April 25, 2011

Home-made quinoa milk and 'Chocoatl'

Some of you may have seen the tweets earlier this week about my experiments with home-made quinoa milk. I adore quinoa and I am convinced about its versatility, nutritious qualities and tastiness. It is suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes and its a perfect gluten-free alternative. Like brown rice, it can also be made into milk and used as a protein-rich dairy-free drink. 

As a side note I should say that I have always had a deep interest in the Maya culture. Even as a young teenager, I was (perhaps in an un-cool way) drawn into the fascinating history of the Mayas and I once aspired to become an archaeologist, something along the lines of Indiana Jones. This didn't happen, however, although I did manage to complete a minor in a somewhat less interesting field of Finnish archaeology. 

This quinoa chocolate drink takes me right back to my Maya research days. The combination of chocolate and spices is impeccable and results in a thick, velvety drink that is filling and satisfying. I have used home-made quinoa milk, but you could substitute with rice milk, almond milk or even normal milk. If you use all quinoa milk, you will get a thick almost soup-like consistency. You could use half milk half water if you like, but I the thick filling chocolate drink was exactly what was called for on this rainy autumn's day.

Quinoa milk*
(makes 1 litre)**

1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

*you need to start this recipe on the previous night.
**Recipe from Food.com

1. Place the rinsed quinoa in a glass bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling wrap and refrigerate over-night.

2. The next morning, drain the quinoa and rinse with clean water. Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of clean water.

3. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

4. Place the cooked quinoa in a food processor and add 2 more cups of water.

5. Blitz until smooth and velvety, add water if needed.

6. Strain the quinoa milk through a fine sieve or a cheesecloth.

Chocoatl - Chocolate quinoa drink
(Recipe adapted from Ruohonjuuri)

1 litre quinoa milk
25g raw 100% cocoa chocolate
1 tbsp unsweetened, dark chocolate powder
3 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
tiny pinch of chili flakes
tiny pinch of salt

1. Heat the quinoa milk (or half quinoa, half water) in a small saucepan. 

2. In the meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave. (Be careful not letting it get too hot.)

3. Whisk in the chocolate and all other ingredients and whisk until smooth and velvety. Add water if too thick.

4.  Serve warm.