Eating healthy has been a pretty challenging lifestyle change for us. Sometimes we do really well and other times not so much. I’m a meat and potatoes kinda gal with a big sweet tooth (as you can probably tell since most of my recipes are desserts, lol), so it takes enormous amounts of willpower for me to stay away from all the junk I’m used to eating all the time.
I’ve had a bag of quinoa in my pantry for a long time. I won’t tell you how long because you’ll think I’m totally gross and might call the health department on me. Just kidding. Sort of. There’s no expiration date by the way so don’t judge.
Even though quinoa is incredibly versatile, I just couldn’t figure out what to make with it. I’m not a big fan of it by itself and if I sprinkled it randomly into dinner, my boys wouldn’t touch it. And I really, really wanted to find a way for them to eat it this incredible super food!
Quinoa is a pretty interesting little…grainy rice thingy though. Even though it’s neither grain nor rice and is actually more closely related to spinach, beets and tumbleweeds, even though you’d never know by looking at, smelling or even tasting it. Most people mistake it for a grain because it can be prepared similarly to rice or barley and it looks like some sort of wheat. It’s also extremely high in iron (15% of your daily intake), fiber (21% of your daily intake) and protein (8.14 grams per cup). Quinoa also provides all nine essential amino acids and is both cholesterol and gluten free! Pretty amazing, right?
So the question was…what to make with these powerful little guys that the whole family would enjoy?
My answer? Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding! I basically make it like I would a regular rice pudding, only I replace the milk and whipping cream with non-dairy ingredients (and obviously the rice). Coconut milk is delicious and Trader Joe’s carries these cans of Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream. So I mix those three ingredients together with a little bit of sugar and vanilla and that’s it!
You can top it with blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates or whatever fruit you have on hand. It cooks up with little effort and only those five ingredients!! It’s really delicious!
1 cup quinoa
3 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup heavy coconut cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Raspberries or other berries of choice
- 1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for one minute.
- 2. In large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, coconut cream, sugar and vanilla.
- 3. Bring to a simmer.
- 4. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- 5. When pudding is desired consistency, remove from heat and pour into glass pudding cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- 6. Serve chilled, topped with fruit.