“Not overly sweet, this quinoa dessert gets its flavor from being cooked in almond milk and light coconut milk that are infused with lemongrass.”
Sometimes you just want something different. That’s the inspiration behind this recipe. While I normally love a good chocolate brownie, there are times when I really crave something unique. This quinoa pudding is just that, a fun combination of flavors and textures. Lemongrass and light coconut milk add an exotic element, and the toasted, sliced almonds add the perfect amount of crunch. Preparing this recipe with quinoa adds a nutritious touch and makes it a safe option for anyone following a gluten-free diet.
I like using lemongrass in recipes because it adds a light, floral, lemon taste to whatever you’re cooking. It can seem like an intimidating ingredient, but it’s actually quite easy to use. For this recipe you will need one stalk of lemongrass. The first step is to remove the first few outer layers of the stalk, much like you would remove the outer leaves of a head of cabbage. Once you do that, you will reveal a softer, inner layer to the stalk. At this point you should give the stalk a good rinse and pat dry with clean paper towels. Take it to a clean cutting board and trim off the bottom root-end of the stalk and the upper half of the stalk, leaving about 5 inches of lemongrass to work with. Then, using a meat mallet or the back of a spoon, beat the stalk to release the aromatic oils. Now it’s ready to use!
Lemongrass isn’t the only flavor contributor in this quinoa pudding. Using a combination of almond milk and coconut milk adds interest and keeps this dish dairy-free. Quinoa is a nutritious seed and is a complete source of protein as well as fiber and iron. Finishing the dish with fresh orange zest adds just the right amount of brightness, making the dessert feel light.
This warm quinoa pudding is a great alternative to heavy, calorie-loaded desserts. While it’s certainly not guilt-free, it’s a healthier option for satisfying any sweet tooth. Using interesting and flavorful ingredients adds intrigue and makes this a dessert you can feel good about eating.
Food Safety Tip: Light coconut milk usually comes in cans, which typically aren’t the cleanest. That’s why it’s always a good idea to wipe the top of the can with clean, wet paper towel before opening. This prevents the dirt or dust from getting into the can and in your food. It’s also very important to wash your can opener after each use. Give it a good wash in hot, soapy water and let it dry before putting it away.
Warm Quinoa Pudding with Almonds and Lemongrass
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup + 1/2 cup plain almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, washed and pounded (see instructions above)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, wash orange first
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
- Bring coconut milk, 1 cup almond milk, vanilla, lemongrass, salt and brown sugar to a simmer in a pot set over medium heat. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes.
- Make a slurry by mixing cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk, whisking until cornstarch is well-incorporated. Stir slurry into quinoa mixture and increase heat to a low boil, cook for five minutes or until mixture is thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Portion into bowls and garnish with toasted almonds.