“The texture of brown rice in pudding is more al dente then mushy white rice and the raisins get to shine without competing with too much sweetness.”
I had one of those “I can’t” days the other day. I so wish I could just give up sometimes. Not for good, just for a little while. You know, hide under a big comfy blanket, eat sugary cereal and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons while a crappy day passes. It worked when we were twelve, right? Unfortunately, I’m cursed by three people I can never forgive for making it impossible for me to quite; Angie, Rick Allen and Einstein. Angie (the big show off) gave birth to three kids, making me watch every time. I’m never going to top that. I could lift the house up over my head and yell “ta-da!” but it’s a big fat yawn compared to gestating and bringing forth life. Then there’s Rick Allen, the drummer from Def Leppard, who had his arm severed in a car accident. Perfect time to give up I say. You’re a drummer, you’ve got one arm..it’s an easy call. Hell, half your equipment fell off in a field somewhere, of course you’re going to give up, right? Not if your Rick Allen (another HUGE show off). He went and figured out how to keep playing the drums with one arm. In fact, Def Leppard went on to their most successful era AFTER he lost his arm. If that’s not enough, Albert Einstein struggled to get through primary school and couldn’t get a teacher’s post once he finally graduated from College. He took a job in a patent office. Nice cushy job, good pay, pension. Sounds like a good time to give up on that silly science dream to me. Not so much for Al. We all know where his tenacity got him.
So, the only “I can’t” I’m allowed is the one comes just before the words “give up”. I suppose there are worst crosses to bear. None of this has anything to do with brown rice pudding other than the fact that it’s an entirely comforting treat that can take the edge off of a bad day in no time. It’s sweet, creamy and slightly snappy in texture. Oh wait! I have a relevant segway! I CAN’T stop eating brown rice pudding. I adore the stuff and my stomach will make eternal room for it as a favor from my brain, which gladly shuts down the fullometer just to see how happy it makes me.
I can’t remember the specific origins on this brown rice pudding recipe, but I know it’s been tweaked and improved for years. It started as a traditional white rice pudding and evolved to its current form as we improved our eating to be a little healthier. While it still has sugar, it has very little of it. We use fat free or 1% milk, brown rice and raisins in place of white rice, whole milk and more sugar. Make it for your table and you won’t be disappointed. In fact, none of us would take a traditional white rice pudding recipe over this one. The texture of brown rice in pudding is more al dente then mushy white rice and the raisins get to shine without competing with too much sweetness. We recommend serving at room temperature with a little cinnamon grated fresh off the stick over our home made whipped topping recipe.
We used instant brown rice this time, which is 100% nutritionally intact, but you can use packaged brown rice that takes more cook time. Either choice will have its own cooking directions on the package. If you’ve never made brown rice pudding, definitely put this on your list of new kitchen adventures. Enjoy.
Yields 4 to 6 servings. Time: Quick rice take about 45 minutes. Standard rice takes about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Soundtrack: Paul Simon-Graceland. When this album first came out, I listened to it (on tape) for three months straight. Not a bad song on it.
Quick cook brown rice:
- 2 Cups water
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (or as suggested with your rice’s packaging directions)
Standard brown rice:
- 4 Cups water
- 1 Cup brown rice1/2 tsp.
- Kosher salt (or as suggested with your rice’s packaging directions)
- 2 Tbsp. organic, unsalted butter
- 4 Cups 1% milk
- 2 Tbsp. organic granulated sugar (or Stevia)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- A pinch of ground cardamom
- 1/2 Cup raisins (or craisins, dried cherries, etc)
After following the package instructions for either quick cook brown rice or standard brown rice, rinse the cooked rice in a strainer with cold water. Set aside in a medium sized bowl. Over low heat, add 4 cups of milk, sugar, cardamom and vanilla in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring to avoid burning the milk. Add cooked rice, butter and raisins after the milk reaches a low boil. Stir often. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl or individual serving dishes to cool. I used mini mason jars for serving and was able to put generous portions in 6 of them. Optional: ground cinnamon (or grate a cinnamon stick over each serving with a micro grater), home made whipped topping.