I have been on a pretty serious whole-grain journey for the past year or so. In general I like the idea of living a very curious life. I want to always try new things, learn new things, and I also think staying curious keeps me humble (because it’s very hard to be a know-it-all and curious at the same time). What does this have to do with whole grains? Well, I guess my point is that I’ve been trying lots of new things. And there are SO many different whole-grain options out there and seemingly endless ways to prepare them. It’s a very delicious way to apply my “stay curious” motto to life. 🙂
One ingredient I’ve completely fallen for: black rice (sometimes called forbidden rice). You might remember me dishing up some butter tempeh over this stuff a few months ago.
There are lots of ways to enjoy black rice. We mostly use it in savory meals at our house. We are BIG into stir fry, as it’s about the quickest meal you can make with so many ways to change it up that you don’t have to feel like you’re eating the same thing all the time.
But here’s a sweeter option – black rice pudding. If you like rice pudding, you’re probably going to love this whole-grain variation. It’s still got all the creaminess of rice pudding with some added nutrition. I used coconut milk and added some chai spices to this recipe, making this a great little treat option if you’re looking for something dairy-free and maybe a little lighter (for a treat).
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup black rice
pinch of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
big pinch of black pepper
coconut flakes and chopped nuts for serving
In a small to medium sized pot, combine the coconut milk, water, and black rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 42-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You don’t have to keep a constant eye on this, but you do want to stir every now and again so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
After 42 to 45 minutes, much of the moisture will have absorbed into the rice, so it should look like rice pudding. Taste a few grains and make sure they are cooked through. If not, add another tablespoon or two of water and continue to cook.
Stir in the sugar and spices. The spice measurements I’ve included here will result in a lightly spiced rice pudding. I tried one batch where I doubled the spice ingredients (as listed above), and I thought it was still really good but maybe a little too spicy for some palates, so I’ve reduced it here. The good news is you can taste it at this point and add more spices if you like. 🙂
And if you’re not feeling the chai spice, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mix at the start of cooking. Also, you can change the amount of sugar if you like. For me, the 1/4 cup was a good amount to make this feel like a treat but not be overly sweet. You could substitute with coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup, or even reduce or increase the amount based on what you like. I haven’t tried all of these variations myself, but I don’t think they would affect the rice pudding texture much, mainly just the sweetness level.
Top with coconut flakes and chopped nuts, or even some fresh fruit. If you want even more creaminess, you could drizzle some more coconut milk or cream into the bowl just as you serve it. Like I said, endless options, but I highly recommend you try black rice in some capacity soon – it’s so good! xx. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.