I admit that I have never been one of those people who hates winter. Actually, quite the contrary, I really love it! Sure, it’s cold. Yes, it’s harder to get around. But to me there is still something so lovely about it. I love that it forces me to slowdown a little bit. It is a great excuse to stay in and cuddle up on the couch with a movie, a cookbook or an US Weekly. And of course, it is the perfect reason to get into the kitchen to make cozy dishes that warm up the whole house in the process. However, after a few of months of soups, braises and casseroles, even I find myself ready to brighten things up in the kitchen, and that is when my sunny breakfast quinoa bowl comes in to save the day!
The best way of describing this totally cheerful and easy to make breakfast is to think of it as a bowl full of sunshine, or a vacation in a bowl! The inspiration for this quinoa based breakfast bowl is the holy grail of island getaway cocktails, the beloved Pina Colada! If you are like me you have pounded one or two of these treats as kids – sans booze of course – when visiting popular restaurants like T.G.I. Fridays, and the mere thought of a Virgin Pina Colada always puts a big smile on my face!
Here I have boiled white quinoa with coconut milk, pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, dried mango and cane sugar until the quinoa has popped and it is thick and creamy. Next, I stir in a little bit of vanilla coconut milk yogurt – plain vanilla yogurt will do just fine too – to add an extra element of creaminess to the pudding. Once the yogurt has been stirred into the quinoa place the whole pot into the fridge so that it can get nice and cold and thickens up, the finished pudding will remind you of rice pudding or tapioca.
While the pudding is chilling you can prepare the fruits for topping! This is where you can go really crazy with colorful and delicious tropical toppings! Everything works here but in the pictures you will see strawberries, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, toasted coconut and chia seeds! Of course macadamia nuts or almonds for a little crunch would be welcome at this party too!!!
I love a hot porridge, cream of wheat, steel cut oats, all of it! I think it is all delicious and perfect winter fare. However, eating this every morning for a week put a smile on my face each and every day I ate it. It’s cheerful. It’s colorful. It’s unexpected. You can make a batch over the weekend and eat it all week long. Add it to your Sunday brunch spread, your friends will be surprised and delighted. And if you are super organized grab those mason jars out of your cupboard and pack up your puddings for the week parfait style layering the quinoa pudding with your fruits, nuts and seeds. This way you can just grab your jar of breakfast sunshine and head out the door!
This Pina “Quinoa-da” Breakfast Pudding Bowl has quickly become one of my new favorite breakfasts. Its totally delicious and totally healthy! A real win win this time of year! Give it a try, I guarantee each bite will make you smile, and instantly transport you to a beachside cottage somewhere far far away.
Pina “Quinoa-da” Breakfast Pudding Bowl
2 Cups White Quinoa
2 – 13.5 Oz. Cans Coconut Milk
3 Cups Pineapple Juice
2 Tbsp. Palm Sugar or Light Brown Sugar
1 – 20 oz. Can Crushed Pineapple
1 Cup Dried Mango, Chopped*
¾ tsp. Salt
1 – 6oz. Serving of Vanilla Coconut Yogurt or Regular Vanilla Yogurt
Suggested Toppings: Fresh Mango, Papaya, Kiwi, Strawberries, Pineapple, Chopped Macadamia Nuts, Chopped Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Toasted Coconut Flakes
Use a colander to rinse the quinoa.
In a large pot add the quinoa, coconut milk, pineapple juice, palm sugar, crushed pineapple, dried mango and salt. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil and then turn the flame down so that the contents settle in at a gentle bubble. Give the quinoa mixture a good stir and then cover the pot for 20 minutes. During this time stir the quinoa every now and then so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. After 20 minutes turn off the burner, stir the quinoa and place the cover onto the pot and allow the quinoa steam for 10 minutes off of the heat.
After 10 minutes remove the cover and stir the quinoa. This will yield a nice and creamy mixture and when tasted the quinoa should be cooked all the way through but still have a little texture to it. If you find the quinoa is a little too crunchy place the cover on again for another 10 minutes until your pudding has the consistency that you are looking for.
Once the quinoa is ready stir in the vanilla coconut yogurt and then place the whole pot into the fridge. Leave it in the fridge until cold, at least two hours or overnight. The result will be a thick and creamy quinoa pudding.
When ready to serve place the pot of quinoa pudding out – buffet style – along with an array of tropical toppings that are listed above and allow everyone to make their own perfect breakfast quinoa pudding bowl. If you aren’t serving a crowd and simply making this for the week you can portion servings out individually into containers with covers or mason jars, top the pudding with fruits, nuts and grains and keep in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast.
This serves about 12 people, or makes about a week’s worth of breakfasts depending on how many people are eating it.
A FEW NOTES
Yes! This freezes nicely! Put individual servings in the freezer and take it out the night before. Leave the frozen pudding on the counter and it will be ready to eat first thing in the morning.
This is super fun to serve at weekend brunch! Make it the night before and chill it overnight in the fridge. In the morning all you have to do is lay out all the toppings and you are ready to go!
You can truly go crazy with whatever toppings tickle your fancy, but I LOVE it with tropical fruits. But don’t skip out on something crunchy! Adding some seeds and nuts to this pudding is a must! I love the crunch mixed in with the super creamy pudding.
I like to use Trader Joe’s Just Fruit Dried Mango Slices. They are like the best fruit roll-ups you will ever eat, but actually dried fresh fruit! Yum!