Vegan Quinoa Pudding with Tropical Fruit

Is a dessert ever “healthy?” This Vegan Quinoa Pudding with Tropical Fruit comes pretty close! Quinoa gets simmered with whole spices, then combined with coconut milk before it’s layered with passion fruit pudding and fresh mango. You can make it in advance, and the calories are relatively low compared, yet it provides 5 grams of protein. It’s vegan, gluten free, and delicious! Check it out!

2 glass mugs of Peruvian quinoa pudding alongside a big sprig of fresh mint, a grey napkin, and 2 spoons.

I love cooking with quinoa, and you will always find this healthy pseudo-cereal (it’s actually a seed) in my well-stocked pantry. I have recipes for breakfast and dinner, but I have never done a quinoa dessert recipe.

While I have enjoyed many Peruvian dessert recipes during our Peruvian travels, I don’t recall having one with quinoa. My arroz con dulce was a favorite, but I’m currently avoiding a lot of foods, and I wanted this pudding to be vegan.

I have gotten a couple of comments about the lack of authenticity in my “Peruvian” recipes. Let’s not go there. First of all, I do not claim to be re-creating authentic Peruvian recipes, and certainly not Peruvian quinoa pudding recipes. I love the food and culture, and my aim is to bring a bit of Peruvian inspiration to my recipes with ingredients that non-Peruvians can readily find.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

~~ Oscar Wilde.

I fondly remember many desserts prepared by our campesinos on our Andean treks, and often Isaac would infuse liquid with whole spices. I love the flavor! In this spirit, I infuse the quinoa water with whole cinnamon and star anise during the initial 10 minutes. I reserve 1/4 cup of that infused water, combine it with both canned coconut milk and non-dairy coconut milk for the remainder of the cooking time.

The pièce de résistance of this dessert recipe is the layer of passionfruit pudding. It takes only a couple of ingredients, and a couple of minutes to make. I think you’ll love this fresh tasting, creamy, vegan dessert!

Ingredients for this quinoa dessert recipe in prep bowls - coconut milk and milk, orange zest, whole spices, salt, quinoa, raw sugar, passionfruit puree, and mango.
  • cinnamon sticks
  • star anise
  • a big strip of orange peel
  • quinoa
  • canned coconut milk (regular or lite)
  • non-dairy or dairy milk (I use coconut non-dairy milk)
  • raw or brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • passionfruit purée
  • cornstarch
  • agave nectar
  • diced mango and mint chiffonade (for garnish)

Make the Passionfruit Pudding

If you’re comfortable watching 2 pots at one time, you can make the passionfruit pudding while the quinoa cooks. It’s super easy and quick!

  • Add 3/4 cup passionfruit purée to a small saucepan. Heat it gently.
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, and one tablespoon cornstarch.
  • Bring mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool.
Cooking steps photos: A saucepan with quinoa and spices, a mixing bowl of coconut milks whisked with vanilla and sugar, and the quinoa combined with milks before and after cooking it.
  1. Infuse the quinoa with the spices and orange peel – Add water, well-rinsed quinoa, and spices to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup liquid and reserve before draining and removing spices.
  2. Prepare cooking liquid – combine the coconut milk, nut milk (or dairy milk), reserved spice infused water, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  3. Combine the quinoa with coconut milk mixture – Add the drained quinoa and the coconut milk mixture to the saucepan (you can use the same one!).
  4. Cook the quinoa – Bring up to a boil, then immediately reduce heat. Cover and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (stirring occasionally) and the mixture is thickened (about 15-20 minutes). The quinoa should be very tender! Serve room temperature or chilled.
  5. Finish – To serve, spoon the quinoa pudding into serving dish, top with passionfruit pudding (previous section), garnish with fresh mango, and chiffonade of fresh mint.
A close up of vegan quinoa pudding with tropical fruit in a glass mug topped with a layer of passionfruit pudding, diced mango, and fresh mint chiffonade.

Note: Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under cool, running water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain. Rinsing removes the saponin, the coating that makes quinoa taste bitter.

Is this dessert good leftover? YES! I cook for 2, so we always have leftovers. Store it in an airtight container for 2-3 day in the refrigerator. I typically store the passionfruit pudding separately from the quinoa pudding and layer them just before serving. Top with fresh fruit and mint at the last moment.

The quinoa pudding will continue to absorb liquid. If you want a little creamier dessert, simply add more coconut milk or milk to the consistency you prefer just before serving.

I can’t find passionfruit pulp/purée! You can substitute a different tropical fruit purée, or you can start with juice. Avoid using anything with added sugar as it will be overly sweet!

This quinoa pudding makes a perfectly acceptable (and delicious!) breakfast IMHO.

Have I convinced you yet? It really is simple to make, it can be made mostly in advance, and it’s pretty healthy (healthyish)!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Yield: 6 servings

Vegan Quinoa Pudding with Tropical Fruit

A close up glass mug with vegan quinoa pudding topped with a layer of passionfruit purée and fresh mango.

A creamy coconut milk and quinoa pudding topped with a passionfruit purée thickened with cornstarch, and fresh mango!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • a big strip of orange peel
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (regular or lite)
  • 1 cup non-dairy or dairy milk (I use coconut non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup raw or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cooking spice-infused cooking liquid
  • 3/4 cup passionfruit purée
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • diced mango and mint chiffonade (for garnish)

Instructions

    1. Infuse the quinoa with the spices and orange peel - Add water, well-rinsed quinoa, and spices to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup liquid and reserve before draining and removing spices.
    2. Prepare cooking liquid - combine the coconut milk, nut milk (or dairy milk), reserved spice infused water, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
    3. Combine the quinoa with coconut milk mixture - Add the drained quinoa and the coconut milk mixture to the saucepan (you can use the same one!).
    4. Cook the quinoa - Bring up to a boil, then immediately reduce heat. Cover and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (stirring occasionally) and the mixture is thickened (about 15-20 minutes). The quinoa should be very tender! Serve room temperature or chilled.
    5. Finish - To serve, spoon the quinoa pudding into serving dish, top with passionfruit pudding (previous section), garnish with fresh mango, and chiffonade of fresh mint.

Notes

Note: Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under cool, running water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.

Macronutrients are an approximation only from MyFitnessPal.com.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 5g

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