Couscous Natilla

One of the biggest challenges when you have a kid with different nutritional needs and restrictions is making sure you are providing foods with a good variety of nutrients and flavors.  Sometimes you have to manage so many limitations that you can get stuck with the same foods over time.  But I have learned that even with a short list of foods, if you look into different ways to combine, prepare and season them, your child would be happy and interested in eating all of her or his foods.  I know, there are moments when no matter how creative you get, if the kid says no, there is no way the spoon will be doing its designated travel.

Wanting to add a different source of protein on mornings to Mariana's breakfast besides nuts, I started to adapt the idea of natilla.  A natilla in Puerto Rico is a cream made out of cornstarch, milk, sugar and egg.  The egg is added to create a custardy consistency and texture.  It occurred to me to use this technique to include eggs on Mariana's diet, using healthier grains such as quinoa or couscous.  I use almond milk instead of regular milk, use a little maple syrup instead of sugar and vary the flavors and fruits I add to it.  This is a very simple version you could use as a base.  Add your kid favorite fixings for a wholesome breakfast. 

Couscous Natilla
Single serving
Total and active time - 15 minutes

Couscous - 3 TBSP
Fine sea salt – 1/8 Tsp
Maple syrup – ½ Tsp
Cinnamon – 1/8 Tsp
Vanilla extract – ¼ Tsp
Almond milk – ½ cup
Water – ¾ cup
Organic egg, beaten - 1

In a small sauce pan combine all the ingredients except the egg.  Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 10 minutes, until the couscous looks puffed and it takes a creamy consistency.  Pour the egg to the pan while stirring vigorously the couscous.  Keep stirring until the egg disappears through the couscous, then cook of a couple of minutes more to finish cooking the egg. Take it off the heat.  You could serve it like this or put it through a blender for a smooth and even texture.