Product Testing – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple

As part of the CREATE programme, I will get the opportunity to test my food and introduce my business concept in front of a panel of experts.  

I just got the brief and it says… ‘At the ‘Tasting & Testing’ session, you’ll have the opportunity to present your business (elevator pitch) along with samples of your food and any branding / packaging / marketing you’ve developed to a panel of experienced food entrepreneurs and industry experts for their feedback and advice’

I thought I write a post about this as it is the first time I am actually testing my own ideas with people who I do not know and who are experts in the field! And testing your product is probably THE most important thing before starting your own business.

I am very excited but also slightly nervous. I decided I will present three dishes to the panel, including my own creation – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple (recipe below). I will have to prepare parts at home and parts on site. I hope I have thought about everything:

1) Create my recipes – I tested my recipe again and again and my housemates have had quinoa porridge for the last three days! It is delicious, lactose free and MUCH healthier than your traditional oat porridge. Give it a go!

2) Timetable of when to prepare what – Generally YES, but I might have to improvise a bit as we will be in a group of people, I am not sure how much preparation time I actually have and I will be working with commercial kitchen equipment, which tends to be slightly more powerful than what I have at home.

4) Food Presentation/Packaging – CHECK! I have a plan! 🙂

5) Elevator Pitch – Still practising but I am getting there…

6) Ideas of Branding and Design – CHECK!  

Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Grilled and Caramelised Pineapple served in a WECK Jar

IMG_20141003_125927  My Housemate is loving it  WECK Glasses imported in Germany


1/2 cup of Quinoa
2/3 cup of Coconut Milk out of a can (the higher the coconut extract content in %, the creamier it gets)
1 cup of Coconut Water
1/2 cup of water
2 Cloves and/or pinch of cinnamon
1 TS of Algarve Honey (as sweet as you like it but bear in mind the coconut has got some natural sweetness to it)

Note: This is a diary free recipe. If you refer the porridge to become a bit richer in texture and taste, you can replace the coconut water with milk.


Here you can really go wild but below some ideas:

2 slices of pineapple
Brown sugar to coat pineapple
Extra: Seed Mix, Nuts, Dried Fruits

Also delicious with: dried coconut flakes, blueberries, pomegranate, poached peaches


  • Preheat Grill at 220 Degrees Celsius
  • Cut the slices of peeled pineapple into five pieces each and generously coat with brown sugar
  • Place coated pineapple on aluminium foil and grill until golden brown, then leave to cool
  • Rinse the Quinoa with water
  • Mix all liquids, spices and the honey with the Quinoa in a pot and bring to boil. Turn down to medium heat and allow to cook until the Quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid
  • Add more coconut milk/water/milk according to your liking (some like it more liquid than others)
  • Allow Quinoa to rest for few minutes
  • Assemble the dish
  • Serve hot or cold

Here is the difference between Quinoa Porridge made with Milk (left) and with Coconut Water (right)



About Coconut Milk (via BBC Good Food)

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Coconut Milk is made from a brew of coconut meat and water. But don’t confuse it with lower- calorie coconut water. Rich and thick and more like cream than milk. (via EatingWell)

Unlike wheat or rice, Quinoa is a complete protein – containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.

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