Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baked Rice Pudding

One of the sweetest things is when my kids have requests that I make them certain foods.

First of all, they ask me so nicely! And second, it lets me know for sure that they really like that particular food.

Rice pudding is on their top ten favorites list of breakfast foods (yes, they love it for BREAKFAST!). And for the last couple of days, it's what they've been requesting.

It is a great way to get your kids familiar with brown rice, and also helps use up rice leftovers from a previous meal. I have a rice maker and make rice in batches of about 4 cups at a time. Rice (cooked) is easily frozen and then thawed for more use later.

I modified this recipe from Mary McDougall after a few trial runs. I only add 1/2 cup of dried fruit, where she adds 1 whole cup; it just seemed like their were more raisins than rice! In the above picture I used craisins and dates, but only because I didn't have any raisins. Raisins are definitely our favorite dried fruit to add. But get creative and add whatever dried fruit is your fave. And if it's just for the adults in the house, you may want to add a few chopped walnuts for crunch.

Don't forget, or decide to skip, bringing the mixture to boil on the stove-top before baking it. I have done this and it makes the rice less plump, more runny (in the above pic the pudding is quite thick, I added the extra milk after baking), and increases the baking time by 2-3X. It's totally worth bringing it to a boil! I actually just stuck my 13X9 glass baking pan right on top of the stove and brought it to a boil, then transferred it to the oven.

I hope you enjoy it, it's dairy free, gluten free, very low in fat, is a whole grain, and depending on what milk you use, it can be nut or soy free. Here are some of the milks I had in my fridge yesterday.

Part of our GO DAIRY FREE series, and PROJECT VEGAN KIDS.

Modified from Mary McDougall's online Recipe Index

Note from Mary: We have been enjoying rice pudding in assorted variations for many years. We made this one a few nights ago and really enjoyed it. Check out the “hints” for different serving ideas. We would consider this a healthy dessert, the less sugar used, the healthier it is.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes (cooked rice needed)
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups soy or rice milk
1/2 cup dried fruit
3 teaspoons brown sugar (you may need to add a little more for your kids)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in an oven-proof pot. Heat to just boiling. Remove from heat, stir and place uncovered in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Hints: Serve in individual bowls with extra soy or rice milk to pour over the pudding and/or brown sugar to sprinkle on top. This may also be baked in individual bowls. Baking time will be reduced by about half. Different kinds of fruit may be used such as raisins, currents, dried cranberries, or chopped apricots or dates. This may also be served cold or at room temperature.

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