Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.
As a child, this was one of my favourite quotes for obvious reasons. What kid doesn’t want to eat dessert first? I grew up in a very health-conscious family, and as a result my childhood was filled with fruit for snacks, vegetables in my lunch box and a distinct absence of the processed instant noodles or “fruit” roll-ups that all the other kids got from their parents. Aside from fruit after dinner, actual dessert was a treat reserved for special occasions or maybe a Sunday dinner, and on those occasions I would break out my quote in an attempt to skip the veggies and get straight to the good part. I was often unsuccessful, but every once in a while my Mom would humour us and we’d happily eat a bowl of ice cream before digging into the main course.
Of course now I can eat dessert whenever I want, but the concept of eating dessert first has no less meaning now than it did as a child. What could be a better reminder that life should be enjoyed in the present, rather than constantly put off until later? Fun should be a part of every day and not simply reserved for vacations and retirement.
I suspect that’s one of the reasons that brown rice pudding has quickly become one of our favourite breakfasts. It’s creamy and rich so it feels like a treat, but with whole grains, little or no added sugar and about 9g of protein per serving it’s actually a balanced whole-grain breakfast. It’s not exactly high-protein, but it’s a good way to start your day. And it’s a really great way to use up leftover rice!
We’ve made brown rice pudding with both short and long-grain rice, and we like both types. The short grain rice tends to be a little chewier, so if you’re a fan of steel-cut oats then you might prefer that over long-grain rice. For a creamier result, use full-fat instead of reduced fat milk – we do, and it’s absolutely decadent – and let the milk simmer for a little longer to condense slightly.
Serve hot topped with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, and of course, with love.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 2 cups cooked)
- 2 cups milk, the creamier the better
- ¼ cup sugar (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- If you're using uncooked rice, bring 1-3/4 cups of water to a boil then add the rice. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
- Add the milk, sugar (if you like - you can leave it out) and salt to the cooked rice, and simmer uncovered on medium heat for 15 minutes until the milk condenses slightly. I usually turn the heat to medium-high just until the milk starts to boil, then turn to medium-low so it simmers without boiling over.
- Once the milk mixture has cooked, add the eggs, raisins, cinnamon and vanilla and stir until everything is well mixed. Cook for about another 3-5 minutes on medium-low heat until the egg is cooked and the mixture thickens. Serve hot topped with cinnamon, or store in the fridge for later.