Quinoa is probably my favorite whole grain, er seed. I love how versatile it is! I toss uncooked quinoa into stews to thicken them up, add taco seasoning to cooked quinoa for burrito bowls, and occasionally slip it into a smoothie for added fiber. But this Almond & Apricot Quinoa Breakfast Bowl is my absolute favorite way to eat this stuff.

Remember when everyone was hot and heavy for quinoa—back when no one could pronounce it correctly, and it was popping up in everything from savory bowls to sweet puddings? This carbohydrate doesn’t get a ton of radio play now, but it has a solid place on plates across America.

Quinoa Is a Seed, Not a Grain

From pastas to baking mixes, quinoa is the non-grain, golden-child of the gluten-free lifestyle. That’s right, no grains about it: Quinoa is a seed.

More fun facts: Quinoa is non-GMO, usually organically farmed, and astronauts have considered growing it in outer space (1)!

Quinoa is a rich source of plant-based protein, and one of the only non-grain foods to contain all nine of the essential amino acids needed for muscle recovery and growth. And it makes some whole grains look like nutritional lightweights.

Ounce for ounce, cooked quinoa offers up more magnesium, folate, iron, and fiber than cooked brown rice. All that fiber supports a healthy gut microbiome and helps regulate digestion and normal bowel function (TMI: I’m talking about nice, easy poops here, people!) (2), and supports the cardiovascular system by keeping cholesterol levels in check.

Scientists have also looked at some of the unique phytonutrients found in quinoa, and it turns out they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. That means eating quinoa can help curb oxidative stress within your body and lower your risk of cancer and heart disease (3). 

Almond & Apricot Quinoa Breakfast Bowl Recipe

Eating quinoa when you wake up is a great way to start the day on a healthy note, it can help you feel full longer, and it’s a nice break from oatmeal and other morning staples.

Chopping tips: Use kitchen scissors to snip the dried apricots into smaller pieces. For the almonds, toss them into a clean cloth napkin and then pound with a hammer. So much easier than fiddling with knives!


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Oat Milk
  • 1 cup Almonds, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Dried Apricots, chopped
  • 4 tsp. Maple Syrup, optional

How To:

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain quinoa in cold water. (Washing away the natural saponin that clings to the seeds is a must-do. Skip this step and you’re asking for a tummy ache.)
  2. Put quinoa and oat milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed, and the quinoa is done. (The grains will be soft and translucent, with little rings.)
  4. Mix in almonds and dried apricots.
  5. Divide into four bowls and drizzle each with 1 tsp. maple syrup, if you like.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Details

Servings: 1 (about ½ cup)

Calories 272

 Amount per Serving% Daily Value*
Total Fat14.7g19%
Saturated Fat1.1g6%
Total Carbohydrate28.2g10%
Dietary Fiber5.6g20%
Total Sugars6.5g 
Vitamin D21mcg104%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
  1. NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States. “Quinoa: An emerging new crop with potential for CELSS.” NASA-TP-3422. November 1993. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/19940015664
  2. Lin, M.; Han, P.; Li, Y.; Wang, W.; Lai, D.; Zhou, L. Quinoa Secondary Metabolites and Their Biological Activities or Functions. Molecules. July 2019. doi: 10.3390/molecules24132512
  3. Tang Y, Tsao R. “Phytochemicals in quinoa and amaranth grains and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential health beneficial effects: a review.” Molecular Nutrition Food Research. July 2017. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600767

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