and my vegan pumpkin pie, which I made with an experimental oat crust. Too grainy and not as good as my regular vegan pie crust, so I’ll need to fiddle a little more with a whole grain version.

But I’m skipping over the best part of Christmas day, in my opinion, which is Christmas morning breakfast. There’s nothing quite as cozy as enjoying something warm beneath the tree. I tend to make porridge of some kind on Christmas, but this year I was curious to see how a baked porridge—using quinoa rather than traditional oats—might turn out. I added currents and coconut milk, and it turned out very nicely indeed.

Odd as it may sound to bake whole grains, rather than simmer them as is the custom, I think it’s actually quite a bit easier. You don’t have to stop and check it more than once, and you don’t have to deal with bubbles and spills. Just be sure to use a baking dish that isn’t too shallow, since the liquid will boil in the oven and can easily overflow if you happen to use a dish that’s too small or doesn’t have high enough sides. You can bake most any grain—oats, quinoa, millet, rice, kasha, farro—and you can choose either a sweet or a savory taste profile. I probably do more sweet/breakfasty grain bakes than savory ones, but I definitely like the dish both ways.

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Toasted Almond Quinoa Bake (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4-6

1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (full fat or light)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup currents
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp flax meal
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup almond slivers or slices

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix all ingredients except almonds together in a casserole or baking dish, making sure that there is at least 1 1/2 inches of extra rim on the sides of the dish. The quinoa will plump up as it cooks.

3. Bake the quinoa for 45 minutes, or until all liquid has absorbed (it may take up to an hour). Sprinkle the almonds on top and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the almonds are a little golden.

4. Allow mixture to cool a bit. Cut into 4-6 slices and serve, topped with a drizzle of coconut milk.

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The texture of this breakfast is great—someplace in between porridge and a whole grain cake, if that makes any sense at all. (Probably not.) And I love the faint scent and taste of coconut, not to mention the spices. You could definitely substitute millet, steel cut oats, or kasha here; just be mindful of the fact that they’ll have varying baking times. Check on them often.

I hope you’ll give this breakfast a try soon. It’s easy, delicious, and filling. In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy this festive week. I’ll be back tomorrow with a new and delicious salad from Food52!

xo

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby December 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm

That’s such an interesting recipe. Although I’ve seen a million oatmeal bakes, I’ve yet to try it myself simply because I’m one person and wouldn’t eat a whole toasted almond quinoa bake. However, for the holidays? Great idea :)

I’ve been addicted to farro lately, even moreso than rice (which is saying something.) I love the toothsome texture and the nutty taste. It’s now become a weekly staple!

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hannah December 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Abby I bet this would be great in oven-ramekins – that’s how I plan to make it for myself!

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Vegyogini December 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

This is definitely going on the must-make list!

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Gabby @ the veggie nook December 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Wow this looks amazing Gena! I made a baked dish for Christmas morning too. The warmth of baked dishes is just perfect for the occasion :)

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Sujata December 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hi Gena,
Great recipe. I want to try it soon. I do not have currants and flax meal at home – is there anything I could substitute these with?
Thanks,
Sujata

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Gena December 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

You can use raisins for currents. The flax isn’t essential!

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hannah December 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Wow I never knew you could bake grains! This looks lovely. I would sooo love to see a savoury version on here sometime soon too – I guess a diluted cashew-nooch sauce might work? Maybe bake some kabocha into it too?

And sending you very warmest wishes for the time of year xxxxxxxxx

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Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) December 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm

What a gorgeous dish and I love seeing your Corningware…I have some of that from my grandmother’s kitchen. Happy holidays, Gena!

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Gena December 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

And to you, Carrie!

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Carol December 27, 2012 at 9:19 am

This sounds wonderful! I love a warm breakfast this time of year. I do have a simple question (and it may be obvious). Did you cook this uncovered?

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Kelly Turnbull December 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Love this, Gena. Thanks for reminding me grains (and seeds) can be baked… for some reason that slips my mind often. I look forward to trying this recipe.

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Rebecca December 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

This looks amazing! Two quick questions: 1) do you have the flax seeds in there for consistency purposes or just nutritional? i.e. if I leave them out, will this recipe still “work”? Or if not, anything I can sub for the flax seeds to get the same consistency? and 2) Do you soak your quinoa overnight before you make this? I do soak mine, so I was wondering if this is the quinoa-liquid ratio for soaked grains or if I need to use a bit less liquid? Thanks so much – this will be great with different seasonal variations, can’t wait to try!

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Gena December 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

1) You can use ground chia and
2) I don’t soak my quinoa, but I do think the amount of liquid needed will change if you do. I’d try using half a cup less at least. Hope it works!

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zosia December 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

you aren’t soaking the quinoa? what about the enzyme inhibitors?

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Gena December 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Zosia,

I think this problem is a bit overblown, and have never had a problem from not soaking my quinoa.

G

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Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! December 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Wow, this looks absolutely delicious! And not just for a special holiday breakfast – I might just add this to my weekly breakfast-prep rotation.
Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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Kim December 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Wow, I never thought of doing this with anything other than oats. I love the idea of baking quinoa for breakfast =)

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Ricki December 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Yep, definitely my kinda breakfast! And I love baked grains, too.

Glad you had such a relaxing, rejuvenating Christmas! Always best to spend time with people who mean the most. :)

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Franz December 31, 2012 at 1:18 am

I was able to read some great information in 2011 about Quinoa and from then, I continue to search for more information because I’m one of the million folks out there who love to follow a healthy diet. Well, I think this is a very interesting meal to enjoy even for the whole family..Thanks for sharing ;))

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melanie January 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Ok, I saw this recipe and had to give it a try. OH my goodness! It’s so awesome! I made it two days in a row for my husband and I and some guests we had overnight. I made some changes to it because I didn’t have some ingredients – like honey instead of maple syrup, almond milk instead of coconut milk, raisins instead of currents. The second day I added chopped, fresh cranberries to the mix. It’s simple and scrumptious! Thanks!

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Amber January 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

This sounds delicious! Is this a recipe you can make and have the next day?

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Danielle January 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

I just made and devoured this. It was so delicious and worth the hour wait!. I used raisins and they plumped beautifully. Mine cooked an hour plus 10 min. for the almonds – the texture was perfect. Great recipe and thanks!

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Cory K April 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Delicious addition to my mornings; thank you so much! I thought the overall texture would be more consistent/crisp (but I am weary of the stove I used). Would I screw anything up if I made a flax-egg and then added this to the mix before baking? Thanks regardless!

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Gena April 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I think that should work fine, Cory!

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