A creamy rice pudding usually includes a lot of milk and this recipe does contain lots of milk, except it’s coconut milk. It’s loaded with warm spices, scented with vanilla, and topped with creamy blueberries and toasted coconut flakes.
When I think of rice pudding, I think of baby food because that’s what I remember eating as a young child. The only other time I remember my mom making it for me was when I had a stomach ache. So, I grew up thinking that rice pudding is either baby food or some sort of tummy ache blend. Because, you see, rice pudding was never prepared as a delicious dish, it was always a rather bland mix of boiled rice slowly simmered with goat or cow milk with no salt or sugar.
Make-Ahead Breakfast, Snack or Dessert
As I researched, I learned a funny thing about rice pudding in that the early Roman recipe for the pudding was the same as my moms. Just boil some rice, rinse it and add milk to simmer it until it thickens up and becomes a pudding. Good thing I grew up and learned that it’s okay to really load up the pudding with all sorts of yummy ingredients! You can go crazy and even make it unhealthy but that wouldn’t be that smart.
Rice pudding is a simple, comforting dish that works great for breakfast, as a dessert, or a snack. The best thing is that you could use leftover rice to cut down on cooking time. Not only could you use leftover rice but you could also make it ahead of time for a quick and easy breakfast. Top it with fruit right before serving.
Making Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk
Since I make rice pudding as a make-ahead breakfast for my toddler, I like to beat in an egg for a bit of protein, but that’s not required. I also use a bit of coconut milk to sauté blueberries until they release their color which dyes the coconut milk, making a great, colorful topping. If you don’t mind adding extra honey or maple syrup to the blueberries and coconut milk, you could caramelize the blueberries even more (I bet that would be yummy!).
When selecting unsweetened coconut milk, use cans off the shelves rather than the cartons in the refrigerated section. The reason is simple: the refrigerated coconut milk is generally not pure coconut milk but more of a coconut beverage that contains several other ingredients. I like Native Forest’s organic coconut milk as their cans are BPA free; but I also hear that Trader Joe’s canned coconut milk is BPA free as well.
To make this recipe, you will need:
- 2 or 3-Quart Saucepan
- Small Saucepan
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Small Bowls or Ramekins
- Spatulas and Small Whisk
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla (optional)
- ⅛ tsp grounded nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt* (see notes)
- 1 tsp cocoa, cocoa nibs or mini chocolate chips (optional)
- 2 tbsp blueberries
- 2-3 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp toasted coconut flakes
- In a 3-quart saucepan, bring cooked rice and coconut milk to simmer and stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the rice soaks up the milk and puffs. In the meantime, beat one egg in a small bowl. Once the rice thickens and all the liquid is gone, remove from the heat.
- Stir in honey, vanilla and cocoa (if using), and beaten egg. Whisk vigorously to make sure the egg cooks and chocolate melts. Pour immediately into serving bowls.
- In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk and blueberries until blueberries start bursting and releasing their color to dye the milk. If desired, sweeten the blueberry topping with more honey or maple syrup. Using a small spoon, top the pudding with it right before serving and sprinkle with some toasted coconut flakes.
- Serve hot, warm or cold.
If using uncooked rice, cook the rice first according to directions on your package.
Serves two adults or four toddlers.
Use your best judgment for how long ahead to make it or store it. Top with fruits right before serving.
To make this pudding dessert-worthy, separate some rice before you add spices and chocolate, to keep it white. Then, layer darker and white pudding in a glass dish for beautiful presentation.
Note: this post contains affiliate links to products I love and use.