I almost forgot how delicious my Apple Cinnamon Brown Rice Pudding was. I have someone to thank for “stumbling” the recipe, as the increased traffic to that particular post reminded me of how much I enjoyed the creamy, thick, slightly sweet, and hearty rice pudding.
Instead of making the apple cinnamon flavor again, I decided to feature another seasonal ingredient: sweet potatoes.
If I could choose one and only one food to live off of for the remainder of my life, it would probably be roasted sweet potato puree. Velvety smooth, perfectly sweet and flavorful in its unadulterated state, and inarguably one of the world’s healthiest foods, homemade sweet potato puree is a staple in our refrigerator.
I’ve adopted the habit of buying a three pound sack of organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s (excellent prices for organic produce!) every weekend, roasting them (pierce a few times with a fork, place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until super soft), and then pureeing the flesh in a food processor. Once cool, I transfer the puree to an air-tight container and refrigerate for use throughout the week. I add sweet potato puree to stovetop oatmeal, Greek yogurt, sandwiches, and smoothies.
Sweet potato puree is also wonderful in desserts, given its inherent sweetness and luscious texture. My inspiration for this recipe was sweet potato pie – reinterpreted into a healthy brown rice pudding. The spices typically found in a sweet potato pie made their way into the pudding, but only a fraction of the sugar was used. I relied instead on the naturally sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes and brown sweet rice: an exciting new find at the grocery store.
This rice pudding is not only great as a healthy dessert, but also as a hearty breakfast. If you adore stovetop oatmeal as much as I do, then you will love this warm brown rice pudding as an occasional stand-in. Simply toss it in the microwave and heat with an extra splash or two of milk for a cozy start to a blustery day.
Sweet Potato Brown Rice Pudding
Yields 4-6 servings
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice, such as Lundberg Organic Brown Sweet Rice
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups milk of choice (I used organic 2%)
- 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup (can sub in honey, agave nectar, or additional maple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups sweet potato puree
- Combine water, rice, and salt in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stir once, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed (rice will continue to cook in the milk mixture, so you want the rice slightly undercooked at this point).
- Remove rice from heat, place in a bowl, and set aside.
- Add milk, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices to the pot. Bring to a very low boil over medium heat, whisking often so the milk doesn’t scorch. Lower heat to medium-low.
- Whisk in the cooked rice and sweet potato puree. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. If a “skin” forms, just stir it back into the pudding. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. NOTE: It is especially important to tend to the pudding towards the end of the cooking time. Do not walk away from the stove, or your pudding will burn.
- Transfer rice pudding to a large bowl, and let cool. Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools. For best thickening results, refrigerate pudding until well-chilled.
- Serve warm or cold, with an extra dollop of sweet potato puree and a dusting of cinnamon if desired.