Honeyed Couscous Pudding

This quick take on rice pudding is flavored with honey and orange zest. Dates had a rich, sweet flavor.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
3 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 cup plain or whole-wheat couscous
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for dusting pudding
2 tablespoons chopped skinned pistachios, (optional)

PREPARATION

Put dates in a small bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Cover the bowl and set aside.
Heat milk, honey, cinnamon stick and orange zest in a saucepan over medium-high heat until nearly simmering. Stir in couscous and vanilla, remove from the heat and cover. Let stand until most of the milk has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Drain the dates and stir them into the couscous. To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with ground cinnamon and pistachios, if using. Variation: Instead of oatmeal for breakfast, make Honeyed Couscous Pudding with half the honey. Garnish with some nonfat yogurt or a spoonful of orange marmalade.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 239 calories; 3 g fat ( 2 g sat , 1 g mono ); 10 mg cholesterol; 49 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 51 mg sodium; 339 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (16% daily value).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1/2 milk, 3 other carbohydrate