October 11, 2011
Sweet Apple Quinoa Compote
I love cookbooks.
Google is fine for some things, but there's just nothing like holding something concrete in your hands and flicking through the pages.
I have books from all cuisines and disciplines, from Commercial Catering to Kiddies parties, and of course I'm always interested in Gluten Free cooking.
I found this little book at the Newsagent down the road for less than $10, and flicked through it to see if anything caught my eye. I hate it when a gluten-free book cops out and is just about plain meat and veg recipes without straying from the beaten path and exploring some 'real' gluten free cooking with baking and desserts as well.
This book ticks all the boxes. Great breakfasts, lunches and snacks with a comprehensive introduction on Coeliac disease and Gluten InTolerance as well.
I was really taken with the recipe for Quinoa Compote, no gluten, no dairy, not even any sugar! Simply letting dried fruits stew down with the grain to create a Cosy Compote of Culinary Complexity.
Quinoa is available everywhere nowadays. I got mine from handy-dandy Woolies for quite a reasonable price, same with the juice and fruits. Of course you could use organic, or unpasteurised, but I usually like to keep the main recipe simple with ingredients that are easy to buy at any supermarket.
My little cheffy twist is with accessorising the meal. I used a Dutch apple syrup made from concentrated apple juice and sugarbeet that I got at the Deli to drizzle on top for a bit of extra yum, and some lactose free fresh cream for smoothing it all out nicely, and a few shaved almonds for crunch. You could use a bit of honey, or syrup, or even brown sugar, and some plain lactose free yogurt would add a nice tartness.
Sweet Quinoa Fruit Compote
500 grm dried fruit, roughly chopped
I used a mix of dates, raisins, pears and peaches
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 cups unsweetened Apple Juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
teaspoon Orange Blossom Water, or zest of an orange
First of all, wash the quinoa. When I first tried this new food the taste really put me off.
Quinoa is naturally coated with a substance called Saponin that is unpleasantly bitter and kind of musty tasting, but it can easily be washed off in warm water for a minute or so making the experience so much better. It took me long time to get over that first taste, and it wasn't until I heard about this tip that I was prepared to get the packet from the back of the cupboard and try my luck again.
Place the apple juice, cinnamon stick and orange zest or blossom water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
Add the rinsed quinoa, dried fruit and water, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the quinoa is soft and translucent.
I usually don't cook it this long, as I like the slight nuttiness and texture, but I figured I'd try it out and it worked great.
Serve hot or warm.
I preferred mine warm, but I think it would even be nice cold.
What a great breakfast, full of fibre, protein, vegan and even delicious to boot. I would happily serve this up in my Cafe on the regular menu, but why not try it yourself at home next weekend with a great coffee or tea and a leisurely read of the paper.
So Dear Readers, is Breakfast your favourite meal of the day?