Most weekends we go to an Indian buffet that we love in Cambridge. I always salivate over the creamy kheer in the large bowl being scooped generously by the patrons into delicious globs held by tiny overflowing cups. Finally I decided to make a kheer that I too could enjoy. Many may disagree and it’s all good but white rice has little nutritional value for me so I used quinoa instead for my recipe. Plus I figured Gabriel would also get the benefits of this dessert but that was a negative. We are unfortunately going through the stage where he hates all things quinoa. Talk about challenge in a half Latin household.
Traditional kheer is made with whole milk, condensed milk and cardamom (and rice). But the evening I made this kheer a close friend needing a little comfort came over for dinner so I adapted the recipe. To warm his heart I added a couple of other spices on top of the cardamom that when mixed with boiled milk will apparently soothe the spirit. An Ayurvedic practitioner told me this theory and indeed cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla have a warming psychological effect when cooked with milk. Works for me! The finished kheer had a delicious light sweetness from the agave with a mild fleeting fragrance of cardamom.
Enjoy this sweet kheer served at room temperature or chilled!
Add more cardamom if you like a stronger fragrance. For thickener I used 2 tablespoons of kuzu root starch because I wanted my kheer a bit soupier. But you can add another tablespoon to thicken further. If you want a sweeter kheer just increase the amount of agave.
6 cups almond milk (or choice of non-dairy milk)
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons powdered cardamom
Inside scraping of 1 stick fresh vanilla bean
¼ cup agave nectar
3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 one cup dry uncooked)
2 tablespoons kuzu root starch dissolved according to package instructions
In a medium saucepan bring milk, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla bean to a boil
Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes stirring and scraping sides of pan as the vanilla bean sticks
Add agave and stir
Add cooked quinoa and stir leaving it to simmer another 5 minutes so that it soaks up the flavor of the milk
Pour kuzu slowly and stir gently into the kheer until it thickens
Remove cinnamon stick
Transfer kheer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature before serving or place in refrigerator until chilled
Sprinkle with cinnamon and add raspberries before serving (optional)
I think that a healthy breakfast can taste like dessert. Or dessert anytime of day can be healthy in general if made with the right ingredients. I am almost certain you will agree with me when you see what this parfait is made of, especially since it is completely sugar-free but sweetly satisfying.
You can make this parfait with blueberries or strawberries. And you can also make it in any glass or dish instead of a jar.
Make sure you have on hand a chilled canned of coconut milk (full-fat). I always keep one in my refrigerator in case I have to whip something up quickly.
Instead of agave or any type of your typical sweetener I chose half an orange for taste. The coconut milk whip cream is so luscious on its own that it doesn’t need much coaching.
Whip it up and then…
… lick it up. No, seriously, I promise I only did this after cream was ready and before blades went into the wash. It was all good except for when I almost tilted my tripod over while my tongue was reaching and free hand pushed the shutter. Oh the perils of the food blog job.
And moving on to arrange the parfait. So beautiful, no?
Even prettier and yummier with cacao nibs on top. Chill and eat.
You can substitute fresh blueberries for strawberries. The preparation is not very long, although chilling the can of coconut milk takes about 3-4 hours and takes no effort. Cook time is really chill time of 1 hour.
For orange cream
1 can chilled coconut milk (full-fat)
Fresh squeezed juice from ½ a ripe orange
For rest of parfait
1 cup quinoa cooked and cooled to room temperature (divided)
1 1/12 fresh blueberries (divided)
⅛ cup cacao nibs
For orange cream
Scoop top thick part of coconut milk from chilled can
Place into a bowl and whip for 2 minutes
Add orange juice and whip 1 minute
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for an hour
For assembling parfait
In two separate glasses or jars, add half the quinoa at the bottoms and layer with half the blueberries and then half the orange cream
Sprinkle with cacao nibs
Place parfaits in the refrigerator and chill for an hour before serving
I have been home under the weather for a few days and really wanted something special for breakfast. Saturday was rainy and we were all hanging out in the loft so it was a perfect time to bake. I had all the baking ingredients I needed and a couple of fuji apples, all perfect for what I had in mind.
I thought an upside down cake would be perfect because I wanted the top to be caramely and gooey. We all know about the pineapple upside down cake and why not try it with apples?
Look at the rich delicious caramel mess on top. It tasted every bit as sinful as it looks in the photo above. And picking at the pan after the big flip of the cake was divine!
Gabriel was going crazy so I had to cut a piece right away and let it cool quickly so he could eat it. So much for breakfast cake. Maybe it was a bad precedent to make a breakfast cake and confuse my toddler that cake should be eaten in the morning and anytime of day? Possibly. All cakes to him are called “apply birday.” Happy birthday in the morning may definitely be a bad habit…hmm…
If I am honest though, Gabriel is right on since I do feel that cake anytime of day is great. Enough said. Let’s all dig in!
The cake consistency will be very moist and somewhat dense. Depending on your oven, check that the top of the cake is bouncy when done but not too soft as the batter may not be fully cooked. I used Fuji apples but use any apple that you have on hand that will keep its consistency when baked.
For the caramel sauce
¾ cup earth balance or non-dairy butter spread (melted)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup agave
For the cake
1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1½ cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup coconut oil plus 1 tablespoon (melted) plus more to grease the pan (unmelted)
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons agave
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
1½ cups chopped fuji apples (peeled)
7-8 round fuji apple slices (cored and peeled)
For the caramel sauce
Prepare a round 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and greased sides
In a small bowl whisk together melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla and agave
For the cake
Preheat oven to 325 F
Arrange round apple slices in cake pan and pour caramel sauce on top distributing it evenly
In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon
Add coconut oil, agave, milk and vanilla
Whisk batter until smooth
Fold in chopped apples
Add batter to cake pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until ready (stick a toothpick in and it should come out clean when done)
Let cake sit in the pan for 10 minutes
With a knife gently work around the cake releasing the edges
Flip cake onto a plate and let cool completely before serving