I know I have only just posted a great recipe for coconut quinoa (and your response has been AMAZING, thank you!) and while black rice is not an ancient grain like quinoa, it is no less amazing for your nutrition. I don’t know about your kids but my kids generally frown upon eating black food and so this black rice pudding is my (delicious) attempt at getting black rice into my family’s diet. And man oh man, it’s just wonderful.
As long as I can remember, I have been making coconut rice pudding for the kids – it’s smooth, sticky and subtly sweet (though without using refined sugar) and perfect for little ones, including young toddlers. It’s also beautifully filling and my kids always ask for it. (And yes, I will post the recipe soon!) The other day I was thinking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the rice was a little more nutritious though? And then, I thought, hmm, how about that black rice in the pantry? And voila – say hi to black rice pudding!
Texture of this black rice pudding
If you haven’t tried black rice before, it’s chewier in texture than white rice but not unpleasantly so – once you try it, I bet it will become a little addictive. You’ll catch yourself thinking – just one more spoon, mmm!
But although the rice might be lightly chewy, the rest of the pudding is creamy, smooth and pretty delicious.
Given the chewiness, I would be hesitant to recommend that you feed this to really young children but older kids (I’d say over the age of three or four) should be perfectly fine.
Nutritional benefits of black rice
And if kids will love this black rice pudding because of its taste, I think parents should be equally as excited because black rice is such a nutritional powerhouse.
Black rice, also called forbidden or purple rice, is a super nutritious, naturally gluten-free option which is suitable for those on a gluten free diet or with gluten sensitivity.
Black rice gets its signature black-purple color from a pigment called anthocyanin, which has potent antioxidant properties. Apparently, in ancient China, black rice was considered so unique and nutritious that it was forbidden for all but royalty.
Luckily now we can all eat it too and with it, we’re getting some amazing nutritional benefits which include:
- It’s a good source of several nutrients, particularly protein, fiber, and iron. It contains more protein than other types of rice (white and brown).
- It’s rich in antioxidants. In addition to anthocyanin, black rice has been found to contain over 23 plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including several types of flavonoids and carotenoids. It also has the highest antioxidant activity of all rice varieties.
- In addition to having antioxidant properties, anthocyanins also have strong anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.
- It may support eye health. Research shows that black rice contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin — two types of carotenoids that are associated with eye health.
- It may aid weight loss. Because black rice is a good source of protein and fiber, both of which can help promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness and also contains anthocyanins which may help reduce body weight and body fat percentage, black rice may be a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to lose a little weight.
How does this compare to white rice?
Compared to white rice, black rice has a higher fiber content, slightly more protein and iron, and a lower glycemic index which means it is digested slower and adds more soluble fiber to the diet, which can lower cholesterol.
Sources: Mens Journal and Huffington Post
Black rice pudding [refined sugar and gluten free, and dairy free possible]
- 1/2 cup black rice
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 150 ml milk (plant based if you'd like to make this dairy free)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- dash (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients except for the maple syrup in a medium sized heavy bottomed pot. Mix until combined.
- Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to low to medium and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every now and then. Watch it so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot or overrun.
- The pudding will be ready when the rice feels softer and has a slightly chewy texture.
- Take the pot off the heat and stir in the maple syrup, if using.
- Let the hot rice mixture cool a little in the pot, then carefully pour half each into two bowls or ramekins, and allow to cool until just warm before eating (or to fully cool before covering up and storing in the fridge for later). Test the temperature before giving to children.
- This is easy to re-heat, just pop into the microwave or back on the stove for a little while at low heat (or 50%), stirring as required.
You can make this recipe dairy free by using plant based milk.
Adding the maple syrup is optional as I think there is enough sweetness from the coconut cream but if you are used to commercial puddings or prefer a little extra sweeteness, adding the maple syrup should do the trick.
This pudding should keep in the fridge for up to a week.