Chai Stewed Apples and Quinoa Porridge
So this is a two recipes for the price of one kinda situation. The apples and the porridge can totally be eaten separately but I threw them together into a beautiful breakfast bowl so I decided to treat you to both recipes.
First to the apples! The apples for this recipe came from the bottom of my garden, from an apple tree that my dad planted many years ago. Our garden is not exactly the nicest, but this Summer my mum decided to invest in it. We are doing it up in stages, so the far end of the garden has had a sparkly new deck treatment and is like a little oasis nestled right against the back fence. Of an evening you can sit and watch bats flit about the sky. The apple tree sits pride of place along side the decking and is the one nice thing the garden had before we did any work on it. Every year it produces 3 varieties of apples, unfortunately my dad can't remember which ones. There are 2 eating and 1 cooking variety we believe, and I threw them all into the stewed apple mix. Every year at the end of Summer/early Autumn we are supplied with an abundance of apples, so many we often waste a lot. So this year I was determined not to let that happen. The ones we didn't eat immediately I stewed and froze, so we can be eating hot chai spiced apples all winter long! I have been planning to post this recipe ever sine we got the apples off the tree, but I got busy/ kept forgetting/ had a million and one other things I wanted to post. So they have stayed in the freezer until I devised this recipe.
'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'... Well it depends why you might need to go to the doctor's but apples really are super good for you! So the old saying may have a basis in truth. Apples are in rich in certain antioxidants, including vitamin C, that can have health promoting and disease prevention properties, by protecting the body from the damaging effect of free radicals. Apples are also low in calories, and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol but are a great source of dietary fibre.
To get the chai spice into my apples I used two techniques. For the first batch I added this chai syrup. But for the rest I just added a chai tea bag. The best pan to use when stewing is a large wide one, basically the bigger the base of the pan the better. Don't worry about the pan depth as you will not be filling it up.
You can pair stewed apples with loads of things; crumble topping, yogurt, granola, pie or in my case porridge. Porridge is a diet staple for me. I have a simple oat and peanut butter version most mornings. Particularly now the mornings are getting colder. But it can all get a bit samey. Adding quinoa to your porridge is a great way to change it up a bit. It changes the taste and texture, I really love the earthy nutty note quinoa gives to it. Plus you get the nutritional benefits from eating a bowl of oats and quinoa! Both of which are very healthy. Quinoa contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein, something which is rare in plant based foods. While oats are high in both types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, which benefits digestion and helps lower cholesterol.
I paired my apples and porridge with raspberries, pecans and a fig! But feel free to go wild and experiment with all kinds of other toppings.
For the Chai Stewed Apples
1 teaspoon of cassia (sweet cinnamon)
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 chai tea bag (or chai syrup like this one if you have it)
1 teaspoon of fruit/agave syrup (if using mostly cooking apples add another teaspoon)
Enough apples to cover the base of the pan
Enough water to cover the base of the pan a centimeter thick
For the quinoa Porridge
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
For the Chai Stewed Apples
1) Dice the apples leaving skins on. Cover the base of the pan with these apples, make sure to keep the depth of apples shallow as you want them all to be able to absorb the liquid.
2) Add the spices, syrup and tea bag to the pan. Add the water and bring to the boil.
3) Turn down the heat and simmer for about half an hour, until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
For the Quinoa Porridge
1) Heat the coconut oil until liquid and add the oats. Stir until the oats have a toasty smell. Meanwhile boil the kettle with the water.
2) Add the quinoa and the water and bring up to the boil. (This shouldn't take long because you used the kettle previously).
3) Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the porridge has mostly absorbed the water. Add the almond milk and then remove from the heat.