This week we want to share some of our favorite healthy crockpot recipes! We often think of the crockpot or slow cooker as a winter appliance for making delicious warm soups and stews, but it’s also a great appliance for summer! In the summer it can keep our kitchens from getting hot from oven cooking, and sometimes we’re just gone for several hours and want to have a meal when we get back.
So, I’m starting the week with Quinoa for Breakfast! <3
Quinoa is a terrific food to add to your families diet. Quinoa is perfect for kids because it is:
- Easily digestible (for those little sensitive tummies)
- Low on the glycemic index (minimizes wild swings in blood sugars)
- Full of minerals and amino acids
- Rich source of folate! (which is more easily absorbed than the synthetic: folic acid)
If you’ve tried to serve your kids quinoa before, and they didn’t like it- don’t give up! It’s actually taken me several times to make it taste good. The first few times, none of us liked it! It just takes some practice, so here are the tips we’ve learned along the way:
- Soak and Rinse! When you don’t do this step well, your quinoa will absolutely have a bad flavor. Some people say it tastes like soap, or it tastes bitter. I just think it tastes weird. Quinoa should take on the flavor of the foods you cook it with more than anything- and rinsing will help. If your quinoa says “pre-rinsed”, rinse it anyway! Use a mesh lined strainer to not lose any seeds.
- Don’t overcook or under cook! Your appliances or stove top may be different than mine, so experiment till you get it right. I find on the stove top, I can never get it just right, but in a pressure cooker or rice cooker, it’s much easier! For a pressure cooker, I use the high setting, and pressure cook for 2 minutes, and slow release pressure for 10. Quinoa should be fluffy!
- Use the right liquid to quinoa ratio. On the stove top or rice cooker, use 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. In the slow cooker 3 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Pressure cooker: 1 1/2 cups quinoa to 2 1/4 cups liquid.
- Flavor it up! There are many recipes for quinoa salads and dishes.. the flavor makes everything. Which is why this sweet breakfast is the perfect gateway for those kids on the fence about quinoa!
- Let it sit- after it’s cooked, turn everything off and let it absorb the last of the liquid for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
So, on to our Crockpot Breakfast Quinoa! We used
- Coconut water
- dried cranberries
- sliced almonds
- and coconut
We put it all in the crockpot on low for 4 hours. And that’s it! That’s the beauty of a slow cooker. Throw it all in and walk away. Once it’s cooked, you are ready to eat.
We also have made this with a pressure cooker, and while I love using a crockpot, the quinoa does come out a bit lighter in the pressure cooker (see the color difference between the image above and below? In the pressure cooker, this dish took only 12 minutes~
So, follow the full recipe below and let us know if you try it! Even if you’re kids have been hesitant to try quinoa- definitely give this Coconut Cranberry Crockpot Quinoa Recipe a try!
More Crockpot Recipes: