I started a Sugar Experiment on Wednesday to see if eliminating added sugars in my diet for a month improves my health or facilitates weight loss. In anticipation of this new diet change (I call it a diet derailment), I bought a half gallon of apple juice. I thought I might try making an apple juice quinoa porridge and replacing the sweetener in my salad dressings with apple juice.
I do not normally have juice in the house, but I hoped a little juice would help ease my transition to a low sugar diet. I knew at the very least, I would need something to sweeten my yogurt. I usually stir quinoa into sweetened yogurt, but I bought a 32-ounce tub of fat-free yogurt for this experiment that is tart in the extreme.
Yesterday morning, I made my first version of apple juice quinoa porridge. It was warm, sweet, and oh-so-comforting with the cinnamon.
I have to warn you, though, when you cook with juice, most of the quinoa does not fully cook and release its germ ring. You can cook it for a half hour, but all you will manage to do is cook off the liquid, and you will still be left with many whole seeds that have a chewy texture similar to when you soak quinoa.
I do not know why this is, but I have run into this situation two other times: once, when I cooked breakfast quinoa with Wild Berry Zinger tea (affiliate link), and another time, when I cooked it with orange juice. Someone has suggested perhaps the vitamin C impairs the transformation. I’ll leave the scientific explanation to Aldon Brown when he gets around to investigating it.
Anyway, don’t worry. Cook the quinoa for fifteen minutes, let it sit for five, and then enjoy the chewy, somewhat soupy porridge. I made this as an individual serving, but you can certainly multiple it by as many people as you plan to serve.
Apple Juice Quinoa Porridge
- 1/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of salt
- optional: dash of cayenne pepper
Rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff with fork, then let stand covered for five more minutes.
Apple Juice Quinoa Porridge Diluted
I wanted to see if diluting the juice would cook the quinoa more completely while still providing enough sweetness. Today, I cooked a porridge with 1/3 cup quinoa, 1/3 cup water, and 1/3 cup apple juice. More of the seeds gave up their germ rings, but the texture was still very chewy. The porridge was not particularly sweet, and I would not bother cooking apple juice quinoa porridge with diluted juice again.
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image of apples courtesy of ollesvensson