A warming, spiced quinoa porridge


While oats are delicious and good for you, some may find them heavy and a bit hard on their tummies.

I am one of those people.

I had almost written off porridge as a breakfast staple until I substituted the oats for quinoa flakes.

Normally I find quinoa flakes a bit bitter, but toasting then in some ghee or coconut oil fixes that problem.

Besides being gluten-free and much, much lighter on the tummy, quinoa flakes are also a lot quicker to cook than your standard rolled oats.

Which means you get a wholesome, yummy breakfast in your tummy more quickly.

I must thank Lorien of Wholesome Loving Goodness for the inspiration for this Ayurvedic-style porridge recipe — I was blessed to eat a similar creation of hers while visiting Byron Bay for the Spirit festival recently.

And ever since that trip, I’ve been mindfully devouring this porridge for breakfast — I simply can’t get enough of it!


Serves 2–3

Cooking time: 15 minutes

This recipe is gluten-free.

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 8 cardamom pods, husks removed (use seeds only)
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp chemical-free currants
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1.5 – 2 cups freshly boiled water
  • coconut sugar, to serve
  • blanched almonds or activated nuts, to serve

Heat ghee over low heat in a medium-sized pot

Gently toast spices in ghee for a minute

Add quinoa and coconut

Continue to toast for another couple of minutes, stirring continually

Add currants, 1.5 cups water and all the milk

Bring mixture to a boil

Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer

Stir continually as would while making polenta (a wooden spoon works best)

Your porridge is ready in 3–4 minutes as it thickens up, you can add the remaining water if it’s too thick for you

Serve sprinkled with coconut sugar (it’s lovely when it melts!) and nuts

Extras will keep in fridge for up to a week

Re-heat any leftovers with a little water or milk


  • Vegan — use coconut oil instead of ghee, and coconut milk or nut milk for the milk
  • Another grain — amaranth or rice flakes would work well too. I used a mix of amaranth and quinoa flakes for my last batch. Or you could use oats (wont be gluten-free unless you can buy GF oats) —  it will take longer to cook, though, and will better if you soak overnight before cooking.
  • Another sweetener — add little raw honey, maple syrup or rapadura sugar before serving

16 thoughts on “A warming, spiced quinoa porridge”

  1. Hi Lesh, I was just wondering what the health benefits of ghee are,I always thought it was just something fattening but delicious!

  2. Hi Lesh – this is excellent and has become my default breakfast for the past few weeks. It was exactly what I was looking for as I had the bitterness issue with quinoa when trying to make a tasty porridge without oats. I do it with butter (instead of ghee because we don’t have any), I skip the fennel and cardamon but use cinnamon and nutmeg, sweeten with honey – just as I typically do with oat-based porridge. It keeps beautifully in the fridge for many days as you wrote, so I make a big batch a couple of times a week. I’ve made it with almond milk and soy milk – all of which are fine. I find the most important step is the toasting of the quinoa and coconut until you can smell it’s toasted. This is the step which kills the bitterness, but it doesn’t work if you don’t toast it enough. Topped with toasted almonds – fantastic! Thanks so much!

    1. Great, thanks for the feedback Murray! This was my go-to breakfast for a few weeks {months!}. It’s time for a change now 🙂

  3. Thanks for the variation ideas re porridge which I have very morning. Just a comment. I just found out the hard way that I am allergic to Amaranth (brings on terrible nausea and vomiting). It took me ages to track as I couldn’t believe that harmless looking stuff was the culprit. Kept blaming other things – the container – other peoples germs – introduced bacteria – and so on. What is in it to do this? Thanks again. Aileen. .

    1. Hi Aileen, that was supper smart detective work to figure that out! 🙂 Sounds like an intolerance rather than an allergy {an allergy usually results in hives, itching or anaphylaxis}. It may help if you soak the wholegrain first before cooking it? This won’t work for the flakes, of course, as they’ll go soggy.
      Sorry, not sure what could be in the amaranth that caused it — it could be anything. Best to see an food intolerance specialist {integrative doctor/dietician/naturopath} if you’d like to investigate further. All the best, Lesh

  4. Hi Lesh, I decided to make this today.
    The hardest part as always was getting
    all the ingredients. I used coconut powder instead
    of the more solid form. It was delicious and very
    satisfying. Thankyou.

  5. Hi Leah, I have just finished making and eating this, I have had a few troubles, hoping you can help me figure out what I may have done wrong?

    I had to use substitutes as didn’t have quinoa flakes so used a packet of quinoa and bulgar wheat mixed together ( I think this may have been why it took so long?)

    It was taking ages to come to a porridge like consistency so I was wondering have I over cooked it?

    I also used cinnamon and nutmeg instead and I added almonds and dates, it tasted okay but couldn’t help feel that it was meant to taste better….

    Hope you can help …I am little disappointed I really need a good healthy nutritious anti inflammatory breakfast I hope this can be it 🙂

    1. Hi Sonia, quinoa flakes cooks very differently to its whole grain form, as It’s been steamed and rolled, so much quicker to cook. Whole quinoa and bulgur wheat will need much more liquid and time to cook, and makes it an entirely different recipe. Good on you for trying. DOn’t stop. That’s how we learn – from our mistakes. All the best, Lesh

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