During my brief abstinence from eating cooked food last month, I had a huge hankering for rice pudding. I don’t actually eat rice pudding that often but when Quirky Jo mentioned her recipe for Creamy Coconut Vanilla Rice Pudding on Twitter, it was pretty much all I could think about.
I’m now back on a far less restrictive eating regimen but as I’ve chosen to exclude carbs where possible, I’ll save the rice pudding for a chilly night in winter when the word diet becomes all but redundant. Instead, I made a substitute dessert (or even breakfast) using quinoa to satisfy my craving for a creamy pud.
A few years ago when quinoa (along with a number of other ‘superfoods’) first cropped up in health food stores and vegetarian recipes, it was an obscure food item that no one really seemed to know how to pronounce the name of, let alone how to cook it. Today, the situation hasn’t changed that much but you can at least get hold of quinoa quite readily and cheaply which has made experimenting with it easier.
It’s recommended that you soak quinoa in water for a few hours because raw quinoa (actually a pseudocereal and not a grain BTW) can have a slight bitter taste that can take the enjoyment out of some recipes. The marvellous thing about quinoa is that it doesn’t take long for it to sprout which adds a bit of sweetness and difference in texture. If you don’t fancy sprouted quinoa then it should only be soaked for an hour or so, particularly if the room is warm.
Soaking the quinoa also helped it to absorb the coconut milk in which it was cooked. If you have perhaps avoided quinoa because it has a slight but distinctive nutty flavour, then this pudding may appeal.
I tried this pudding both warm and cold and while either is lovely, I do prefer the former with some chilled mango pieces (the hot/cold sensation) and a drizzle of maple syrup. The quinoa retained it’s lovely semi-crunchy texture but softened enough to work as a soft, yummy dessert or a nutritious breakfast. Sure beats a kale smoothie!
Coconut Quinoa Pudding
1 cup quinoa (I used a lovely blend of and eeny weeny amaranth grains)
400g coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
2 tbsp agave syrup (or honey)
fruit, maple syrup or other sauces to serve
To Make: Place drained, soaked quinoa into the Thermomix bowl with coconut milk. Cook quinoa for 12 minutes on 80C at Speed 2. If quinoa seems soft and/or to your liking after 12 minutes, remove from TMX bowl, transfer to another bowl and allow to cool a little. If you’d like it to be softer, cook on same setting for another 2 minutes or allow the quinoa to remain in the TMX bowl for a while in the warmth. The quinoa will continue to absorb the coconut milk and thicken a little until ready to eat.
Serve warm with fruit or honey.