Quinoa peach pudding

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Well, this is my first attempt to try something sweet with quinoa. As things started to flow along, the lack of contrast made me to add some fruits, especially peaches instead of any other fruits. Luckily, I had some extra slices available in the refrigerator and seems to be apt and sort of soft for a pudding, definitely a nice contrast to the texture and tasted delicious.


Quinoa is such a versatile and diverse ingredient. I’ve been using it for quite a while ever since I came to know its copious amount of goodness as powerful as spinach, Swiss chard and beets. I wouldn’t mind spending extra dough on anything rich in nutrients. It doesn’t matter if I use it or not on a day to day basis, the flow and the steady supply of few healthy ingredients attracts a healthy and positive vibe in the kitchen. When you have that positive energy around, it automatically pulls you in that direction.

The year 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa” also triggered the demand and spread the awareness across the world. Before that, ages ago, people in South America had been the only folks ever knew about the rich factors of quinoa and utilizing its health benefits. The key factor is that it’s gluten free and high in protein which is great for a vegetarian diet.IMG_4756-02

Apart from its benefits, the texture of cooked quinoa is quite alluring. As it cooks, a delicate spiral ring can be seen around it. It is said to be the core of quinoa that holds most of its nutrients. A cup of cooked quinoa goes a long way. Once cooked the texture of it appears sort of fluffy and nutty which makes it a promising super food. Sweet or savory, it adapts well to almost anything such as salads, rice, yogurt etc.

There is an inedible part, the sinner saponin. It is a bitter soapy resin – an inedible powdery substance -which could easily spoil the whole thing. So remember to rinse thoroughly and get rid of any hint of resin before cooking.

IMG_4743-31 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups milk
4 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp butter
¾ tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups of sliced fresh peaches
Few raisins

Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for few minutes. Rinse and drain it using a strainer.

Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa to it. I would add butter at this point to avoid any cohesion.  When it starts cooking half way through, add milk to it. Stir well. At this point keep stirring since the milk has been added. This prevents from sticking at the bottom of the pan and scorching. That could spoil the entire dish. Turn the heat from medium to low and frequently stir the mixture to avoid scorching.

As it progresses, add sugar, salt and vanilla. The texture of the mixture should be neither thick nor thin, rather a smooth creamy delicious consistency. You can tweak the liquid content according to your desired level of consistency. Turn off the heat when the mixture has cooked through and creamy. Add the fruits of your choice and close the lid to allow blending everything well. You can say it is cooked when the outer ring of the quinoa pops out and encircles the seed. In the end just throwing a bit of better butter wouldn’t hurt anyone 🙂 Serve hot or cold with extra addition of fruits or nut. Enjoy,

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Spinach and peach muffins

IMG_4792-03My first thought was to bake some muffins just to save those slices of peach I had in the refrigerator. Fruits like peaches tend to rot easily and are not safe to eat raw at that stage, hence the plan to bake muffins out of it. For a contrast I decided to add spinach to make it more appealing.  I love adding greens in anything to explore the possibilities… Well, without any doubt, spinach seemed to be a strong ingredient to go with my recipe. Oh, yeah, spinach and peach, rhymes beautiful, too!

On the contrary, my kids hesitate to indulge in any confection made out of spinach or vegetables in general.  So I had to be careful to keep the spinach away from their sight until it disappeared in the batter. Now that I’m obsessed with adding spinach also in the recipe I’m forced to have a backup plan, an alias for spinach. And I came up with an awesome alias!

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Luckily, no one was around to hinder the smooth flow whatsoever. Muffins were already in the oven doing its job, rising well without any cracking on top. Things were going nice and smooth. I was relieved to see the desired texture I had in mind.  Next I was in the process of taste testing and scanning through every aspects of it. Then there came that impending question from behind me: “What’s that green stuff in the muffins?” My son was right. The scattered green tinge was still there, of course a dire moment for me. Well, not so fast.. Oh, dear, that’s ‘green vanilla’ to enhance the texture and the taste of the muffins. It was prompt and darn convincing. He just walked away with a sense of relief.

Ingredients

IMG_4789-051 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt

3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ sticks of butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peaches, diced
3/4 cup spinach (minced if it’s fresh or crumbled, if it’s frozen)

Grease the muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat eggs adding vanilla to it. Add the cream mixture and the flour mixture. Gently incorporate everything. Add the diced peaches and the spinach. Mix everything together with a wooden spatula. Fill ¾ cups full. Bake in 325°oven for about 15-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.