I follow a gluten-free diet as strictly as my willpower enables me, avoiding bread, pasta and cakes. While this task is usually not a huge ask for me, one meal I do miss is porridge. Oats are questionable for a gluten-intolerant, some people can digest them and others (like me) struggle. If I have a long morning ahead, I find something substantial like porridge will keep me satisfied right though to a late lunch, avoiding any tummy grumbling mid-meeting.
Rice pudding, especially made with brown rice, is as comforting as porridge and very filling. It will require more preparation (no one minute microwave options here) but you can make portions in advance to have on the ready. As always you can experiment with flavours and add ins. It's summer in Australia so I had fresh mango and banana to add in mine.
Other flavour combinations suggested are:
- peeled diced apple and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of sultanas and grated orange rind
- 1/2 cup of dried sliced apricots and substitute the almond milk for coconut milk
- plain vanilla made with 1 fresh vanilla bean, seeds removed and cooked with pod in
To cut a few corners, I actually used my trusty rice cooker, which makes things really simple because you add your ingredients in, push start and leave it to do its thing. Rice cookers are super cheap and you can usually find them in your grocery store or Kmart/Target for $20. If you have lots of mouths to feed, a rice cooker can be a big help. These days you can also find lots of different healthy rice varieties with add ins like quinoa, barley, chia seeds and wild rice. To boost the rice flavour for savoury dishes, try adding frozen peas or shredded spinach for some added greenery or a low-salt organic stock cube as the rice will absorb those flavors while cooking.
Vegan Banana Brown Rice Pudding
Serves 3/4 depending on serving sizes
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 3 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk + extra for topping up if needed (you can use whatever milk you prefer but check it is unsweetened, rice/oat/almond milk often has a heap of added sugar)
- 1 tablespoon of stevia sweetener (optional depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 chopped banana
- 1/2 mango, diced
- Add the uncooked rice, stevia and 2 1/2 cups of almond milk into your rice cooker and turn onto cook.
- Let the rice cook for 35 - 40 minutes, in which time you may need to top up with almond milk if it starts to dry out. Check after the 25 minute mark in 5 minute intervals or so, just to make sure the rice isn't catching to the bottom of the pan.
- If you are using a saucepan, do the same process but just bring to the boil and leave to simmer with the lid on.
- When the rice is tender and absorbed most of the almond milk turn onto keep warm or turn the heat off your saucepan.
- Stir through the fruit and 1/2 cup of almond milk to make the sauce creamy. Let sit for 10 minutes for the fruit to cook through.
- Transfer to bowls to serve or store in containers for a few days. Enjoy!