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Monday, January 2, 2012

The Rice Experiments: Introduction and Part I ~ Rice Pudding


For the last several months I have been trying to avoid sugar and wheat. (Okay from about August on, but not including December; for there was a lot of sugar and wheat eaten in December!) So I have decided to try to add more rice to my diet to compensate for the huge hole that has been left with the removal of noodles and bread. (Yes, there are rice noodles, but that is another post!) I asked a friend of mine from Korea, figuring he has probably eaten more rice in his lifetime than I have, what brand of rice he liked. He suggested Kokuho Rose True Varietal. Now this series of posts are not going to be only about this brand of rice, but that is what I am playing with right now.

I thought I might have to search a bit to find Kokuho Rose, but it was easily found at my local Cub Foods. The first thing I made with it was Dorie Greenspan’s Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach. It worked wonderfully in that recipe! Then this morning I used my Oster Rice Cooker to cook two cups of raw rice. I used the four cups of water that Oster suggested in the directions, but I might use a tiny bit less next time. While this rice is supposed to be sticky, I think it was a bit too wet.

Once I had my rice cooked I had a bit of a conundrum. How was I going to eat it? I really did not fancy a bowl of plain rice. I thought for a bit and I came up with an idea. I love a dish that I call Pasta and Peas. Basically I take peas, pasta, butter/oil, parmesan cheese and some spices; and mix them all together. Sometimes I add bacon, sometimes other things. This time instead of pasta I just used rice, and it was mighty good! I think the stickiness was actually very helpful. It sort of made it a coherent dish. It all went together without needing to be cooked together.

I still had a lot of rice to use however. I figured I could warm the rice and make Peas and Rice for lunch tomorrow again, but really I had a lot of rice to use. So I thought, “Hmmmm…maybe I could make a sugar free rice pudding?” I went through some cookbooks and some websites and I came up with a plan. Upon checking my cupboards I did not really have everything that my plan called for, so I altered it a bit more. To sweeten it I used a combo of dates and raisins where the original recipe only called for raisins, because dates are so sweet, and I used a banana instead of sugar. I think you could leave the banana out, but it does add an interesting note. My rice pudding ended up being Vegan, Sugar Free (in that there is no actual sugar added), and I believe Gluten Free. And you know what? It is darn tasty!  It makes a great dessert and I think it will make a good breakfast too.



Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Banana

2 cups cooked Kokuho Rose True Varietal rice
3 cups of coconut milk (though I think any milk should work)
1 banana that is quite brown
½ cup combo of raisins and dates (I used ¼ cup golden raisins and ¼ cup dates)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Put the banana and some of the coconut milk in a blender and whiz to make a liquid. I used my Magic Bullet for this. Of course you could just mush it up well, but I am not sure it will have the same sweetening powers if it is not distributed equally in your pudding.

2. Combine ingredients in a pot on the stove.

3. Cook until the milk has been absorbed and the mix is at the consistency that you like in rice pudding.

4. Eat!

3 comments:

  1. Yum! I'm havin' breakfast at your house from now on.

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  2. Oh, this looks really good and using coconut milk sounds so delicious. Great idea to add the peas with some of the rice - I love that combination.

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  3. I really envy your creativity when cooking, wonderful! Rice and Peas are an interesting combination, and I'm sure I would love that Rice Pudding with the banana flavor too.

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