Q is for Quinoa

Chances are you’ve heard of quinoa, but you might not know exactly what it is – or why it’s good for you (and your kids). Tracie Heasman shares the facts about quinoa and how to prepare it.


Apple quinoa purée

  • 3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
  • cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp quinoa flakes (found at
  • your local health food shop)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Steam apples and raisins together for about five minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving water.

Combine apples, raisins, quinoa, and cinnamon with 1 tbsp of reserved water in a food processor and process until desired consistency is achieved. Add more water for smoother consistency if needed.

Cool to a warm temperature before serving. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen in ice cube trays. Take out one block when needed and heat until warm consistency.


Quinoa mac n cheese

  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 cup quinoa grain, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated zucchini or carrot
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a saucepan, bring the water or chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Pour in the quinoa. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Coat 30 x 20cm dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Fold in quinoa mixture, then add zucchini or carrot and cheese. Mix well.

Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden.


Quinoa comes in a few different colours and forms.

Most common is white quinoa, which is found in many

supermarkets. You can also get red quinoa, which tends to hold

its shape after cooking, making it a better option for salads.


Quinoa breakfast bites

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa grain
  • (¼ cup uncooked)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (or alternative
  • of your choice, like coconut sugar)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa and oats. In a small mixing bowl, combine cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt.

Add the cinnamon mixture to the quinoa and oats, and mix well. Fold in the blueberries. Once combined, add the eggs, and mix just until combined.

Spray a 12-muffin tin with oil. Scoop mixture into tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool in tin.

Ages & Stages

Baby: apple quinoa purée – healthy and filling

Toddler: quinoa mac ‘n’ cheese – a grainy twist on a classic fave

Schoolkid: Quinoa Breakfast Bites – a great on-the-go option

How to make the perfect quinoa:

rinse quinoa before cooking because it’s coated in saponin, its natural protection against insects, birds, and the sun. if it’s not rinsed away, saponin makes quinoa taste bitter.

measure one part quinoa to two parts water or stock.

bring to the boil in a pot and then turn down to simmer for around 15 – 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

you can tell when quinoa is done cooking because the edge of the seed is translucent.

Scroll to Top