Baked Quinoa Pudding


Tired of oatmeal?  Want to try something different for breakfast?  My sweet friend Joyce, who is a wiz with gluten free recipes, introduced me to this breakfast dish!  Thanks Joyce! I made some changes based on what we had in the house – I used apples instead of pears, vanilla extract instead of almond, whole milk (no powdered), butter instead of coconut oil, craisins instead of cherries, and no flax seed.  It still came out great!  It has a more earthy flavor than oatmeal, but the consistency is similar and the taste is yummy!  Henry particularly enjoyed it.  Check out Joyce's blog to find more gluten free ideas:

Quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah), is native to South America and is gluten free, fat free, rich in fiber, and has more protein than rice or oatmeal.

Quinoa Pudding with Pears and Toasted Almonds

1¼ hours | 20 min prep, up to 40 minutes oven time

Makes 12 servings: 206 Cal., 3.8g fat, 1.8g Fiber, 7g Protein

1 ½ C. quinoa*

3 1/2 to 4 C water

2 eggs or Ener-G egg replacement

2 egg whites, or Ener-G

3 Tbsp dry milk powder or dry soy milk powder

1 ½ C milk or milk substitute

1 tsp almond extract

¾ C sugar (reserve 1 Tbsp for topping), (**see below for substitutions)

1 ½ C chopped pears, tossed in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 C rough chopped toasted almonds

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1/3 C dried cherries, rough chopped

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

¼ C ground flax seed

cooking spray

1. Place quinoa in a bowl of water or in a fine sieve under running water. Clean off the bitter external layer by rubbing the grains between your hands. Drain and repeat several times. You will know the quinoa is clean when the water runs clear.

2. Bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa and when it returns to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until grains are translucent, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain any remaining water.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop almonds and spread on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, until golden and aromatic. Set aside to cool. Chop pears into 1/2" cubes and toss in lemon juice. Set aside.

4. To measure milk, place powdered milk in measuring cup and add milk to one cup. Stir together to dissolve milk powder. If you do not have powdered milk, you could use yoghurt. I use Vanilla Almond milk to avoid casein and add another layer of flavor.

5. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, almond extract, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until just combined. Warm the coconut oil until nearly melted, about 10 seconds in the microwave. Stir until fully melted and add to the liquid. Mix in quinoa, nuts, and cherries and pears. Pour into a 9×13 baking pan prepared with a coat of cooking spray.

6. Stir together cinnamon and remaining tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over top of pudding. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, around 40 minutes. I've also prepared this in individual large custard cups, baking for only 30 minutes. (One of our friends is blind and he appreciates having sides on his dish so he can get every bite without making a mess!)

Serve warm or at room temperature.

* This recipe is delicious with 1 C white quinoa, 1/2 C black quinoa. They cook at different rates, so even though the regular quinoa is soft, the black stays a little crunchy to add some texture.

**If you want to avoid refined sugar, use agave nectar or honey for the sweetener. You can also use Stevia, but only use half as much because it's sweeter.

Make this a tropical dish by adding grated coconut, switch the fruit to pineapple, mango and use macadamia nuts instead of almonds.

Another variation is chopped apples and dried cranberries with English walnuts.

I'm thinking about trying it with pumpkin, raisins and pecans around Thanksgiving.