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Vanilla-Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

Posted May 22 2012 3:48pm

Happy National Vanilla Pudding Day! 

I researched (in a non-academic, google-y way) origins of this holiday, but came up blank. I'd switch to rigorous, academic investigative mode, but I fear losing myself in the process for days (weeks?) on end. Who could feel otherwise about the pursuit of pudding? Nonetheless, methinks a certain Gel-Oh manufacturer had a hand in the day's genesis, but it's beside the point. The point is that it's a national holiday dedicated to eating pudding with gusto and glee.  

But don't worry if you don't have the time or desired for vanilla pudding today; you can eat pudding far more often—every day?--if  the pudding is made with wonderful ingredients, like quinoa and almond milk. 

The unique texture of quinoa makes an incredible pudding. Its polka-dotted-ness is particularly appealing, making it akin to tapioca, but it’s more delicate, with the bonus of a nuanced nutty-sesame flavor. The possibilities for variation are vast, but vanilla, along with a touch of cardamom, is always a winner. Enjoy!

Vanilla-Cardamom Quinoa Pudding Cups

Makes 6 pudding “cups”

1 cup   quinoa, rinsed 
1/4 cup            natural cane sugar or granulated sugar           
1/4 tsp ground cardamom      
1/8 tsp fine sea salt    
3 cups  almond milk, regular milk or other plain non-dairy milk (such as soy, rice or hemp)
2/3 cup            water  
2 tsp    vanilla extract 

1.         In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, sugar, cardamom, salt, milk and water. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, leaving lid ajar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes or until quinoa is very soft and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
2.         Transfer quinoa mixture to a medium heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until cold.
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