This brown rice pudding recipe is for all of those rice pudding lovers, like me, who want to keep eating one of their favorite comfort foods, but make it healthier.
Of course it is still sweet, but the sweetness comes from honey or maple syrup rather than white sugar, plus the fruit the recipe calls for.
Brown rice is healthier for us because it still has the outer coating or husk on it. The husk on brown rice adds lots of fiber, which of course is removed to make white rice.
This rice pudding is still sweet although it is sweetened with honey or maple syrup rather than the white sugar in regular rice pudding recipes. There is some disagreement about the benefits of honey and maple syrup over white sugar. Some nutritionists will say that sugar is sugar regardless of its source, while other natural health experts state that there are micronutrients in pure maple syrup and raw honey that give those sweeteners a nutritional edge over white sugar.
I agree with the wholistic nutritionists. White sugar has been stripped of all of its nutritional value during processing, while the others have not. We all consume some white sugar in our society, but any recipe that cuts it down is a healthier one to me. Make your own judgement call.
How to Cook Brown Rice
Brown rice takes longer to cook because it still has the outer husk, or bran, on it. While white rice can be fully cooked in 20 minutes or less, it takes twice as long to cook brown rice.
The rice package will probably tell you to cook 1 cup of the brown rice in 2 cups of water. I want to tell you of a better way to cook brown rice and here is why. Recent testing of both white and brown rices have shown that rice picks up toxins from the soil it is grown in, even organic rice. (Look here for a full explanation of the findings on arsenic in rice.) There is a way, however, to cook rice in a way that minimizes any toxins in your rice.
First of all it is important to rinse the raw rice thoroughly before cooking it. Put the rice into some kind of strainer and hold it under the tap as you run water over it for a minute or so. Put the rinsed rice into a pot and for every 1 cup of rice use 5 or 6 cups of water to cook it in. Add salt to cook as you always would. When the rice is fully cooked, drain it well and use it for the brown rice pudding (or whatever else you make with rice).
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of cooking your rice this way all the time. That way your rice is as free of toxins as you can make it. As always though, suit yourself.
Brown Rice Pudding Recipe
- 1 1/3 cups brown rice
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup honey, or maple syrup
- 3 cups milk, or milk substitute
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins, or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup almonds, or walnuts, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the brown rice per the instructions on the package or my instructions above.
- Beat the eggs with the honey until smooth. Stir in the other ingredients. Pour the mixture into a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole. Set the baking dish in a pan of water about 1 inch deep.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Serve warm or cold.
Serves 8 to 10.
- Stir in 1/2 cup wheat germ for extra nutritional value. Or sprinkle it on top of the rice pudding before you bake it.
- You can also add 1 cup of well drained crushed pineapple to the mixture before you bake it. The pineapple adds lots of sweetness without the sugar.
- If you are lactose intolerant or simply want to omit the milk in the recipe, just replace it with almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk.