Quinoa ‘Rice’ Pudding
Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, cane sugar; with options for soy
My daughter grew up as I did with a fondness for homemade rice pudding. More recently, my baby granddaughter tried this dessert quinoa-style and gave her approval. Versions of rice pudding are found in most cuisines. Possibly first developing in Persia, it was mentioned by the Romans, Confucius, Shakespeare and the Buddhist sutras. Sometimes different grains were used but the principle was the same.
This version is just as sweet and delicious as one using white rice and highly refined sugar. Quinoa is high in protein and along with dried fruit and cinnamon creates a relationship between parts that helps regulate blood sugar. Any left-overs make a great breakfast served hot or cold.
1 cup cooked quinoa*
¾ cup soymilk, oat milk or ½ coconut cream with ¼ cup water (other Milk Options* are too low-fat for a creamy texture)
½ cup chopped fruit such as apple, banana, feijoa, peach or nectarine (optional)
¼ cup raisins
2 Tbsp coconut sugar, palm sugar or maple syrup (or honey, but then it is not vegan)
½ tsp vanilla extract*
¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional variations as below
In a small to medium saucepan place the quinoa, milk, optional fruit, raisins, sugar or option, vanilla and cinnamon. Cover, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil. Turn to simmer, keep covered and cook gently for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for another 3 minutes or more to finish the absorption of flavours.
Serve hot or cold as is. Or layer in parfait glasses with sliced banana, kiwifruit or berries. If serving cold the pudding will be stiff. Can top or layer with more milk, coconut cream, fresh or stewed fruit.
• If you want to avoid all added sugar, increase dried fruit to ½ cup; this can be a mixture such as apricots and dates; or prunes and figs. Or use ½ cup dried fruit and ½ cup chopped fresh fruit such as apple, banana or feijoa. Cook as above.
Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Milk Options: organic cow, goat, soy or oat milk is available in most supermarkets. Use options in the same quantity as regular milk called for in recipes. Check packet milks for added sugar; ensure soy milk is made from the whole bean (less processed). Pure Harvest is a good brand with many varieties; whole, organic, no added sugar.
• Vanilla and other Extracts: use top quality vanilla without artificial additives; it and other real flavours such as almond are often termed extract (as opposed to faux essence, often labelled ‘vanillin’). Good brands available locally and overseas are: Heilala Vanilla and Equagold. These are in most supermarkets and health stores.