Food

Quinoa Oat Croquettes (Gluten Free)

BY Andrea Hayley-Sankaran TIMEApril 4, 2022 PRINT

When you cook quinoa and oats together, it becomes a comforting porridge. You can either enjoy the porridge as is, or let it cool and turn it into patties (otherwise known as croquettes).

After the grains cool, they are the perfect consistency to hold together into shapes. This recipe works due to the demulcent and sticky quality of the oatmeal. It acts as a natural binder for the patties.

quinoa oats croquettes
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

It takes very little effort to form the patties with your hands. Then you can lightly pan-fry them with your choice of spices.

You can enjoy these chewy grain croquettes along with sweet spices and fruit for breakfast, or with savory spices and veggies for lunch or supper.

Who doesn’t enjoy a little savory and crispy crust? Everyone does! I absolutely love the way the mild coriander and fennel powder I recommend in this recipe crusts up in the pan.

Quinoa Oats Croquettes with sweet spices.
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Coriander, pepper and fennel powder.
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

As a pairing, the quinoa and oats are delightfully chewy. For vegetarians, such a texture is welcome because it starts to mimic the chewy texture of meat.

Serve these croquettes as part of a perfectly elegant (and impressive) feature vegetarian dinner for your family or guests.

To turn this into lunch or supper, simply add a couple of vegetable sidesa soupand/or a salad.

Turn this into breakfast

To turn this dish into breakfast, replace the savory spices with sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom for lovely, nourishing breakfast porridge.

Then make any leftovers into breakfast croquettes, seasoned with extra cinnamon and spices—or even a sprinkle of sugar—for a sweet crust.

Chewy croquettes
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Health benefits of quinoa

Quinoa—an ancient grain from the Incan culture of Peru and Bolivia—is gluten-free, and 14 percent higher in protein by mass than most grains.

This makes it one of the most popular substitutions for rice for individuals trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

According to Joyful Belly, quinoa is supportive for individuals with weak digestion or recovering from illness due to its cooling quality and fiber content that relieves inflammation.

Soaked Quinoa
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Quinoa is a great source of fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, and zinc.

You can buy quinoa in different colors, from white, to red, to black. The nutritional differences are negligible.

Quinoa cooks in about 15-20 minutes, and benefits from 20 minutes of soaking to remove bitter-tasting saponins that can interfere with digestion for some people.

Overall, quinoa tastes sweet, but I can definitely notice the bitter quality in there also.

Health benefits of oats

Oats are surprisingly high in protein, with 15 grams in a 1 ½ cup serving. That means this overall dish is a combo of two high-protein grain sources.

Where oats really shine is in the fiber department. Oats contain a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Raw Oats
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

The human body cannot digest fiber, and so it is literally food for the good gut bacteria in your colon. The two types of fiber feed different bacteria, and they also have other benefits for gut health.

Insoluble giver helps your body process waste better by acting as roughage to push food through the digestive tract and bulk up stools.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is mucilaginous and soothing to the gut lining, which lowers inflammation. It also lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Soluble fiber is that gel-like substance that you see on the surface when cooking oats, and especially after the oats cool. You see this on cooked and cooled legumes as well.

Whole oats or steel-cut oats are the whole grain form. They are wonderfully nutty and chewy, but they take 45 minutes to cook.

I have called for the quicker cooking form of oats in this recipe, which are rolled oats. Rolled oats are mildly processed, and a good compromise. Quick-cooking oats are to be avoided as they are overly processed and lacking in nutrition and prana (a term for life force energy in Ayurveda).

If you prefer to use steel-cut oats in this recipe, just start them cooking for 25 minutes first, then add in the quinoa for the remaining 20 minutes. (You might need to add extra water to account for increased time and evaporation.)

Cooked quinoa and oats
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Quinoa Oats Porridge
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Condiments to have with

Another benefit to enjoying grains as a croquette is that becomes a vehicle for all manner of condiments and sauces. Below are some suggestions to get you started.

  • Basil pesto or any pesto with fresh herbs would be amazing
  • Hummus of any type would turn your meal into a complete vegetarian protein, similar to a rice and beans combo
  • Do you have something Indian, like a mango pickle?
  • For a sweet option, have the quinoa patties with maple syrup, as in a pancake, or with nut butter or jam, as in toast

Quinoa Oats Croquettes with pesto
(Andrea Hayley-Sankaran/Butteredveg.com)

Quinoa Oat Croquettes (Gluten Free)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
CALORIES: 214KCAL

The gluten free combination of quinoa and oats is naturally high in protein and fiber. Enjoy as a porridge or a chewy croquette, pan-fried with a crispy spiced crust.

Ingredients

For the spices 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon whole red chili or red chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch asafetida(optional; see notes)

For the quinoa oat porridge 

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup quinoasoaked for 20 minutes, then drained
  • ½ cup rolled oat flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

For the croquettes (optional step) 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds(optional; see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

Prep steps 

  • Start the quinoa soaking for 20 minutes, and get out all the ingredients for the spices and the quinoa oat porridge.

For the seasoning and quinoa oat porridge 

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium-low heat. Add red chili and cumin seeds, and cook until the seeds turn a few shades darker and the chilis are browned, then add the optional asafetida.
  • Immediately add the water to stop the spices from burning, then stir in the quinoa, oat flakes, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low, and simmer 20 minutes until the grains are cooked. Turn off the heat, and allow the porridge to rest for 5 minutes with the lid on, then transfer and spread out on a large plate (to speed cooling). Place in the fridge until the cooked grains are cool enough to handle with your hands. (about 30 minutes).

For the croquettes 

  • Form the mixture into 2-inch patties of about ½ inch thick and keep on a plate, or your cutting board.
  • After all the patties are ready, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil, coriander power, and optional fennel powder. After the spices are warm and have started to release their aroma, add the croquettes into the pan. Sprinkle salt onto the patties. Sauté until golden brown and turn. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately. These are best warm or hot.

Notes

Asafetida is a powder made from the sap of a plant relative of fennel. It is commonly used in Indian cooking, but is virtually unknown in the West. 

Asafetida has a strong Sulphur smell, which makes it very unique, and nearly impossible to substitute. It is commonly used as a substitute for onions and garlic, so under some circumstances, it could make sense to substitute onions, shallots, or garlic in your recipe.

This is a wonderful spice that is highly supportive for digestion. I highly recommend investing in it when you are ready. 

Be aware that asafetida resin is commonly mixed with flour to make it easier to work with. Look for gluten-free if that is important to you. 

Pure asafetida resin is rare, and very strong and powerful. A tiny amount will be a lot. Test your asafetida after purchase. You’ll typically use a pinch.

Fennel is a seed that is cooling and supportive for digestion, with a mild licorice flavor. You can grind the seeds into a powder using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder reserved for spices. If you don’t have the ability to do that today, substitute with anise seeds if you have them, or cumin powder, or even dried thyme or oregano. 

Optional Toppings

Another benefit to enjoying grains as a croquette is that becomes a vehicle for all manner of condiments and sauces. Below are some suggestions to get you started.  

  • Basil pesto or any pesto with fresh herbs would be amazing
  • Hummus of any type would turn your meal into a complete vegetarian protein, similar to a rice and beans combo
  • Do you have something Indian, like a mango pickle?
  • For a sweet option, have the quinoa patties with maple syrup, as in a pancake, or with nut butter or jam, as in toast

NUTRITION

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

This article was originally published on ButteredVeg.com
Andrea Hayley-Sankaran is the founder of Buttered Veg, the vegetarian food blog for conscious eaters. Andrea is a vegetarian chef (now a home cook) informed by over two decades of practice and experimentation with the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Andrea's study of traditional wisdom deepened her understanding of how to create incredibly flavorful vegetarian food that makes you feel good, inside and out. butteredveg.com
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