Tropical Quinoa Pudding Made with Green Tea

To me, quinoa is a bit of contradiction—it’s highly versatile, yet walks on the boring side of the road. This recipe “doctors” it up and provides additional nutrition to boot.

Quinoa is a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids, including lysine, essential for cellular repair. This nearly-perfect food also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are known to reduce cancer risks. Native to South America, it’s no wonder that it was once called the “gold of the Incas.”

Although most people drink green tea, it can easily be used in recipes like this. Its benefits, including robust antioxidants such as polyphenols, are becoming more well-known. For example, polyphenols help eliminate free radicals that can alter DNA, causing cell mutation and leading to cancer formation (Kimberly Mathai, MS, RD, The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook, 2004, pg.12). There’s no need to limit green tea’s consumption to simply a beverage when it’s such a potent cancer-fighter.

In the world of food, what’s the opposite of boring? Answer: something that comes alive in your mouth, such as a burst of tropical flavor. The pineapple, mango, coconut, and walnuts in this recipe create a delicious confluence of exotic yet familiar tastes. Served warm, it’s a wonderful comfort food that can be brought back to life the next day(s) simply by adding milk and heating. Convenient, comforting, and cancer-fighting? A homerun!

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of dry quinoa
  • 2 cups of green tea
  • 2 cups of chopped mango or pineapple (or 1 cup of each)
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 and ½ to 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut or almond extract

1)  Bring the green tea and quinoa to a boil, then cover and simmer until the green tea is absorbed.

2)  In large bowl, mix eggs, mango, pineapple, walnuts, ½ cup of shredded coconut, coconut milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and coconut (or almond) extract.

3)  Pour into lightly-greased casserole dish and sprinkle ½ cup of shredded coconut on top. 

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

*Note:  To bring back to life the following day(s), add milk and heat in the microwave.

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