Zesty Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Pilaf

Zesty Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Pilaf

It’s February. It’s cold and you’re tired of wearing four layers of clothing to take out the trash. Mornings are the worst because even though the sun wakes up a little earlier each day, its rays never seem to warm up the chilly floor you need to put your feet on when you get out of bed.

Fear not, for not only is spring around the corner, but I have a breakfast treat that will make 7 AM in February feel like June. This brightly flavored, colorful, and make-ahead ready (not to mention gluten-free) dish will put some perk in your Bean-booted step and fill you up with lasting nutrition to get you through to lunch.

Quinoa is a great alternative to oatmeal (if you’re sensitive to gluten or have bad memories of oatmeal mornings on school days) for hot and cold breakfasts alike. You could easily turn this into a non-breakfast meal base, swapping the fruit for stir-fry veggies and tofu. The possibilities are endless!

Zesty Blueberry Citrus Quinoa Pilaf

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tsp grapefruit zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup Blueberries or another lightly sweet fruit, like grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp whole flax seeds


  • Rinse dry quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and add to a medium saucepan with 2-1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  • Add zest, spices, and flax seeds* to quinoa, stir, and cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. There will be little round circles separating from the quinoa when it’s done.
  • Uncover, fluff with a fork, and let rest for 5-10 minutes with the cover on. The quinoa should have absorbed all the water, so there’s no need to drain it again.
  • Since I prefer this dish with the quinoa cold, rather than warm, I refrigerate it overnight after it cools–up to 1 week. However, you may of course enjoy this warm.
  • When you’re ready to serve/eat, combine 1/3 cup quinoa and fruit (and any juices) in a bowl (don’t store the quinoa with the fruit). Add more spices as your taste calls for, and top with flax seeds if you haven’t already. Enjoy!


*If you prefer to make batches of grains like quinoa for multiple meals during the week, you can make this plain and add the extras when you’re ready for breakfast. Adding them during the cooking stage simply intensifies the flavor.

Originally published on Peaceful Dumpling






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