Considered a superfood, the tiny grain known as quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is packed with tasty goodness, is highly nutritious and very versatile to cook with. The Incas referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains," and with good reason—quinoa is naturally gluten-free, packed with iron, fiber, magnesium and calcium.
Quinoa can be used as a side dish tossed with veggies, in place of rice, over a bed of greens or used to make meatloaf, just to name a few ways to eat this grain. It's similar in texture and nutty flavor to brown rice but takes less time to cook, which is a thumbs up for busy moms.
If your kids are skeptical about trying quinoa, whip up this creamy quinoa coconut breakfast pudding in place of oatmeal or cereal. Sweetened with piloncillo and vanilla, this breakfast pudding will keep their tummies full until lunchtime and provide a well-balanced breakfast instead of consuming loads of sugar found in most breakfast cereals today.
Look for quinoa in the grain section of your supermarket or natural foods store, which may also sell it in bulk.
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, toasted (see directions below)
Place quinoa in a mesh colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water; drain.
In a medium saucepan combine quinoa, milk, coconut milk, piloncillo, salt and vanilla extract.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until all quinoa is tender and almost all milk has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add raisins and serve garnished with toasted coconut.
To make toasted coconut: Spread shredded coconut on baking sheet and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake, stirring occasionally until coconut is toasted and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.
Piloncillo Tip: Use a vegetable grater to grate piloncillo or substitute with brown sugar.