If you like rice pudding, you'll like quinoa pudding. Most Americans don't think of quinoa for sweet dishes, but Peruvians use it like rice to make sweetened puddings and custards. Here's a light and creamy quinoa pudding that exudes aromas of orange, cinnamon, anise, and coconut. Like rice pudding, it includes the occasional raisin.
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 star anise
4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup finely shredded reduced-fat unsweetened dehydrated coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Grated orange rind (opptional)
How to Make It
Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well, and place in a large saucepan.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to quinoa. Add 1 1/2 cups water, orange rind, salt, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Stir in milk and sugar; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 22 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut and raisins; simmer, uncovered, an additional 20 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean, cinnamon, and star anise. Gradually add 1 cup hot pudding to egg, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return mixture to pan, stirring until well blended.
Garnish each serving with orange rind, if desired.
Note: Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract for the vanilla bean, if desired. Add the vanilla extract after cooking the pudding (at the end of step 3).