Rice pudding is a practically universal dish that is typically made from a mixture of cooked rice and milk or cream (and it often has plenty of sugar!). So many countries have their own versions of rice pudding, incorporating a wide range of flavors and sweet and savory ingredients. You can find versions of rice puddings in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean… the list goes on!
My favorite type of rice pudding is the lightly sweetened version. Dessert rice puddings can get unhealthy really fast, so I often use this version as a healthy base. It’s one of my favorites because the coconut reminds me of the sticky rice I tasted in Thailand that was served with sliced mango. I couldn’t tell you how many bowls of that stuff I ate on my travels!
Coconut milk helps the pudding develop a luscious, creamy texture without needing dairy. When I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll use a full-fat coconut milk; and when I want to keep things a bit lighter, I’ll opt for a can of light coconut milk. Speaking of canned coconut milk, the cans of light coconut milk are actually just more watered-down counterparts of the full-fat cans (for the same price!). If you’re on a budget, I suggest buying a full-fat can and using a bit of water to thin it out. You can save any leftovers in another dish (like this shrimp dish or this chicken curry). Since coconut milk can be quite heavy, this recipe uses a mix of canned coconut milk and almond milk to get the balance just right.
Another healthy twist comes from using whole-grain brown rice instead of white (hello, fiber!). In the beginning of the week, I often cook batches of grains for meal prep…so if I’m feeling like rice pudding, then I’ll just prep and extra big batch of brown rice. It makes this dish come together in a pinch.
This recipe yields a generous six servings. Store leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them warm or cold. After sitting overnight, the rice pudding will thicken. You can stir in an extra splash of almond milk if you’d like to thin it out. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and enjoy!
Add a little spice to your Creamy Coconut Brown Rice Pudding by adding a whole cinnamon stick or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the pot as it cooks. Try serving it with sliced mango or fresh berries.
Creamy Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
This light and sweet coconut brown rice pudding is a delicious healthy dessert
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1½ cups canned lite coconut milk
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 6 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut flakes toasted
Combine almond milk, coconut milk, rice, honey, and extract in large saucepan. Mix until well blended; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches a boil.
Reduce heat to low; gently boil, covered, stirring occasionally so that it does not burn, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until creamy.
Serve in individual dessert bowls garnished with coconut.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.