Recipe: Black Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bowl

I should be honest and tell you that before making this breakfast I was not that fond of black or red quinoa. I know it’s surprising coming from a true whole-grain enthusiast, but the fact is that pearl quinoa (sometimes labeled as white) has a much more pleasant and versatile texture — which is why I cook it weekly.

Although extremely pretty, black and red quinoa are best used in meals that benefit from a seedlike crunch and a texture that is not what I look for in a hot breakfast. But, after a few months of smooth and creamy breakfast porridges, I was ready to shake things up a little.

This berry-studded breakfast bowl is a refreshing approach to hot cereal and contains a powerhouse of nutrition, thanks to anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are plant-based pigments found in black, deep red, purple and blue foods, and are the reason these dark-colored foods contain high levels of antioxidants.

Made up of all the aforementioned colors, this breakfast bowl also contains abundant protein, calcium and amino acids, thanks to the quinoa — it’s enough to get me to place the quinoa in all colors front and center in my pantry.

Black Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bowl

*As with all whole grains, I suggest soaking the quinoa overnight. Not only does an overnight soak increase the availability of nutrients in the quinoa, but it also shortens the cooking time.


1/4 cup black quinoa

1/4 cup red quinoa

1 cup water

Pinch salt

Pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1/2 cup frozen or fresh blackberries

To serve:

Almond milk

Fresh berries

Chopped pistachios

Maple syrup or honey, optional


Soak black and red quinoa overnight in 1 cup of water.

In the morning, drain and rinse quinoa and place in a small pot. Add 1 cup fresh water, salt and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until quinoa has softened (it will still be firm but shouldn’t be hard).

Stir in berries and cook for another 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat, divide between bowls and top with almond milk, berries and pistachios. Serve warm, with a drizzle of sweetener if you like.

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Photo credit: Stephen Johnson

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer based in New York City. She is the author of the award winning cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. See more of Amy’s recipes at

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