Updated Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Total Time: 40 minutes
Hands On Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Quinoa is a nutritional superstar, a grain alternative that has taken the food world by storm. But until Beatrice created this recipe, we never considered using it in a dessert. In testing, we loved this quinoa pudding so much that we've been playing with variations at home ever since: topped with orange segments or dried fruit in the winter, even serving it with berries and yogurt for breakfast. It's as easy to make as oatmeal, but it has a creamy richness that feels indulgent, despite being both low-fat and high-fiber--and gluten-free.
Make the compote: In a 2- to 3-quart pot over medium-high heat, combine the peaches, nectarines, sugar, vanilla seeds and pod, lemon thyme, lemon balm (if using), and lime zest. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla pod, lemon thyme, and lemon balm. Add the lime juice to taste; then set aside.
Using real vanilla pods in both the compote and the pudding adds wonderful flavor, but we realize that they're expensive. To save money, you can divide a single pod between the two, or you can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in each. If you don't happen to have any coconut milk on hand, you can simply substitute regular milk.
Make the pudding: In a 4-quart pot, combine the milk, coconut milk, cardamom pods, vanilla seeds and pod, cinnamon stick, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and sugar, and simmer, stirring often, until the quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed (the consistency should be creamy), about 30 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. Discard the cardamom pods, vanilla pod, and cinnamon stick.
Divide the quinoa among serving glasses and top with compote, almonds, and pistachios.
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