So I had a ton of short grained brown rice, almond milk, lemons, almond slivers, raisins, dried blueberries, shredded coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla and an egg or two just lying about BEGGING to be made into rice pudding!! As I lay in bed, at 1:30 in the morning, I could not rest until I soaked 2 cups of that same brown rice!! Sometimes I just get that silly.
Where forth, you may ask, doth this mania to create a pudding of rice derive???? My significant other, the Love Of My Life (henceforth referred to as LOML) is of Norwegian decent… and I, in part of Swedish decent, have a loving game of one-up-manship regarding food, more specifically SWEETS!!! He is forever promising me cookies that he makes specially for Christmas, or waffles or HIS world renowned (well, if your world is in New Jersey- but that is subject for a totally different blog) RICE PUDDING!!! So, although I have never made rice pudding before, I whipped out my VEGAN baking book…The Joy Of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and created a non-vegan, but reasonably healthy and eco-conscious rice pudding!! I am very pleased with the results! Here’s what I did…
So, for those of you who have actually read this far down, you maybe wondering WHY, oh WHY did I soak the rice overnight… Well, I read on page 267 of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s cookbook that soaking rice overnight eliminates the phytic acid and aids in the digestion.. toasting the grain can do that too, in a skillet on a low-flame, but I didn’t know if that would be so good for Rice Pudding. So, first thing I did this morning was strain my soaked rice and get the other items ready. I began by boiling a pot of water, the amount of water is not really important, as long as it’s enough to cover the rice. Once the water boils, we will cook the rice for about 10 minutes, then DRAIN the rice, as we are going to add that later to the almond milk mix.
I had a box of Almond Milk (four cups, which is about double the two cups of rice I used), which I began to boil over a medium flame. In the meantime, I threw in a cup of brown sugar. I also added the zest of two lemons, nutmeg and cinnamon to taste, vanilla, a little table salt. I like to add these things into the “Milk” product as the fat in it helps the flavors come out!
Next, I took two eggs ( an optional ingredient, none are needed and I think the next time I will forgo them as the rice gets thick enough without any binder), and in a medium mixing bowl added a quarter cup of brown sugar, two whole eggs, beat them silly and as the almond milk mix got warmer, slowly added some into the egg mix until the original almond milk mix was about to boil.. This process is called tempering the eggs. So that the eggs do not become egg drop soup, if you warm them up with the milk mix, it will not seize when added to the nearly boiling milk.
Now that both the egg and Almond Milk mix have been combined, and is about to boil, strain the rice and add it to the egg/almond milk mix and allow to cook for about 30 minutes. In that time, I toasted the almond slivers, added shredded coconut, some flax seeds and raisins and dried blueberries to the rice… Don’t add the toasted slivered almonds until the pudding is about done, as they can get soggy.
So…. the final product….. was super tasty!!! It looks brownish… and because of the dried blueberries, a little purpley, but I was surprised at how sticky the pudding came out. I have an aversion to warm sweet grain concoctions… Like oatmeal, farina, and porridges.. So I had to wait until the pudding cooled before I could taste. I was given the thumbs up by my bedouin roommate… but the true test was to come later in the afternoon from the LOML… Being so used to his own Norwegian style rice pudding, he barely recognized my doctored up version… However, being the open-minded and generous soul that he is, he embraced the diversity and labled the pudding a tremendous success! I got an embrace or two as well!
Next time, I will use less sugar… that short grained brown rice is also known as a sweet rice, and the almond milk also has some sweetness… one can always drizzle honey, maple syrup or agave nectar if it needs… I would use about one and a half cups of rice to the four cups of almond milk, and make the pudding a little more liquid. Otherwise.. I LOVED all the nuts, dried fruits, coconut and etc… However, it is good to add what YOU like!!!
I had a ball, and I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow, because I am going to have more!!!