Delicious Fuel: Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries and Mango

Breakfast around here is a pretty big deal. My boys wake up ravenous and want to eat within minutes of getting out of bed. Actually, they’d probably prefer to awaken to the smell of freshly baked waffles and sizzling bacon wafting up to their rooms. And me delivering it directly to their little beds. Who wouldn’t, really?

But since I don’t often have the time nor inclination to play Short Order Cook in the  morning, I’ve had to come up with a variety of hot breakfast options that are nutritious, filling, and don’t take an hour to prepare. Those boys can eat more at one sitting than I ever thought such little-men could! Feeding those kind of appetites first thing in the morning is asking a lot of me.

Let’s face it…I’m not a morning person so if I can’t make breakfast the night before and reheat it, or it can’t be done quickly the morning of, it’s not happening. Sorry, but those are the rules. I can’t be expected to be any more civilized before having adequate time to slug down enjoy a chai latte.

A girl’s got to have some Boundaries.

Packed with protein, whole grain quinoa, and super fruits, Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries and Mango is the perfect marriage between a healthy, hearty breakfast, and the ease in which to make it. The boys are satiated and I don’t have to break a sweat in the kitchen within minutes of getting out of bed in the morning.

Breaking a sweat over breakfast makes me cranky, and nobody wants to be around a cranky mama.

You too can enjoy a healthy breakfast in about 15 minutes by gathering some quinoa, fresh blueberries, a mango, and a little agave nectar.

Agave what?! Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a natural sugar derived from the Blue Agave plant. The end product is primarily fructose and glucose, and has a lower glycemic load than granulated sugar. (Read: your body breaks it down more slowly.) I can find it near the natural sugar alternatives which are, ironically enough, right next to the corn syrup at my grocery store.

But if you can’t find agave nectar where you are, go ahead and use honey or your sweetener of choice.

Rinse the quinoa well in cool water and drain.  The rinsing removes a bitter/soapy tasting residue that is natural to the plant. If you’ve ever eaten quinoa and it was bitter, it probably hadn’t been rinsed before cooking. Some distributors rinse their quinoa before it goes to market. Some don’t.  Honestly, I know my quinoa is pre-rinsed so I skip this step, but if you are even a little bit unsure, rinse the quinoa.

Bring a couple of cups of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Pour the quinoa into the pot.

Give the pot a quick stir with a wooden spoon to break up the clumps.

Quinoa cooks much like rice in that once the water has boiled, heat is reduced and the grains need to simmer to absorb the water. So place a well-fitting lid onto the pot and reduce the heat to low to simmer the quinoa for about 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, peel the mango. Fresh mangoes bring such a sunny sweetness to the table. Love it!

Slice the outer edges of the mango being careful not to slice into the pit. The thing about mango pits is that they’re kind of funky. Like a fibrous, woody kind of funky.

Trust me when I tell you that the last thing you want in your breakfast is something that is that kind of funky. Steer clear of the fibrous middle of the mango–it’ll ruin your breakfast.

Dice up the soft and juicy parts of the mango and set them aside.

By now the quinoa has absorbed most of the water. You’ll know that it is done because as the remaining water evaporates, steam will rise from the bottom of the pot, leaving tunnel-like holes on the surface.

Fluff the quinoa with a wooden spoon to break up the grains that have clumped together during cooking.

Divide the quinoa between four serving bowls. This recipe makes four generous servings–I’m feeding ravenous boys, after all. If you prefer a lighter amount, then you could easily coax six servings out of the recipe.

My boys like their breakfast quinoa to taste a lot like oatmeal, so I sprinkle it with ground cinnamon before drizzling a little agave nectar over top.

Then I drop in a few blueberries. Since this particular bowl was for Son #3, I skipped the mango all together and jumped straight to splashing a little milk over everything. Son #3 holds mangoes Under Suspicion. I guess I  do play Short Order Cook when it comes to toppings.

But if you don’t have any fruit-related hang-ups, I highly recommend adding the diced mango to the mix. They’re like a little burst of sunshine to start the day off right.


Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries and Mango

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:

2 C. water

1 C. dry quinoa (Rinsed if the package didn’t indicated that it had been before packaging.)

Agave nectar or honey, to taste

For Topping:

1 C. fresh blueberries (or frozen berries, thawed)

1 C. fresh mango, peeled & diced

Milk or half & half for drizzling

Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan.  Pour in quinoa into the water and stir. Cover the saucepan with a lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the water has been mostly absorbed and the quinoa is done. Quinoa is done when it has the texture of brown rice when bitten. (Usually after 10-12 minutes of simmer time.)
  2. Fluff quinoa with a spoon before dividing it between four serving bowls.
  3. Lightly drizzle each serving with agave nectar or honey, to taste.
  4. Top each serving with ¼ each of blueberries and diced mango.
  5. Drizzle with a generous splash of milk or half & half. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  6. Leftover quinoa can be stored without toppings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (Store toppings separately.)

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  1. says

    Mackenzy would LOVE this one! Thank you, dear! Hannah and Jeremiah are doing the Engine 2-28 day challenge and they have fallen in love with quinoa. And to think, your wonderful blog is where I learned how to pronounce it. :)

    • says

      Oh, yay! I hope that your girls try quinoa for breakfast. And now you’ll sound extra hip & smart when you pronounce quinoa correctly! 😉 That Engine 2-28 challenge sounds tough–I wish Hannah & Jeremiah luck with that one!

  2. vfiles says

    I have never been able to cook quinoa properly. I can’t figure out where I go wrong, but it all ends up bursting and looking like little strings. I simmer it instead of boiling it, and I always follow the recipe exactly. So quinoa and I aren’t friends. But I want to be friends. I want to sit at the same table at lunch and share diaries. TELL ME HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS, KIRSTEN! I want to join your cool kids club, too!

  3. says

    Mmmmm! I’m a new follower and I tried your snow painting. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I left linky love on my blog with fun kiddo activities!

    Gianne at


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