One of my all-time favourite desserts is carrot cake. Lucky for me and all the other carrot cake fans out there, this quinoa-based brekkie delivers the flavours we know and love — but in a refined-sugar-free porridge that is packed with antioxidants, fibre, healthy fats and protein. Better still, it can be made ahead as part of meal prep and served hot or cold for a quick morning meal. Now how good is that?
Carrots are rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins including A, C and K, as well as beta-carotene and other disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Studies suggest that carrot consumption can help cleanse the body of toxins, improve vision, reduce the signs of aging, ward off cancer, stroke and heart disease, and protect the skin from sun damage.
Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but it is actually a gluten-free seed. It is rich in antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins & minerals including magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contains all nine essential amino acids.
For anyone with digestive issues, I would recommend soaking the quinoa overnight (12 to 14 hours) before cooking. This helps to remove some of the phytic acid content. Phytic acid is a compound found in plant seeds that can impair the absorption of minerals including iron and zinc.
Carrot Cake Quinoa Recipe
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1/2 cup uncooked gluten-free quinoa (pre-soaked as desired)
1 cup canned organic coconut milk
1 cup grated raw carrot
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 scoops or packets collagen peptides (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pure stevia, honey (nonvegan) or maple syrup to sweeten as desired
optional toppings: fresh or dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, toasted coconut chips, and/or a drizzle of pure maple syrup
Wash the quinoa. To do this, place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer sitting in a bowl. Cover with water and gently rub the grains together with your hands for 30 seconds. Rinse and drain. Repeat this process 2 more times.
Combine the quinoa and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add carrots, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg and continue cooking approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and desired consistency achieved.
Remove from heat and stir in collagen (if using) and vanilla extract.
Serve with your favourite toppings. Here, I added raw walnuts, toasted coconut chips, and a generous drizzle of cashew nut butter after the pic was taken. Alternatively, Carrot Cake Quinoa can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and enjoyed cold or reheated before serving.