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Quinoa Pudding {with Coconut Milk & Maple Syrup}

Nutritious superfood quinoa is the star of this creamy, coconut milk-based pudding that tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca.

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}I’m quickly discovering that January is a month of multiple personalities when it comes to food blogging. First of all, after a holiday season filled with rich, indulgent foods, everyone is resolute to start off the year on a healthy foot. Thus, enter the lightened up, nutritious recipes. Then there’s the fact that January is one of the coldest months, so everyone is craving comfort food via their effortless crock pots. With Super Bowl right around the corner, some folks are trying to plan out their game-watching (or at least their commercial-watching) appetizers and snacks. And finally, Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, so that means decadent desserts and lots and lots of chocolate!

So before I delve into football-friendly fare and recipes incorporating hearts and effusive amounts of butter, I thought I’d squeeze in a sweet treat that’s actually wholesome and comforting at the same time. And since that covers most, but not quite all, of the January food blogging bases, I suppose you could also eat this dish while watching a football game. ;)

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}Have you jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet? This gluten-free, high fiber, complete protein of a grain has become mainstream and quite popular over the last couple of years, and rightfully so. Nevertheless, it’s been a fairly recent addition to my family’s menu plan, and so far I’ve primarily relegated it to the savory side dish category as a replacement for rice or pasta. Well, in 2014, I’m determined to incorporate quinoa into our diet more regularly and in unique ways. The other day it struck me that it might make a tasty and healthy pseudo-rice pudding, so I got to experimenting.

I ended up making this recipe multiple times in different variations to determine my favorite combination of ingredients. After trying several versions, I think I came up with a perfect formula for Quinoa Pudding. My kids went cuckoo over this and I think you will, too! But first, here’s how I came to my conclusions…

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}COCONUT MILK VS. WHOLE MILK

My eldest son is lactose-intolerant, so I often substitute unsweetened coconut milk (the kind that comes in a carton in the refrigerated section) for regular cow’s milk in my cooking. Sometimes it lends a coconut undertone to the recipe and sometimes it doesn’t. I did not notice that it contributed any coconut flavor to this quinoa pudding. But it did make it dairy-free and vegan.

For experimentation’s sake, I also made a batch of this pudding with regular milk. My family drinks whole milk, which worked beautifully in this recipe, resulting in creamy, luxurious pudding. I’m sure that skim milk or 2% would work as well, but be prepared for a potentially thinner final texture.

In conclusion? Both coconut milk and regular milk work perfectly well in this recipe. What to use is up to you!

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}AMOUNT OF MILK

The first time I made this recipe, I started with 3 cups of milk. After about 20 minutes of cooking time, the quinoa had absorbed all of it. The final dish had the texture of a thick oatmeal and the quinoa still had an al dente bite. It was delicious, but a tad thicker than I had hoped it would be.

So the next time, I started with 4 cups of milk. As a result, the cooking time naturally increased, but I actually preferred the resulting quinoa, which was more tender and milder in flavor. Plus I loved that the pudding was creamy and almost tapioca-like in texture, with quinoa grains floating in a pool of thick vanilla cream.

To sum it up? More milk and longer cooking time is definitely my preference here.

WHITE SUGAR VS. MAPLE SYRUP

Both worked and I didn’t really notice a difference in the resulting flavor or sweetness level. But since this quinoa recipe originated in the name of health, I lean towards sweetening it with pure maple syrup, which is at least a natural, unrefined sweetener. However, plain ol’ white sugar will work just fine as well if that’s your preference or what you have on hand.

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}CINNAMON: YAY OR NAY?

I love cinnamon in my rice pudding but I didn’t know if it would overpower the rest of the flavors, so I experimented with making this pudding with and without. I have to say, I really enjoyed the version in which cinnamon was added to the pudding while cooking. I was afraid it might overwhelm the vanilla, but instead, I found the non-cinnamon version to be a little bland. But certainly feel free to leave it out — or simply sprinkle it on the top — if you’re more of a no-cinnamon-in-your-pudding purist.

So there you have it! Warm, dreamy Quinoa Pudding. It’s like a 2014 version of comfort food…tastes like a decadent treat but brimming with nutrition! It’s equally delicious and nourishing as breakfast, a snack, or dessert. Whether you’ve been wanting to try quinoa or you’re already a quinoa veteran, this recipe is a winner. I can’t wait for y’all to try it!

Quinoa Pudding ~ dariy-free treat featuring superfoods quinoa and coconut milk; tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca | {Five Heart Home}P.S. Call me a redneck, but while I logically know that quinoa is pronounced “KEEN-wah,” every time I read it or write it, I can’t help but sound it out in my head as “kwin-OH-uh.” Please tell me I’m not the only one… ;)

Quinoa Pudding {with Maple Syrup & Coconut Milk}

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Nutritious superfood quinoa is the star of this creamy, coconut milk-based pudding that tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place quinoa in a mesh colander. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and allow to drain.
  2. In a medium (approximately 3-quart) pot, combine quinoa, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover, leaving the lid cracked so that some steam may escape. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and continue simmering for 5 more minutes or until pudding has thickened and the quinoa has absorbed most (but not all) of the milk. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour into bowls and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving (pudding will continue to thicken as it cools). Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

Thoroughly rinsing the quinoa is an important step in order to remove any potential bitter residue.

I used the kind of coconut milk beverage that is sold in a carton in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Canned coconut milk would probably work as well and result in even creamier/richer pudding with a stronger coconut flavor.

If you use regular milk, watch carefully so that it doesn't boil, foam, and overflow. Also, it is normal for regular milk to form a skin on the surface as the pudding cooks. Simply stir it back into the pudding and it will dissolve.

You may use white sugar in lieu of the maple syrup.

You may stir regular or golden raisins into the pudding if you wish.

http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/01/11/quinoa-pudding-with-coconut-milk-maple-syrup/

More of our favorite breakfast ideas!

(Click on the photo to be taken to the recipe.)

Coconut Almond Baked Oatmeal ~ a warm, nourishing breakfast that can be baked ahead of time and reheated on busy mornings | FiveHeartHome.com

Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars with Coconut Oil ~ quick and easy to make with all natural ingredients | FiveHeartHome.com

Healthy Whole Wheat and Honey Banana Muffins ~ wholesome ingredients including whole wheat flour, coconut oil, yogurt, and honey | FiveHeartHome.com

Cheesy Ham and Grits Breakfast Casserole | {Five Heart Home}

Nut-and-honey-granola-700px

Classic Blueberry Muffins ~ this quick, easy recipe proves that sometimes simple is best! | {Five Heart Home}Let’s stay in touch!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

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Comments

  1. Samantha, I have always loved pudding of all kinds – I am totally intrigued by this! I love tapica so I’m sure I’d love this too and have to put it on my must-try list! Thanks for sharing and pinning! Hope you have a great Sunday!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Cindy! I think you will love this, particularly if you enjoy tapioca. As always, I appreciate your sweet comment and the pin. Hope you’re having a great weeK!

  2. This sounds amazing, Samantha. I’d love to give it a try for breakfast with coconut milk and maple syrup. Yum!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Megan…it makes a great breakfast! We’ve been eating it all week and it’s about time for me to make another batch… ;) Let me know what you think if you end up trying it!

  3. These looks SO good! I love finding new quinoa recipes, and I trying this for sure. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Bethany! I’m getting a little more adventurous with quinoa these days as well…but this is my favorite way to eat is so far by far;) Happy to have you stop by!

  4. Oh my word! I am craving this! I LOVE quinoa and this looks like a great tapioca alternative. Another good one!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Sally! I’m craving this, too…and I just had it yesterday. ;) Time to make another batch! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do… :)

  5. I used to have homemade tapoica all the time when I was little. This looks like a healthier option! Pinning and hoping to try it out soon!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I hope you try it, Carrie, because I really do think you’ll love it! I get excited about a lot of recipes, but I’m really excited about this one! ;)

  6. Hi! I’m stopping by from the Lovely Ladies Linky Hop. I love quinoa! This recipe looks easy and yummy! I’ll have to give it a try.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Teresa! I think you’ll love this recipe if you like quinoa…or even if you don’t! ;) Easy and yummy are right, so I hope you do get to try it! :) Thanks for the comment…have a great weekend!

  7. Making this now and just wanted to clarify that the “coconut milk” you refer to is that the beverage or canned? Thank you. Recalling looking forward to enjoying this new recipe!!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      That is a great question, Dani! I mentioned it in the text of the post, but I need to go back and clarify it in the recipe directions so that people see it for sure. I used the kind of coconut milk that you buy in a carton in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. But honestly, you could probably use canned coconut milk as well if you wanted to…the pudding would just turn out even richer and creamier! Thanks again for the question…hope you enjoy it! :)

  8. Silly me, I just went back and re-read. Answered my question. Thanks Samantha!

  9. I am so craving this right now! I am definitely going to be making this soon!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Jocelyn…I hope you do get to try it soon! I was very excited by how yummy it turned out, given that it’s actually healthy and all… ;) I’m so glad you stopped by…happy Friday!

  10. Sounds delicious! I love quinoa, but haven’t tried making it into anything sweet…I think it’s time I change that :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yes, Caitlin…sounds like it’s high time to try this! ;) I hadn’t had a sweet version on quinoa before this recipe, either…but I have to say, I think it’s my favorite way to eat quinoa now. Hope you like it, too!

  11. Oh my this sounds delicious! I grew up eating quinoa but have just recently started experimenting with new ways to eat it other than salad. Last night we had breakfast for dinner and the quinoa pancakes were the star! I can’t wait to try this! The coconut milk and maple syrup make it sound even more yummy :) Thanks for sharing!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Mmmmm…quinoa pancakes?! I’ll have to try those next! I totally agree that it’s fun coming up with new ways to eat quinoa. I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does! :)

  12. HEY! I pronounce Quinoa the way you do too! Well… when I’m with people and wanna show off, I do it KEEN-wah but in my head I definitely do KEEN-Oh-ah. Glad to see I’m not the only one haha :)

    Love this pudding! Definitely gonna make it asap!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Kammie…your comment made me laugh! Glad I’m not the only one with a tendency towards an unrefined pronunciation of the word ‘quinoa’… ;) Enjoy the recipe…thanks for stopping by!

  13. Hi Samantha!

    I featured your recipe for this week’s Tasty Tuesdays! I hope you’ll stop by and linkup again this week!
    http://www.mrsthreeinthree.com/2014/01/tasty-tuesdays-45.html

    -Karly

  14. Samantha, you are a genius! I never would have thought to make quinoa into pudding…or anything sweet for that matter! Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us at Best of the Weekend. :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the sweet comment, Lisa! I have to admit, I really do love this sweetened up quinoa. I hope that you like it as well if you get to try it! See you at BotW, and thanks for hosting each week!

  15. Zoe Powell says:

    I really enjoy this recipe but I was just wondering what brand of quinoa did you use? When I made this It had a real strong nutty flavour.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Zoe! I’ve been using Royal White Quinoa lately, and it’s the 365 Organic brand from Whole Foods. I rinse my quinoa really well to get rid of the bitter coating, and I find that by the time it’s been cooking for 30 minutes, the quinoa flavor is pretty mild. As I mentioned in the post, I did a bit of experimenting when developing this recipe, and I found that the quinoa flavor was much stronger with a shorter cooking time. So I’m not sure if any of these could have been factors for you or if different brands of quinoa taste stronger than others. Hope this helps a bit…thanks for the question!

  16. I made this using almond milk for a lactose intolerant friend who does not like coconut. I added in a cup of golden raisins and a cup of slivered almonds. She loved it!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m so happy to hear that your friend enjoyed this treat! Your modifications sound yummy. :) Thanks for coming back to share your success!

    • Corrine says:

      I was just wondering if you used the plain almond milk or if you used the vanilla flavored?

      • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

        Hi Corrine! I use plain almond milk in this recipe. But you could certainly use vanilla if that’s what you have on hand. Just keep in mind that you may want to reduce the sugar in the recipe if you’re using sweetened almond milk. Hope that helps…enjoy, and happy Friday!

    • Cheryl says:

      LEH,
      I was just going to ask about the Almond Milk option – glad you tried it! Much better for less saturated fat option as well! I love coconut milk from Silk but the sf’s are pretty high & almond milk doesn’t have that. :)

      • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

        Yes, Cheryl, I think almond milk works just as well as coconut milk if that’s your preference. :) Hope you enjoy!

  17. I loved this recipe, so yummy and it’s nice that it is relatively healthy. Thank you for being so thorough in testing regular milk and different sweeteners, it made me more confident in changing it up. I love having another great quinoa recipe :)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m glad that you enjoyed this, Lizzy! And yes, it’s pretty forgiving so I think you can definitely experiment and change it up if you like. :) I appreciate the comment and hope you’re having a great week!

  18. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to make this! x

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I hope you enjoy this, Katie! It’s been a favorite breakfast around here lately. :) Thanks for stopping by…hope you’re having a great week!

  19. Charlotte says:

    I tried this thinking it would be good. I hate to say neither my husband or I liked it. I needed to use a container of coconut milk. Maybe just a personal taste preference on this since others seemed to like it.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Charlotte! I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this. Every recipe is not loved by every person, and quinoa in particular can be an acquired taste. Is it possible that you didn’t thoroughly rinse the quinoa? The naturally-occurring bitter residue on the quinoa can definitely contribute an unpleasant taste to the final dish. I’m also not sure what you mean when you say you had to use a container of coconut milk? The recipe calls for 4 cups, so I’m curious if you required more or less. At any rate, I’m sorry again that this wasn’t your favorite, but I hope you find another recipe that better suits your tastes. :) Have a great week!

  20. I love rice pudding – I make it with soy milk, cinnamon and raisins. I haven’t been able to get my kids to eat quinoa so maybe this is the ticket! Although my daughter doesn’t care for rice pudding anyway :(

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I don’t think it tastes very quinoa-y when prepared this way, Avra, so maybe your kids will like it! I hope so. And it reminds me more of tapioca than rice pudding, so hopefully your daughter will at least give it a try. ;) Good luck!

  21. I’m eating a ‘lil bowl of this delicious quinoa pudding right now! Delish! Hubby likes it too! Looking forward to having it again tomorrow morn for breakfast with blueberries and sliced banana. Thanks for sharing Samantha! PS You’re not the only one who reads quinoa as ‘kwinoa’ ;) Gets me every time, even though I know it’s meant to be ‘keenwa’ haha!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m glad y’all are enjoying this quinoa recipe, Stella! And I’m even more glad that I’m not the only one who (still) sounds out that dang word phonetically every time I read it! ;) Thanks so much for the comment…hope you’re having a great week! :)

  22. Absolutely delicious. Wow. I am licking my bowl.

    My experience:
    I didn’t have coconut milk, only an almond-coconut milk mixture, but it was still great (though it did boil over once…. or twice). I also didn’t have vanilla, but it wasn’t missed. And because I’m not vegan and didn’t want the pudding to remind me too much of breakfast, I used half maple syrup and half raw honey.
    Finally, because my quinoa package suggests a rice cooker as a cooking option, I decided to make the pudding in my rice cooker for easier cleanup. I would recommend this cooking method to anyone who wants to make sure their mixture doesn’t burn, but not to anyone who would leave the cooker unattended, as mine did boil over. Additionally, it did take a little bit longer to cook.

    Again, wow.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yay, Alyssa…I’m glad this recipe was such a hit! Thanks for taking the time to comment with your tips and tricks…I’m sure those will come in helpful for other readers. Hope you enjoy this quinoa for many years to come…have a great weekend! :)

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