December 21, 2013

A Superfood Breakfast: Goji Berries with Warm Quinoa

Guest Post from Christele - Nutritionist & Blogger at Health 'n' Horizons

Hello everyone! My name is Christele, I’m a nutritionist, a mom, a lover of real food, and a blogger over at Health ‘n’ Horizons! I am so excited to be guest posting for Pearl's Powder today. Hope you all like some real satisfying food for breakfast cause I’ll be discussing superfoods, particularly goji berries.
I will also be sharing a warm breakfast recipe for those cold winter mornings (and if you live in a warm climate, don’t worry, a cold version* is as good, if not better).

What are Superfoods?
Goji berries are what some may consider a superfood.

I have mixed feelings about superfoods. On one hand, I think this classification makes it easier for people to remember to eat of the real healthy stuff. You don’t see a double cheeseburger on any superfood list now, do you? 

On the other hand, this really simplistic listing has led way to the emergence of many fad diets and supplements such as The Aztec Diet and the Acai berry pills and has allowed food companies to start exploiting this term in an attempt to sell more of their hyper-processed foods. Take for example blueberries. We know that blueberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants when consumed whole. However, when they are sugar-coated and added to a sugary breakfast cereal, they somehow lose their “super” powers. Yet, this does not stop food companies from overpricing the cereal and labeling it as a superfood breakfast.

We need to know that all superfoods (blueberries, goji berries, quinoa, almonds, chia seeds, salmon, green tea… the list goes on and on depending on the source) are good for us when consumed whole. However, consuming each of these foods alone will not reduce aging, or give us glowing skin, or increase our life span, especially not in a pill form and not when our diet is unbalanced.

No food alone can do what healthy eating does. Consuming more vegetables, fruits, seeds, beans, grains, and nuts, whether “super” or not, will help us live a healthier life.

What are Goji Berries?

Now back to goji berries. Goji berries are also known as wolfberries or Himalayan berries. They are very much like raisins but with a tangy and tart flavor. They are native to China and have been used in Chinese medicine since ages in the hopes of living a longer life. They have also been used to try to treat diabetes, hypertension, fever and cancer. No studies have been effectively conducted to prove these claims.

How are Goji Berries usually eaten?

Goji berries can be consumed raw, frozen, dried or in the form of juice. In Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, I typically find them in their dried form in health food stores and at Al-Rifai. One tablespoon of goji berries has around 20 calories and one gram of protein and is a very good source of carotenoids (transformed into vitamin A in the body). Goji berries are also high in fiber, vitamin C and iron.
Besides adding them to your morning cereal, goji berries can be enjoyed in several ways. You can mix them with your smoothie, add them to cookies, muffins and cakes or add them to your nut mix for an afternoon snack. Goji berries can also be steeped in water or tea to make a “fruity” infusion. 

Warm Quinoa Breakfast with Almonds and Goji Berries

Warm Quinoa Breakfast with Almonds and Goji Berries:

Note: Cooking the quinoa takes about 15 minutes. I know on weekdays, many of us do not have that time privilege. That’s why when I’m in the mood for this breakfast, I cook up some quinoa over the weekend and store in the fridge (it cooks pretty much like rice, 1 part quinoa to 2 part water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer. After 12-15minutes, turn off the heat and leave covered for a while. Fluff with a fork). For convenience, you can use old-fashioned oats or quinoa flakes and cook them regularly over the stovetop with milk until thickened.
Ingredients (1 serving)
     1/2 cup cooked quinoa, (or old-fashioned oats)
     1/4 cup milk of choice (I use homemade plain almond milk)
     1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( you can use less or even substitute with vanilla extract)
     1 1/2 tablespoons dried goji berries
     1 tablespoon almonds, roughly chopped
     1 teaspoon flaxseed
     1 banana, mashed
Put the quinoa, milk, cinnamon and goji berries in a pot over medium low heat and stir until slightly thickened and heated through.
Meanwhile, mash the banana. Add the quinoa mixture to the banana, stir in the flaxseed and top with almonds and more goji berries if you like.
You can also sprinkle some unsweetened coconut.

* The cold version is with oats or quinoa flakes. Mix all ingredients (except the banana) in a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight. For breakfast, either slice the banana or mash it, and mix it with the rest. You can add different nuts and various fruits.

Thank you Loulwa for allowing me to guest post and thank you all for reading!


  1. Thank you Christele for writing this post!
    Its the first time actually I hear about Goji berries and will def. try ur recipe once I get hold on them in the stores!

    And I def. agree with you about the concept of eating super foods. The key is indeed eating from everything and not focusing on a certain food or group! It is all about "healthy" living/eating!

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  3. Awesome recipe! It is so healthy and delicious. Goji berries are found to make the immune system stronger and help fight various infections in the body. An improved immune system can make you resistant to various common infections thus making your life healthy. Thanks
    Goji berry juice

  4. The Berry Superfood would be very healthy and delicious if taken with milk or water. I gone through your blog about the ingredients that you have added to the drink and it boosted me still more to have that drink daily without any break as it is very nutritive. Thank you for sharing the wonderful blog.