Almond Milk Rice Pudding
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. ~Miguel de Cervantes
Rice pudding is often thought of as a throwback dessert with a 1950’s aura when many a grandmother used to stand over the stove making her prized recipe for the church social. Back then having her recipe printed in the local cookbook was a badge of honor but since then rice pudding has fallen out of fashion and been replaced with brownies, cakes, pies, and cookies. Everyone loves a comeback and that is exactly what rice pudding is doing especially among plant-based devotees who’ve realized that creamy nut milk and rice makes an unbeatable comfort food.
The problem from a nutritional standpoint is the rice. Brown rice is better than white rice because of the fiber content, but using short or long grain brown rice to make a rice pudding is very time-consuming because brown rice takes so long to cook. Making a creamy rice pudding with brown rice is also more difficult and the whole point of rice pudding is creaminess. So, the question is: how do you make a creamy non-dairy rice pudding without white rice? The answer is Jade Pearl Rice: an organic white rice that has wildcrafted bamboo extract (a rich source of chlorophyll) added.
Nutritionally similar* to short grain brown rice, Lotus Organic Jade Pearl Rice behaves like a white rice which gives a very creamy texture to homemade rice pudding. This rice is widely available at Whole Foods Markets and grocery stores nationwide. The rice can also be purchased for about $4-$5 on-line at www.vitacost.com or www.luckyvitamin.com.
The name of this rice pudding should be Almond Milk Cinnamon Raisin Nutmeg Clove Vanilla Maple Rice Pudding which is an absurdly long name for a rice pudding so the short name is Almond Milk Rice Pudding to reflect the foundation of this classic dessert: almond milk and rice. If you don’t have almond milk or prefer another non-dairy milk, use it. The recipe is easily adaptable (I’ve used unsweetened cashew, soy, and hemp with success).
The emphasis is on flavor and specifically spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – along with vanilla and just a touch of maple sugar made from organic maple syrup, and organic raisins. Slightly sweet but super creamy, Almond Milk Rice Pudding is the perfect dessert or snack to enjoy while reading a book next to a roaring fire.
Almond Milk Rice Pudding is dairy-free and very low in sugar. In fact, the only sweetener added is 2 tablespoons of pure maple sugar made from one ingredient: organic maple syrup. Easy to make, Almond Milk Rice Pudding requires stirring (to keep the rice from sticking). Making this pudding is similar to making a risotto but not quite as intensive. Yes, this dessert takes about 25 minutes to make but the aroma from the kitchen is magnificent and the effort worth it.
Almond Milk Rice Pudding (Serves 6)
- 1-1/2 cups Lotus Foods Organic Jade Pearl Rice
- 6 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup organic raisins
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds or pecans (optional)
Pour the rice and 2 cups of the almond milk into a large saucepan. Add the maple sugar, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to blend. Heat on medium and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Keep an eye on the pan as the liquid will begin to evaporate (similar to making a risotto). Stir continuously.
When most of the almond milk has evaporated (in about 5-6 minutes), add 1 cup of almond milk and stir every 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of almond milk every 4-5 minutes stirring to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The total cooking time should be about 25 minutes (note: the evaporation and thus the cooking time will vary slightly depending on how brisk the simmer is).
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir and cover for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and serve immediately as is or top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped toasted almonds or pecans for an added crunch.
*A quarter cup (45 grams) of dry short grain wild rice has 150 calories, 3 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and no sodium or cholesterol whereas the same measurement of Jade Pearl Rice has 160 calories, 3 grams of protein, and no fat, fiber, sugar, sodium, or cholesterol. Basically, Jade Pearl lacks the fat, fiber, and sugar of short grain brown rice.