Were you a fan of rice pudding as a kid? I’m pretty sure it was the first proper recipe I ever made. Circa 1994, at the ripe old age of 10 (either that or mac n cheese, they were certainly both front runners). I’d come home from school, get our huge rectangular dish out, and make a quad batch of the classic Edmonds cook book recipe. Afternoon tea sorted for days.
Truth be told, I hadn’t made rice pudding for years. But, it’s been on my to-plantify list since I first started Be Good Organics. One trip to the snow last month, and all those warming rice pudding feels came rushing back!
So here’s my plant-perfected version for you. Creamy, cosy, and seriously comforting. Yes, this Chai Rice Pudding is…
- Done in 30 minutes
- Made in 1 pot
- 6 simple ingredients
- Perfectly spiced chai-style
- And… 100% plant-based (no dairy milk/butter needed)
It’s our family’s current fav winter’s dessert – Mila and Torin battle to finish the bowl! So I know you’re going to love it too (especially if you’ve had a lighter soup or salad style dinner. Read on below, print off the recipe, and make it this weekend.
What is rice pudding?
Rice pudding is traditionally made from short grain or Arborio white, along with cow’s milk, white sugar, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. Some recipes add egg to create a more custardy type feel, but the staple three ingredients are always white + milk + sugar (aka all the good stuff). It seems to have origins in Turkish, Arabic, Lebanese, Iranian cultures, with various spice blends being added. From cinnamon to clove, cardamom to ginger, right through to nutmeg and rose water. You can also find rice puddings in Asian cuisine, made with black sticky rice and coconut, topped with caramelised banana or mango. Delish.
How do you make rice pudding?
When I was growing up, I’d always bake my rice pudding in the oven. This would create a chewy golden skin, which we’d peel off to reveal the creamy lusciousness inside. You can also cook rice pud on the stove, which is quicker, and the method I’ve use here. But if you’re a oven-baked rice pud aficionado, by all means, go for it.
What is the best rice for rice pudding?
The best rice to use is either a short grain rice, or Arborio rice. Both of these release their starch to make our pudding creamy. Recipes traditionally use white versions of these though, which have had the germ and bran of the rice grain removed. This leaves just the starchy endosperm, which is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and can raise your blood sugars. I’ve therefore made our version using short grain brown rice. We get the creaminess of a shorter grain, while still retaining all the fibre, protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins.
Which spices to add to rice pudding
I’m doing some recipe creation for Botanistry this month, a lovely new NZ-owned business creating a range of all-natural plant-based powders. Their nutrient-dense blends have been developed by a group of Ayurvedic practitioners and medical doctors in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, with all spices sustainably and ethically sourced from Sri Lanka, a stunning island nation which has practiced Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Each blend is a combination of five certified organic herbs, spices, and superfoods, designed to support a certain health goal:
- Active Corals for muscle & joint recovery
- Boosting Ambers for stronger immunity
- Glowing Greens for healthy skin
- Digestive Jades for better digestion
The health benefits of chai spices
I’ve added their Active Corals to our rice pudding, to give it a distinctive chai flavour with a hint of turmeric. The Active Corals contains ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, clove, black pepper, and ashwaganda (a medicinal herb also known as withania)
- Cinnamon has been clinically shown to support blood sugar management, lower cholesterol, and boost metabolism. I often recommend it to clients who are aiming for weight loss.
- Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory along with cinnamon. Both can help with chronic diseases driven by inflammation (auto-immune, cancer, heart disease, arthritis etc).
- Clove is a circulatory stimulant, as well as being a mild analgesic / pain reliever (perfect if you suffer from back or shoulder pain).
- Black pepper also helps to stimulate circulation (ideal over the winter months, especially if you get chilblains on your fingers or toes), and also magically enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, the active anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric.
- Ashwaganda/withania meanwhile is one of my favourite adaptogenic herbs to add to herbal tonics for clients, particularly women, as it helps us cope with stress and balance mood. As some of my ladies will know, once you’re on withania, you won’t want to get off!
Plus – it adds the most amazing flavour to this Chai Rice Pudding!
I also used it to make a simple latte to go with this pud, using a cup of plant-milk, a date (or you could use 1 teaspoon of maple syrup/brown rice malt/pinch stevia), and 1 teaspoon of the Active Corals. Blitz it all up in your blender, then heat with a coffee machine/milk frother or in a pot and serve!
A little discount for you
As part of my work with Botanistry, they’ve also given me a discount code you can use if you’d like to try their range too. Simply use BUFFY10 at checkout here for 10% off. Thank you as always for supporting the brands that enable me to keep Be Good Organics here as a free resource for you, to help you embrace more plant-based food. Every time I hear that you’ve tried one of my recipes, it truly makes me smile.
More dessert ideas
If you love a good after-dinner sweet treat like me, here’s some more of my favourite’s for you:
If you try this Chai Rice Pudding, let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @begoodorganics on Instagram. Thanks so much – it means the world.
- 1 c brown short grain rice
- 2 c water
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- pinch ground pepper
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 c raisins
- Cook rice with water 10mins, lid on
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer with lid on until cooked and creamy, approx 20mins
- serve hot, topped with shredded coconut and fruti of choice