Warming Black rice pudding with coconut milk

I thought winter had moved on, but it seems it has come back! It’s freezing here in Berlin and I just cannot leave the house without a warming and comforting breakfast. My ‘go to’ cold morning comfort food is black rice pudding made with coconut milk. It’s super yummy and really sets you up for the day. Black rice is also called the forbidden rice for its high nutrient and antioxidant values. Here we have one fine anti-ageing food or breakfast shall I say.

Like with all rice it takes a bit longer to prepare, but I try and use the time for a little morning mediation at the stove. Watching the rice simmer away is the perfect moment to think about what you are grateful for.  Some music to go along and time flies by. If you are in a rush in the mornings, pre-soaking the rice over night helps speed up the cooking process a little. For a full blown meditation session you only need to soak the rice for an hour :). Alternatively you can prepare the rice the day before, add a little water and heat up in the morning.

There is more behind soaking the rice than just speeding up the cooking process though. Soaking reduces the anti-nutrient phytic acid, a nutrient uptake inhibitor, which is found in the outer layer of the grain.  So, the soaking makes nutrients more bioavailable to the body, which is great news in this case, because black rice is a real nutrient powerhouse. It is also high in protein, rich in fibre and iron and has a higher amount of antioxidants than most other rice varieties.

The black colour of the rice already gives a hint about its high levels of free radical scavengers, which are similar to those found in red grapes, blueberries or raspberries. One of the magic antioxidants is called anthocyanin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and protection against free radical damage.

The garnish also has a purpose, because plant based iron is not easily absorbed, however, vitamin C may help with that. So the pomegranate and pears make a delicious vitamin C ‘bus service’ for the iron.  Kiwi, berries, apples or oranges also work a treat, as do tropical fruit such as pineapple or papaya. The latter go really well with the creamy coconut milk and the vanilla which give this creation a delicious and fine flavour. To add a little sweetness I used  chopped dried apple slices.

But now, let’s get cooking, well you better start soaking the rice and come back tomorrow morning or later as this a fabulous dessert after a light lunch or dinner too !

Warming Black rice pudidng with coconut milk – Serves 3-4

Ingredients: organic if possible

200g  black rice, soaked for at least 1 hour, overnight is even better

400ml full-fat coconut milk

200ml of water

30g-40g of dried apple slices – finely chopped 

½ vanilla pod – scraped out seeds and pod

1 pinch of salt

3 TBS coconut flakes or nuts of your choice- toasted

1 pear-cut into slices 

1 TBS of pomegranate seeds

1. Drain the rice and rinse well, place in a medium-sized pot, keep 4 TBS of coconut milk for garnish, and add the rest along with the water, vanilla seeds and pod, chopped apples, and a pinch of salt to the rice. 

2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer covered for 30-40 min until the rice is cooked, and the liquid is mostly absorbed.  Stir now and then, and add some water if needed, you want to have a creamy consistency in the end. Cooking times may vary, so please check the instructions on the rice package for cooking time. Soaked rice usually takes a little less time to cook.

3. In the meantime, prepare the fruit and toast the coconut chips or nuts of your choice. For toasting the coconut chips, simply take a frying pan and toast them at medium heat without oil until slightly golden brown and crisp. 

4. Once the rice is cooked, leave it to sit covered for another 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fruit, 1 TBS of coconut milk and toasted coconut chips/nuts. 

Enjoy and keep warm, spring and more sunshine it on its way.