Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recipe: Quinoa Banana Pudding with Dried Mango

I made this recipe from Whole Grains from Busy People by Lorna Sass when we had friends over. One person commented that she's tried making quinoa desserts, but the quinoa flavor always seems to overpower the dish. We decided there are enough bold flavors in this recipe to balance out the quinoa nicely. The coconut milk, banana, and ginger all stand up well to the quinoa, while the mango provides bursts of sweetness. I omitted the nuts, but they would surely provide an interesting layer of texture.

I chose to substitute honey for the sugar, but I only used 1/8 cup because it is sweeter than sugar. Also, if you intend to share this with kids, keep in mind that the ginger infuses a little kick at the end. If you think that might be a problem, consider reducing the ginger, though don't eliminate it; it's a lovely, fragrant addition to the dessert.

Quinoa Banana Pudding with Dried Mango

1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar, plus more to taste
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried mango slices, snipped into 1/2-inch bits
1 packed teaspoon grated fresh ginger, plus more to taste
2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Coconut flakes for topping

Rinse the quinoa well to eliminate the bitter taste when cooked.

Bring the quinoa and 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water has been absorbed, 12-15 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the mango and ginger. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency and the mango is soft but still chewy, about 3 minutes.

Slice half a banana and set aside. Mash the remaining 1 ½ bananas and, off the heat, stir into the pudding. Add more sugar, if needed, and then stir in the walnuts.

To serve, garnish with banana slices and coconut flakes.