In a saucepan combine the quinoa with the milk and a pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil. Milk rises as it heats up so make sure it doesn’t spill out of the pot. Lower the heat and simmer gently, covered for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cocoa and maple syrup (if using), stir thoroughly, cover and continue cooking gently for 3 more minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, stir in the mashed banana and serve. Add a splash of milk if the porridge is too thick.
There is no need to presoak the quinoa.
Cooking the quinoa: When cooking the quinoa with milk try not to let it boil too rapidly as the milk will rise to the top and might spill out of the pot. As soon as it starts bubbling up and rising turn the heat right down to a simmer.
Make it vegan: Use a non-dairy milk alternative such as almond, oat or hazelnut milk.
How much sugar: If you prefer not to use any maple syrup add a little more mashed banana (the more ripe the banana the sweeter it is).
You can use different ways of preparing the banana. The quickest is to mash it, as I have done in this recipe. But you can also bake it, which will release more sweetness and flavour from the banana. See my whole wheat banana bread recipe for instructions on how to bake bananas. You could also chop the banana and fry in a little butter until golden and then add into the porridge (without mashing it).
Storing and reheating: Once cooled refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. The porridge will thicken as it stands so add a splash of milk before reheating it, whether in the microwave or on top of the stove.