Almond Rice Pudding

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It’s a danish tradition to have rice pudding on Christmas eve. Ever since I was little, my mom would cook the rice and the milk together until it was just boiling, and then wrap it all in a duvet and layers of newspaper and put it at the foot of the spare bed. It was tradition.

That rice pudding, to me, symbolized comfort and home. Since going vegan, I’ve been determined not to miss out. Not only that, I figured why restrict myself to Christmas eve? So I made this version. It can be topped with the traditional tinned cherries for dessert or Christmas, or made healthier with some fresh berries for breakfast. It’s very adaptable – it’s a simple base that’s easy to make, and you can throw anything you like on top. So far I’m loving it with blueberries for breakfast (or a healthy dessert), but I plan to try all kinds of things.

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What I like about this is that it’s got the almonds to make it a little more filling, so I don’t get hungry after an hour. Rice on it’s own can’t keep me going until lunch. I actually like my desserts hearty as well, or else I’m hungry by nine, and this functions as a snack and a treat at the same time, without any refined sugar.

This recipe makes quite a large portion, so if you don’t want extras in the fridge or you aren’t feeding more than a couple people, you could cut it in half. I like making a lot so that I have easy access all week. Oh, yeah.

Ingredients:

  • 1 L non-dairy milk (I used soy for this, although I don’t often use soy milk. I think almond milk would work just as well. I’ve tried coconut milk and it wasn’t so good.)
  • 1 cup pearl rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blanched and chopped almonds

I have many fond memories of blanching almonds with my mother, but these days I find it easier to spare myself the burnt fingers and time and just buy them in bulk. Still, if you want to do it yourself it’s not hard. Dump boiling water over them, wait a minute, and peel away. Theoretically they should just pop out of the skins. It’s kind of fun, actually. As a kid I used to hold the skins and try to shoot the almonds out as far as they’d go.

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Bring the milk and almonds to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the rice is pretty soft. The pudding will firm up some more as it cools and in the fridge, so you’ll want to leave it fairly runny. Still, if you cock up that part you can always add more non-dairy milk next time, so it’s not the end of the world.

Add the vanilla extract, and let it cool to room temperature. Put it into the fridge until it’s chilled. Ideally, it will sit overnight. Then, take it out and stir in the almonds. Sprinkle on your favourite toppings and go to town. You can get as creative as you’d like. The Danish way is to boil tinned cherries with some cornstarch to thicken it, and I love that, but it’s not super healthy. Fruit of any kind is good for breakfast or dessert. You could get exotic and stir in black sesame seeds and top it with diced mango. Anything goes.

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Almond Rice Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This rice pudding can be dressed up for dessert, or eaten with fruit for a quick, filling breakfast. For me, it tastes like home and comfort because it's a vegan take on the traditional Danish Christmas Eve dessert, but it's good all year.
Author:
Cuisine: Vegan, gluten-free
Serves: Approx 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 L non-dairy milk (I used soy for this, although I don't often use soy milk. I think almond milk would work just as well. I've tried coconut milk and it wasn't so good.)
  • 1 cup pearl rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blanched and chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. I have many fond memories of blanching almonds with my mother, but these days I find it easier to spare myself the burnt fingers and time and just buy them in bulk. Still, if you want to do it yourself it's not hard. Dump boiling water over them, wait a minute, and peel away. Theoretically they should just pop out of the skins. It's kind of fun, actually. As a kid I used to hold the skins and try to shoot the almonds out as far as they'd go.
  2. Bring the milk and almonds to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the rice is pretty soft. The pudding will firm up some more as it cools and in the fridge, so you'll want to leave it fairly runny. Still, if you cock up that part you can always add more non-dairy milk next time, so it's not the end of the world.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, and let it cool to room temperature. Put it into the fridge until it's chilled. Ideally, it will sit overnight. Then, take it out and stir in the almonds. Sprinkle on your favourite toppings and go to town. You can get as creative as you'd like. The Danish way is to boil tinned cherries with some cornstarch to thicken it, and I love that, but it's not super healthy. Fruit of any kind is good for breakfast or dessert. You could get exotic and stir in black sesame seeds and top it with diced mango. Anything goes.

 

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