I have a theory that you’re either a rice pudding person or you’re not. I took a poll on Instagram this weekend and the theory held true with 87% of the answers in my favor, so here we are! I grew up loving it- my dad is a sucker for rice pudding of all types, and he definitely passed that along to me. My mom would make baked rice pudding for dessert following a special dinner… it was creamy and fragrant with cinnamon, and to me tastes like home.
Since I stopped eating dairy, my mom’s rice pudding has been at the top of my list of dairy-filled foods I miss most. It didn’t occur to me until recently that I should try a dairy-free version to help fill the void in my rice pudding-less world. I was inspired by my Mother-in-Law’s friend Joyce, who brought me a bag of black rice the last time I saw her. She is 100% Filipino, super feisty, pocket-sized, and a great cook.
Black rice has many names. It is also known as “forbidden rice” because of its scarcity in ancient China, and is also called “purple rice” because of the color it turns the water when you cook it. Along with its unique color comes many health benefits. It’s full of anthocyanins, with more antioxidants than blueberries, it is a great source of fiber, and studies show that consuming black rice lowers your risk of diabetes.
Black rice is readily available in most grocery stores; I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and on Amazon, but even Target and Walmart carry it now. Sure, you can go ahead and make this rice pudding with all white rice, but I especially love the black rice in this recipe because of its texture; the black bran coating helps keep its bite as it cooks down. I used a combination of half black rice half white rice per Joyce’s recommendation, because it does have more flavor than other rices.
Purple Rice Pudding
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1 can full-fat coconut milk (14.5 oz)
1/3 C water
1/3 C almond milk or more coconut milk
1/2 C black rice
1/2 C white rice
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 C coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 t ground cinnamon
Rinse rices well and drain, set aside.
In medium saucepan, combine 1 can coconut milk and water over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a low boil. Add black and white rices and cinnamon stick and bring back to boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir.
Turn heat down to low and cover pan, letting it simmer for another 15 minutes. Next, add 1/3 c almond milk or more coconut milk, coconut sugar (or maple syrup), vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes until liquid absorbed and rice is tender. Add more milk of choice if you’d like it creamier.
Garnish with sliced mango and enjoy warm or chilled. Store leftover pudding in airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days.