Soaking: 2-3 hours or overnight // Cook & Serve: 30 min
Quinoa is one of the world’s trendiest hipsterish healthy grain that makes a hype in the West. No wonder why, being a nutritional powerhouse with high amounts of protein, fibre and antioxidants. This is my one-pot super-food breakfast, fruity and nutty take for a powerful start this morning!
Some years ago, upon our return from Peru, a friend of mine bought me a very nice book with the collected works of Gaston Acurio, the most famous Peruvian chef out there. I never managed to look close and cook anything from there until some days ago, when I started browsing its pages for quinoa recipes. There are some treasures there; it's a little bulky but a very nice book indeed from a renowned world-class chef. I recommend this book if you like Peruvian food -->
(check it out from Amazon right here by clicking the above link; Amazon has got it very often on offer and I also get a small bonus from your clicks ;-)
Speaking about friends, there are quite a few of mine that hate quinoa because it is a little bitter and sometimes blunt in taste. Indeed, for some taste buds, quinoa can be quite bizarre at first. In my recipe here (inspired by Acurio's book and fused with ideas from other puddings I’ve done before) quinoa is handled the Peruvian way, washing off the bitterness which impacts taste and digestion. You know your quinoa is properly soaked when you see the little white sprouts popped up (photo below).
I also decided to give this bowl some more dimension by the addition of flavourful spices, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves and extra natural sweetness with the dried fruits and the coconut milk.
It’s a perfect dish for my friends to start loving quinoa and ideal for any family who wants to introduce quinoa to their kid’s diet. It is highly likely that these colourful, mango and summer fruit-topped bowls will undoubtedly draw kid’s attention! Generally, it is recommended for kids over 12m due to the plant milk and nuts/seeds ingredients.
Pan with lid, large sieve
Coconut milk > Almond milk or Evaporated milk. For vegetarians, Almond or Oat milk is a good substitute but it'll definitely change the taste as coconut will not dominate any more. Evaporated milk is the original Peruvian suggestion but bear in mind it has sugar and will make your pudding sweeter.
Coconut Yoghurt > Greek Yoghurt. It can be done, but note you will lose some of the sweetness as well as your vegan audience :-). I suggest going for a full-fat Greek yoghurt which is richer and creamier and a little less sour. Do it Greek style and mix in some runny honey to balance the sweetness.
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
½ cup Quinoa
½ Vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
2 Cinnamon sticks
4 tbsp (almost a handful) of mixed dried fruits
200ml Coconut milk (canned or fresh)
3 tbsp Coconut yoghurt (plus some more for serving)
2 tbsp Chia seeds (optional)
Some mixed berries
Pistachio (or other) nuts
Wash the quinoa thoroughly and then soak in fresh cold water for 2-3 hours or overnight if you wish to eat for breakfast. Washing and soaking will remove the outer, bitter layer.
If you are using a vanilla pod, cut it in half, and remove the soft seeds (with the non-sharp side of the knife) as shown below. Keep the outer layer (wood-like shell) aside for the pudding. Alternatively, go for ready-made vanilla paste.
When quinoa is soaked, rinse, drain and put it in a pan with 1.5 cups water (1 part quinoa to 3 parts water for the perfect boiling), the cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod shells, cloves and (optionally if you have) a tbsp of coconut cream.
Bring to a hard boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Add the chia seeds, dried fruits and coconut milk, stir and simmer again gently for another 8-10 minutes or until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency. Keep stirring the mixture often to prevent quinoa from sticking on the pan.
Remove from heat, fish out the cinnamon and vanilla sticks (and as much from the cloves you can find) and stir in the yoghurt, adding and mixing the spoonfuls one by one until you reach the desired consistency.
Serve in dessert glasses, or cereal bowls and top it with banana and mango slices, summer fruits and sprinkle some nuts or seeds (e.g. linseeds or hemp seeds). If you wish to give more volume and increase the number of servings (up to 4), serve with or mix it with some more yoghurt.
This pudding is naturally sweetened during boiling with coconut milk and yoghurt and the addition of dried fruits. However, I like serving it with a dollop of additional yoghurt and some Greek thyme honey too.
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Shop the book and the look: