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A Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl to Support Your Immune System

Last week, I mentioned in my blog post Supporting Your Immune System When You Are Immunocompromised: COVID-19 Edition that my toddler boy was in close contact with his daycare provider, who tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, everyone in my family tested negative this week, Yay! I try to keep using supplements to the bare minimum, albeit they are essential in certain circumstances. Here is a simple recipe that can support your immune system with plant-based ingredients:

I am trying out different recipes with my Instant Pot ,and this Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl was inspired by Maryea Flaherty's "I love my Instant Pot Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book." Please don't feel overwhelmed by the list of ingredients; you probably have many of them in your pantry already!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

*Serving size: 3/4 Cup

Yield: 6


1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed (I used Quinoa Royal by Go go Quinoa)

1/3 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (Only Oats)

1/3 cup wild rice, rinsed

2 Tablespoons Chia seeds

4 Tablespoons Hemp Hearts

1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1 Tablespoon cinnamon, powder

1/4 Teaspoon ginger, powder

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 1/2 cups almond milk

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Fruit of choice

Cashews (optional)


1. Press the Sauté button and adjust time to 2 minutes; sauté chia and hemp seeds in olive oil.

2. Add quinoa, oats, rice, raisins, dried apricot, cinnamon, ginger, salt, almond milk, and water. Stir and mix all ingredients. Secure the lid and move pressure release valve to Sealing position.

3. Press the Pressure Cook button at high pressure and adjust the time to 8 minutes.

4. When the timer beeps, use natural release. Remove bowl from pot. Mix well. Serve with additional almond milk, raisins, maple syrup and cashews if desired.

Extra tips:

✔ Use a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste; rinsing it water can reduce the flavour.

✔ Double up and make a batch of this breakfast bowl. Divide it into mason jars or BPA free plastic containers for the week ahead. You will have a power breakfast every day. Add favourite toppings.

✔ Use a plant-based beverage of your choice (coconut, nuts, hemp). Make sure it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

✔ You may add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to each serving to boost the protein and fibre.

Cooking on the stove:

  1. Sauté hemp hearts and chia seeds in olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

  2. Add all the ingredients and mix well.

  3. Cook for about 10 - 14 minutes, until the grains are softened and cooked.

Instant Pot basics: check out their website for resources and recipes.

Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian if you are considering any change in your diet.


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