I like making traditionally savory foods into sweet foods…
and I like making any food as healthy as I can. Especially now, since I decided I’m ONLY making HEALTHY snacks….for the time being.
I’m still coming down from Cookie Season. What I’m saying is I’m trying to fit back into my jeans over here…so, quinoa.
I can’t take credit for the idea of Peanut Butter Quinoa; I totally mooched the idea off my friend (and amazing health food chef/nutritionist) Irena Shnayder. Actually, I’m always inspired to recreate Irena’s dishes because they’re always so unique and flavorful that you forget how nutritious they are! She made this dish as a breakfast porridge and Dan and I loved it. I knew I had to recreate it to have around for a quick on the go breakfast and high protein snack. Perfect for some mid afternoon energy or pre workout fuel!
I knew I wanted this to be high protein, fairly low in fat for a peanut butter dish, not too high in sugar and of course low sodium. I tried to really build up the flavors to make that hefty goal possible; in the end Dan and I were quite pleased with the results.
To make sure the dish was flavorful I started out by toasting the dry quinoa in a bit of coconut oil then I added the tiniest pinch of Hawaiian sea salt to the water. While the quinoa boiled and simmered I snacked on this little guy
because I’m a slave to anything 100 calorie which I highly recommend for healthy snacking…mmm…
After your snack, go ahead and line up your pretty little cast of characters:
To keep the fat content on the lower end I used dehydrated peanut flour, which is also far lower in sodium than a traditional jar of Skippy. To amp up the peanut butter flavor and boost the creaminess I added a small bit of Simply Jif (Dan’s favorite peanut butter which is also the lowest in sodium of all the processed grocery brand peanut butters–you could use any peanut butter you’d like though!) and a hefty dose of good vanilla extract. To sweeten it all up I used a mix of honey and agave nectar which lends sweetness and flavor but keeps it low glycemic.
All in all, I was super pleased with the way this dish turned out!! It tastes like peanut butter cookie dough with a nice textured, nutty bite from the quinoa. The vanilla extract just gives it a rich underlying sweetness that I love.
I ended up jarring half of it up into this nice little mason jar for Dan to take to work (I’m sure he’ll love touting a ribbon wrapped glass jar around with him..) so he can have a nice handy breakfast ready to go.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!!
Sweet Peanut Butter Quinoa
This recipe makes about 3 cups of quinoa, about 6-8 servings (depending if you have it as a snack or a meal).
– 1 TBSP Coconut Oil
– 1 Cup Quinoa (I used a mix of red and white quinoa; you can use whatever kind you have on hand!)
– 2 Cups Water
– 1 1/4 Cup Skim Milk
– 3/4 Cup Dehydrated Peanut Flour (can absolutely sub PB2, which I would have used but I ran out of mine this past weekend, or any dried peanut butter–usually found in health food stores)
– 1 1/2 TBSP Simply Jif Peanut Butter (or your favorite peanut butter)
– 2 TBSP Honey
– 2 TBSP Agave Nectar
– 1/2 TBSP Bourbon Vanilla Extract
– Sea salt, to taste
Melt 1 TBSP of coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add dry quinoa and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the pot with the quinoa and oil and bring to a rolling boil (uncovered). Add the tiniest pinch of sea salt. After the water comes to a boil bring your heat to the absolute lowest possible setting. Cover your pot and let simmer, covered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take the pot of quinoa off the heat and let sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.
Then, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Pour the quinoa into your mixing bowl. Add the skim milk, stir, then add peanut flour and stir until it is all combined and thickens up. Then, add your peanut butter, honey and agave and stir, stir, stir until it’s all completely combined. Finally, add your vanilla extract and stir one last time. The quinoa should be thick and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Can be served warm, room temperature or cold from the fridge. I like mine cold from the fridge topped with chopped peanuts and halved grapes! Enjoy!