A friend of mine was surprised to find out that a rice pudding recipe exists. He’s Asian, and was not familiar with seeing congee (a kind of Asian porridge cooked with rice) being seasoned with sugar, milk, and cream. He was skeptical, until he had a bite out of this traditional dessert.
Let’s take a look at this amazing treat, shall we?
Does Rice Pudding Contain Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins found a lot in wheat and products made of wheat— bread, pasta, pastry, etc. To people who have gluten-related disorders, it is an allergen that can trigger a variety of unwelcome reactions. Other than that, it’s harmless and is what makes bread dough stretchy.
Rice pudding is one of very few desserts/breakfasts that have no gluten. Although having a similar look to wheat, rice is 90% starch, only 8% protein and none of the proteins are gluten. It’s safe to say that all kinds of rice (even sticky rice) and products made of rice are gluten-free, unless it is included in a product with gluten.
Bottom line is, if gluten is your enemy, rice is for sure the ally you can trust.
What Nutrients Can You Get from Rice Pudding?
Rice pudding can provide lots of calories. Rice contains a lot of carbohydrates, while milk and cream have all the good fats we need to keep our body energized until lunch rolls around.
Different from a traditional rice pudding recipe, ours has fresh berries. Not only are they packed with fruit sugar, but they also contain a fair amount of fiber. Fiber can improve our digestive system and keep us satisfied for longer after we’re done eating.
In terms of micronutrients, strawberries and especially blueberries contain lots of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation in our body and the risk of cancer as well. They also have a considerable amount of minerals, which can improve heart health and the overall functioning of our bodies.
Although we used Jasmine rice simply for the sake of the gorgeous photos, you don’t have to. You can sneak even more nutrients into the pudding just by substituting Jasmine with brown rice. Brown rice is packed with vitamin Bs, minerals, and lots of fiber. In fact, it’s proven to have an anti-diabetic impact and effectively lower your cholesterol level.
How Long Should You Cook Rice Pudding?
Unlike other recipes, our recipe calls for cooked rice, and we utilize a rice cooker to make it. There’s a good reason why most Asians own a rice cooker— it cooks rice in under 10 minutes and needs no supervision. Once it was done, we simmered the cooked-rice in 3 cups of water for about 20 minutes before adding in the dairy products and other flavors.
And don’t worry, simmering rice doesn’t take away the nutrients in it.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, simply simmer 1 cup of rice and 4 cups of water in a big pot until it reaches a texture of congee or porridge. This process can take up to 40 minutes, so you can start the timer and do something else, like making the berry sauce.
Although we all tend to put the lid on when simmering rice, it’s better for you to leave a gap. Doing so will help prevent the rice water bubbling up and spilling out all over your cooktop.
How Should Rice Pudding be Served?
Rice pudding is a versatile dish. You can make a big batch of it and then serve it as either a breakfast or dessert. To meet the recommended daily intake of calories, we serve our rice pudding with a watermelon smoothie.
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Since our rice pudding recipe makes portions with enough calories to fuel you for hours, each serving can be an overwhelming dessert for one. If you wish to serve this dish as a dessert, use only half of everything and reduce the amount of raw Jasmine rice to just 1/2 cup (so it adheres with our healthy guideline). The new recipe makes 4 servings, so adjust once more if you don’t have a lot to feed and don’t care for leftovers.
One more special thing about rice pudding is that it can be served either chilled or warm. You just need to make the rice and the berry sauce ahead of time, refrigerate them separately for at least 2 hours and take them out when you’re ready to eat. To serve it warm, simply reheat everything over low heat. Personally, we feel that serving it chilled is better.
Rice Pudding Recipe
- 16 oz strawberries divided in half
- 10 oz blueberries divided into 3 oz and 7 oz
- 10 tbsp granulated sugar divided in half
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 20 oz cooked medium-grain rice or 1 cup uncooked
- 3 cups water 4 if using uncooked rice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Simmer rice with 4 cups of water for 40 minutes, with the lid on but a slight gap.
- If you use a rice cooker, add 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water, and wait for about 10 minutes. Then, add cooked rice to a pot with the remaining water and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if possible, simmer 8 oz of strawberries, 3 oz of blueberries, lemon juice and 5 tbsp of sugar for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
- Add in the milk, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and 5 tbsp of sugar. Stir on low heat for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
- Serve chilled or reheat to serve warm.