I remember eating dessert quite often as a kid.
My dad had (and still does have) a pretty big sweet tooth. He recently bought a new camping trailer, and I’m pretty sure that high on his list of considerations was the size of the freezer, and how much Culver’s frozen custard he would be able to transport back to Canada. My four year old is definitely starting to take after him – on our recent trip to Mexico, she ate ice cream 4 times per day on more than one occasion.
Anywhoo, the desserts I remember from my childhood often included pudding. Cooked Jell-o chocolate pudding was a favorite of my mom’s – with banana slices. Yum! Also those boxed pudding cakes. Rice pudding happened quite often. My mom made it very differently than this version – Healthier Brown Rice Pudding.
My mom’s version was baked in the oven with leftover rice, eggs, milk and lots of raisins (unless I could talk her into leaving the raisins out – otherwise I pretty much never actually ate said rice pudding). This version uses dry brown rice, milk, no eggs, no raisins and is simmered on the stove top. It is sweetened with a relatively small amount of maple syrup (but just enough so that you know that you’re eating dessert).
This rice pudding is easy to make, uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, and can be made ahead of time and left to cool (or be refrigerated) until you’re ready to eat it. This makes it perfect dinner party fare (especially for a comfort food or retro themed party) or just for a Sunday family dinner.
- 1/2 cup brown rice rinsed well
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Stir together water, rice and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until water is almost all absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the whole milk and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the pudding is thick and clings to the spoon, about 30-40 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Cool slightly and serve warm or chilled. Add additional whole milk if the pudding has thickened too much. Top with fresh or dried fruit or nuts as desired.
To use white rice instead of brown rice:
Substitute 1/2 cup long or medium grain white rice for the brown rice. Follow the above recipe, except simmer the rice for 15-20 minutes in step 1, and for 30-40 minutes in step 2.
Healthier Brown Rice Pudding Nutrition Notes
Using brown rice instead of white rice adds about 1g of fiber to this dessert, compared to basically zero from white rice. The recipe uses milk instead of cream to cut down on fat, and a minimal amount of maple syrup to cut down on the amount of sugar in the recipe.