Last night we had a potluck dinner at church. Allergies are hard at group meals. We do our best at potlucks, but often I simply feed the kids before we attend and take along a simple dish or a dessert to share. This time we took rice pudding. It is easy and my kids love it. It does have to cook low and slow, but it’s worth the wait. You can even cut out a few steps by using leftover rice if you prefer.
I have made this with lots of different varieties of rice. Arborio is the most decadent; brown rice is heartier. Each variety of rice has it’s merits, but I think my favorite two brown rice choices are jasmine or short grain brown rice. However, if you don’t have those varieties on hand, long grain brown rice works just as well as the others. Last night I used brown jasmine rice.
Another great thing about rice pudding is that you can dress it up with dried fruit, nuts, and spices if you want. Cinnamon is the most common choice, but I’m allergic. My favorite spices are nutmeg and allspice or cardamom. I just saw an amazing idea to try saffron and almonds as a combination. Today I will share the basic recipe that makes enough to share.
You can sweeten the pot with your choice of sugars. Brown sugar and maple syrup add more depth of flavor than white sugar. Coconut sugar and honey are good options, too. Just know that if you choose a liquid sweetener, it will take longer to cook unless you reduce the amount of milk you use. Neither option is right or wrong, it’s just a matter of how much time you want to wait to indulge.
This could easily be done in a crock pot, too. Just remember to remove the lid towards the end, or you will have rice soup, not rice pudding.
3 cups uncooked brown rice
6 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 can full fat coconut milk (or your favorite milk)
2 cups almond milk (or your favorite milk)
1 1/3 to 2 cups sweetner of choice, to taste (I like the lower side myself, start small and taste test liberally)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Spices of your choice (optional)
In a large pot covered with a lid, bring rice, water, and salt to a boil. Reduce to low and cook with the lid for 40 minutes.
If you are using leftover rice, start here:
Pour in the milk, sweetener, and vanilla (and any spices). Raise the heat to bring the pudding back to a boil while stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to low and stir every 8-10 minutes. This step can take anywhere between one and two hours depending on how much liquid you use. If the pudding isn’t soft enough, but it is running out of liquid, add more milk or a little water. Just add enough to keep it from burning while it continues to cook but not enough to make it soupy. If you add too much liquid, you won’t ruin the pudding; you will just have longer to wait before enjoying. The pudding is done when you are happy with the results.
Add nuts and fruit if you want and enjoy!