Rice pudding, this delicacy of our childhood, the dessert that everybody loves to eat warm with plenty of ground cinnamon, is one of the most popular desserts in Southeast Asia. Certainly, there it is not made with cow’s milk like we do, but with coconut milk. Cooked this way, the rice pudding is lenten and vegan. On the internet you will find many related recipes. I wanted to go a little further and so I tried the rice pudding with coconut milk and brown rice, to present an even healthier version to you.
Brown rice has undergone minimal processing, preserving most nutrients. During its production a part or all of the outer hard shell is removed. The more we process rice the more the nutritional value decreases. Thus, white rice contains much less amount of vitamins B1 and B3, magnesium, zinc and fiber. To understand the difference, it is sufficient to consider that during the production process of the white rice it is destroyed approximately: 80% of vitamin B1, 67% of B3, B6 90%, 60% iron, 50% manganese, 50% of phosphorus and the bulk of the fiber. Therefore, in several countries (among them the US) the enrichment of white rice with iron, thiamine (Vitamin B1) and niacin (vitamin B3) is imposed.
The remaining peel and bran of brown rice makes it a rich source of protein, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Moreover, it is excellent carbohydrate source (amylose and amylopectin) and fiber to facilitate the intestinal functions; properties which classify brown rice on top of the list of foods that can help prevent colon cancer. Dietary fibers simply «cling” to substances that cause cancer as well as in the body toxins eliminating them, while they impede these substances from reaching the walls of the colon.
Its nutritional value gives brown rice a deserved place among the best antioxidant foods. It is rich in vitamins, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin E. It also contains iron, selenium and phosphorus. Although it offers proteins of low biological value, the amino acids contained in it, is fuller than those of any other cereals. Finally, as all the unprocessed grains it has no cholesterol, fat, or sodium. Especially for those looking to lose weight or for those who suffer from diabetes, brown rice may prove as a healthy “ally”, because of its low glycemic index.
Coconut milk, rich in magnesium and iron but low in sodium, should be consumed in moderation, because according to experts the most of its fat is saturated, and the frequent consumption makes it burdensome to the heart.
For serving the rice pudding I thought trying something different. Besides the classic and beloved cinnamon, I served it in four different ways: with no sugar blueberry jam and lemon zest, with caramelized ginger, cacao nibs and finally, with roasted grated coconut and pistachios. All four versions match great with coconut; you choose whichever you like best. Moreover, you may serve the pudding with fresh fruit; mango and papaya make a wonderful match.
Preparation time: 55 minutes
- 500 ml coconut milk
- ½ cup (3.18oz) brown rice
- ¾ cup water (200 ml approx.)
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons (0.7oz) coconut sugar, stevia or brown sugar
- few drops of vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat the coconut milk, water, stevia or sugar, lemon zest and salt.
- Bring to boil, add the rice and vanilla extract, stir well and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is softened. Remove lid and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken more on standing.
- Fill individual bowls and serve the coconut and brown rice pudding warm or cold topped with the garnish of your choice. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap.
Nutritional Facts per Serving
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