As life seems to hurry by we often forget to nurture and nourish ourselves properly. Yes, you can pep yourself up with multi-vitamins and relieve cold and flu symptoms with paracetamol but I don’t believe there to be anything more powerful for the promotion of health than what you put into your mouth.
The kitchen can be your health spa, your medicine cabinet and the heart or your health if you let it.
For a little inspiration I thought I’d share my favourite cold weather breakfast. Apple and rhubarb are cooked and spiked with orange, ginger and vanilla and are piled on top of nut-studded quinoa that has been gently simmered in almond milk and cinnamon. Served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, honey and coconut, this bowl of goodness will fill you up and have you smiling from ear to ear.
For the rhubarb:
2 stalks rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 8cm pieces
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract – or half a vanilla pod, scraped
The skin of ½ orange, shaved into strips
2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger
½ cup water
For the apple:
1 large red apple, peeled and chopped into rough chunks
½ cup water
For the quinoa:
¾ cup quinoa, well rinsed under cold water
1 cup almond milk – feel free to use any milk here – hazelnut, coconut, soy and dairy all work well
¼ cup water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup walnuts and almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup flaked coconut
Greek yoghurt, to serve
Honey, to serve
Extra almond milk, to serve
To prepare the rhubarb, heat the oven 180C. Place the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, ginger and water in a bowl and toss to coat. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and roast, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Set aside.
To save time the apple chunks can be put into the roasting dish with the rhubarb and cooked until tender. I usually do this bit separately following these steps:
Place the apple and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently over medium heat for approx. 15 minutes, until the apples are cooked enough to be able to mash gently with a fork. Set aside.
For the quinoa, place the rinsed quinoa, milk and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer (with the lid on) for 12 minutes, or until the milk and water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Don’t stir the quinoa at this point but remove from the heat, put the lid back on a let sit for another 5 or so minutes so that the quinoa has a chance to steam and fluff up.
When ready to serve divide the quinoa between two bowls. Top with the apple, rhubarb and nuts. Add a big dollop of unsweetened Greek yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and some shaved coconut. Serve with a little extra warmed almond milk if desired.