The holidays are over. The rush of New Years has passed. And now we plummet, head first, into the depths of winter.
Well, that was uplifting, Sarah. Okay, perhaps it feels a little doomsday around here with the weather as it is. It rains, it pours, today it snowed, and I have to turn the lights on in the house at 2pm. Sometimes Copenhagen is so dark, I pretend that I am living on some groovy planet in another galaxy far away where there is no sun. For some reason, this makes things more bearable.
But you know what else makes things more bearable? Delicious food! Ahh…works every single time. Last weekend I had my darling friend, Earthsprout Elenore over for a sleepover with our babies (and husbands!), and for breakfast I made this Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding. We were instantly transported to another place, far, far away. Instead of a not-so-groovy, poorly-lit planet we were on a tasty tropical paradise island – at least our tummies were – and I knew that I had to share the experience with you.
Let me start by saying that I am not a huge fan of rice pudding. I find it rather boring, in fact. But I had a light bulb moment recently when cooking up a pot of black rice, thinking about how creamy and sweet it was, that maybe using it instead of white rice would be pretty darn delish. When I considered the other ingredients used to make rice pudding, dairy milk, white sugar, butter, I realized that this was one recipe that could easily become a high-vibe bowl of goodness with some simple substitutions. Okay, it’s true that the combination of coconut milk and black rice have been thought up before (oops) but it was news to me! And such a welcome change from the humble bowls of oats that I’ve been eating for breakfast lately.
My Passion for Passion Fruit
If you can believe it, I ate my first passion fruit about three years ago. I could barely handle how delicious it was! The flavour of it was so explosive, bursting with high-vibe vibrancy – a golden, succulent miracle! And can I share what made me avoid these fruits for so long? I simply had no idea what to do with them. Seriously. I’d see them in the store, shrug, and walk by. It wasn’t until working at a restaurant here in Copenhagen where we also sold organic fruits and veggies, that one of my co-workers sliced one open for me to try. I was floored.
The thing that tripped me up, and undoubtedly many others, is that when a passion fruit is ripe, it looks like something that got lost in the back of your fridge for a month, that you almost want to remove with tweezers. Okay perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but ideally, that little golf ball should be well wrinkled before you cut it open. The inside of the passion fruit is not much better either: something along the lines of alien offspring. Once past the shriveled visage and goopy interior, you’re in for a real treat. The flavour is kind of like eating perfume, in the best way possible. It is sweet-tart, slightly acidic, and bathes your tongue in beguiling, tropical fragrance.
Passion fruit is quite the little health bomb too. Loaded with vitamins A, B6, and E, calcium, iron and zinc, the fleshy interior also contains crunchy, edible, fiber-rich seeds. Three passion fruits contain only 54 calories and supply your body with 189 milligrams of potassium, and 27 percent the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
The final result of this pudding is silky, creamy and totally divine. I’ve always thought that black rice has a real perfume, somewhat similar to vanilla, so I tossed in half a pod after scraping the seeds out and it really added something special, while intensifying that unmistakable delicate vanilla bouquet of the rice itself.
In keeping with the tropical theme, I went all out. I biked to the local market and bought every single fruit that squeals of sunshine and sparkles and life. Mango, banana, pomegranate and passion fruit were my selections, and I felt like I was eating mouthfuls of vanilla clouds with juicy glitter on top! No big deal at all.
Yes, this was my breakfast, but I think it would make a delicious dessert after a light meal too. Today I ate it for lunch next to a protein-rich green smoothie – a fantastic combination!
For “research purposes” I made this pudding twice: once with soaked rice and once with raw rice. The texture of the soaked rice was better, and as a bonus, it cooked in about half the time. If you can remember to soak the grains the night before you are going to make the pudding, it will be tastier and faster, plus much easier to digest. To learn why soaking grains is a very good idea, read more here.
Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding
1 cup / 200g black rice, soaked overnight (if possible)
1 can full-fat coconut milk (reserve a couple tablespoons for garnish, if desired)
½ cup water with soaked rice, 1 ½ cups water with un-soaked rice
¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
½ vanilla bean (optional)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener of your choice)
1/3 cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted
Fruits of your choosing:
1. Measure out rice, rinse and cover with water. Let soak overnight or for up to 8 hours (even one hour makes a difference!). Drain and rinse well again.
2. Place rice in a pot with coconut milk, salt, vanilla bean (seeds and pod) and the indicated amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (you still want a little liquid). Times vary depending on whether or not you soaked the rice: for un-soaked rice, cook 45-60 minutes; for soaked rice, cook about 25-30 minutes. Add maple syrup and fold to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. While the rice is cooking, prepare all the fruit that you would like to accompany the pudding.
4. To assemble, scoop out desired amount of black rice into a bowl, top with fruit, toasted coconut, and a drizzle of coconut milk. Enjoy.
I hope this dish brings a little sunshine to all of your lives as we plod along into winter. You know, it’s not so bad when you have happy, healthy food to get you through. Let’s all keep our spirits high, fill our bellies with tropical tinsel and march onward!
With passion, fruit, and passion fruit,
* * * * * *
While we are on the subject of breakfast and Elenore of Earthsprout, I would love to share with you her amazing new app that she just launched: 30 Raw Breakfasts. This 30-recipe app is your ticket to inspired, healthy, whole-food morning magic (but gosh, I have to say that almost every one of these treats could double as dessert!). She’s giving away one app to you, the fabulous My New Roots reader. All you have to do is post your favourite breakfast in the comments section of Elenore’s post (on her blog, not mine!), and she will choose a winner at random. Good luck, and make sure you invite me over for breakfast!