I came across this recipe in the same way as I come across most new recipes, while looking for something completely different. (actually I was searching for a recipe for a homemade Clif Bar, which I found, and may post about later, but that is another story, for another day—stay tuned!) Anyway, during my search, I came across a new(to me) blog called Cannelle et Vanille. It could be a new favourite. I blissfully browsed until I found this recipe, and promptly wanted to go for a picnic on the beach, and make this pudding, not necessarily in that order. The pictures were brilliant, and the pudding inspired. Being the beginning of March, in Southern Ontario, and no tropical vacation in sight, I had to make do with the pudding, and alas, no picnic. The pudding however, did not disappoint.
For those of you not familiar with quinoa, it is a tiny grain from south America, and has been around for some 6000 years. I have been enjoying it myself for at least 10 years, having experimented with it back in my vegetarian days for its high protein content. This, however, is the first time I have made a dessert type recipe with it, and I am very pleased with the results. Why did I not think of this before?? The grain lends an earthy flavour to the underlying familiarity of rice pudding, similar, but completely different at the same time. An old grain in a whole new light!
I changed it a wee bit, (quelle suprise) but the results were very yummy. In my quest to reduce the amount of refined products (ie: refined sugar, white flour, processed foods) from my family’s plates, I substituted maple syrup for the brown sugar, feel free to change it back if you like! The original recipe called for 3 cups of whole milk, and 1 cup of heavy cream, which was optional. I had 1% milk in my fridge, plus a cup of heavy cream lurking in there as well (doesn’t everyone???) so I used 2 cups of 1% plus the one cup of heavy cream, eliminating the 4th cup of liquid altogether. My resulting pudding was nice and moist, but not overly runny. Adjust the amounts of liquid to suit your tastes. I also left the chopped pistachios from the origional off the top of the pudding, as I did not have any. Again, feel free to add them back! The strawberries stayed, they were a great addition.
Quinoa Pudding, my adaptation. Original recipe here.
2 cups 1% milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, sliced open and scraped (I only had a half of a bean, so I added a tsp of vanilla extract as well, you could just substitute 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 cup quinoa
1 quart strawberries
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Cut up the strawberries and toss with maple syrup. Let them stand at room temperature until they start to release some of their juices, 1/2 to 1 hr. Set aside and use to top the quinoa once it is cooked.
Rinse the quinoa in a fine meshed strainer with cold water for a minute or so, and set aside to drain.
In a medium pot, combine the milk and cream.
and scraped vanilla bean, (and or vanilla extract)
and heat to a simmer.
Add quinoa, and stir to combine. (Check out the little black flecks of vanilla bean swimming in the pot!)
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes (mine took more like 40 minutes, but I think the heat was too low, closer to medium would have been better) Stir every few minutes, until the grain absorbs most of the milk mixture and is tender.
It should go from this:
As it cooled it absorbed all of the liquid, becoming quite thick and creamy.
Top with strawberries and enjoy!