Breakfast Kuzu with Quinoa-A Cure-All Treat

>> Wednesday, March 25

Ok. they're not the most beautiful photos we've ever seen,
but porridges are rarely photogenic. Have faith, it's amazing in person.

If you've ever seen an under-slept student with the flu, then you know exactly how Daniel showed up at my door one morning a few weeks ago: a little green, to say the least. He looked like an underfed stray, and he nodded at the comment (couldn't help myself), adding that in fact he hadn't been able to eat much for 3 days. I immediately flashed on an article I had read on the medicinal qualities of kuzu, a Japanese starch used for making custard-like drinks. It is foremost considered a good way to get nutritious herbs into a sick body without disturbing sensitive stomachs. Bingo!

As I'd never tried kuzu, and didn't want to miss the fun, I decided to make something palletable to healthy folk too-sort of a breakfast porridge with protein-rich quinoa, digestion-aiding spices, and lotsa love. Woweeeeee that stuff as good, and I can't believe it was healthy it tasted so sinfully sweet and yummy. You could have it as a breakfast or a light dessert, and no one would be the wiser for it.

Chai Kuzu with Quinoa
serves 2 hungry folk, or three modestly peckish chaps

3 tbsp kuzu powder
1 cup quinoa
1 cup rice milk
2 inches ginger root
5 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups water

garnish of choice (optional)


Dissolve the kuzu in 1/4 cup milk and set aside.

Bring the water and quinoa to a simmer, reduce heat, cover, and let cook until the quinoa is almost done, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, grate the ginger root and sqeeze out the juice through a tea strainer or seive, discard the solids.

Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk to the quinoa, stir, and then add the kuzu-milk, stirring well.
Add all the other ingredients except vanilla, bring to a simmer again, and continue to cook 5-10 minutes, or until well-thickened to a pudding-like consistency, stirring occasionally. If necessary, adjust the amount of milk to thin the porridge. I like mine thick :)

Serve with yogurt, kefir, chopped nuts, fruit, or a drizzle of rice milk on top. Scrumptious!


miss v March 31, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

i have never seen kuzu (kudzu?) powder before. i'll have to start researching to figure out where to get some around here. yum to quinoa!

Erin March 31, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

I found mine in a little organic shop in the gluten free section, and sometimes they have it in the import section too. there are also online japanese or specialty import shops, but I'm sure you'll find some already on the ground ;)

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