BLACK QUINOA W/ COCONUT, MANGO + BEE POLLEN

These days, I almost prefer a sweet quinoa to a savory one. It has an earthy, almond aroma that easily crosses over into sugary breakfast territory. It’s exactly the sort of thing I want first thing in the morning.

I’m a big fan of black quinoa. We eat with our eyes first, and it’s much more fun than the white stuff, which is rather drab. I also like its earthier, crunchier profile. 

As for coconut, mango, and bee pollen - I am simply in love with all of them right now.

The mangoes are so, so fragrant and juicy at this time of year. I’ve been favoring Ataúlfos, an especially buttery, sugary Mexican variety, but you can buy any kind you like.

Coconut milk, however, should be purchased more selectively. Look for brands that are BPA and additive free. It might be a bit more expensive and harder to come by, but it’s worth it to buy a good product.

And bee pollen! My new favorite superfood. It’s packed to the brim with nutrients, and I find it to be super special and unique in texture, color, and flavor.

Bee pollen is potent stuff, and newcomers should consume a maximum of one teaspoon in a day, being mindful of potential allergies. However, if you confidently consume bee pollen on a regular basis, go ahead and up the quantity in this recipe to match your daily intake.

 

Ingredients:

(2 servings)

½ cup black quinoa

8 oz coconut milk, plus extra

½ cup water

1 T coconut oil

½ T honey

1 t vanilla extract

½ t cinnamon

small dash nutmeg

pinch salt

1 mango

3 T coconut flakes, toasted

1 t bee pollen

 

Instructions:

Heat a small-medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and let melt, then add the quinoa. Stirring with a wooden spoon, toast the quinoa until aromatic, usually 4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, water, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, bring down to a simmer. Cover and let cook until the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is tender, usually 20 minutes. Stir in the honey, fluff with a fork, and let cool. You may decide to introduce a bit more coconut milk on this point, for a consistency similar to a porridge or cereal.

Meanwhile, toast the coconut flakes. Preheat the oven to 300, and lay out the flakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let toast until the edges turn golden brown. Be careful, they go fast! 5 minutes should do the trick.

Peel the mango with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Using a chef’s knife, cut around its core. Then cut your large chunks of mango into whatever shape suits your mood.

To serve, spoon the quinoa into the bottom of the bowl. Lay in the garnish, working largest to smallest: mango first, toasted coconut flakes second, bee pollen last.

Enjoy.