I’ve been in a breakfast rut. The fact is, I’m not a morning person, and so getting up in time to make a healthy breakfast just isn’t likely to happen, even on the days I work at home. So in the end, I settle for something like a slimfast shake that I can mix up and drink with no prep time.
I decided to take a little time this morning to make something that I can keep in the fridge and have ready for breakfast this week. My mother always has a big pan of rice pudding in her fridge, and so I’ve been toying with the idea of making rice pudding for a while – except that whenever someone says “rice” what I hear is “quinoa.”
Most rice pudding recipes use a combination of milk and cream (or half-n-half), and sugar. I decided to try my luck with lowfat (1%) milk and maple syrup instead of sugar. I don’t save any calories by using maple syrup, but I love the flavor, and choose unprocessed foods whenever I can. I also found an article that says that maple syrup has more antioxidants than white sugar. The taste of the maple syrup comes through, but the nutty taste of quinoa is still very apparent. This is not my mother’s rice pudding, which I think is a good thing. I thought about adding raisins or dried cranberries, but decided to skip that – I liked the basic flavors I was working with and can always stir them in right before eating it.
I wound up with six portions (I put the finished quinoa pudding into 6-oz. ramekins). When I put my ingredients into a nutrition calculator it showed 272 calories per serving, with 4 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein per serving – sounds like good start to my day.
Place in a small saucepan:
- 2 cups water
Bring the water to a boil, then add:
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover, simmering for about 15 minutes (until the water is absorbed). You should wind up with about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
In a large nonstick skillet, add:
- cooked quinoa
- 4 cups milk (I used 1% milk)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (use pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored syrup)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered. Stirring frequently, simmer this until it has thickened. I decided mine was done when I put a toothpick into the center of the pan and it stayed upright.
Spoon into individual ramekins, allow to cool and then cover tightly with plastic wrap to store.