I absolutely could not miss including pumpkin in our series on super foods. Pumpkin is by far my favorite super food and rice pudding is such a comfort food that it just made sense to combine the two for a delicious creamy bowl of happy childhood. I don’t remember having rice that often as a child but when we did, I loved it when there was some left over and I would ask my mom if she would make sweet rice which it turns out was rice pudding. It makes me feel good just remembering it but not as good as this super food will make you feel. Pumpkin is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins. It is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants like leutin, xanthins and carotenes. Cinnamon is also one powerful spice. It has been shown to have anti-clotting abilities, anti-microbial activity, and blood sugar control among other good for you things. Cook up some of this spicy pudding and make some happy memories of your own.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups fat free milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sweet brown rice or short grain brown rice or Arborio rice
  • 8 oz pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened or apple sweetened dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place the rice in a mesh strainer and place under running water for 1 minute to rinse the rice. (skip this step if using short grain brown or arborio rice) Set aside to drain.

    Simmer milk with syrup, spices and vanilla bean

  2. In a large saucepan, combine syrup, vanilla bean, (if using vanilla extract, add later with the pumpkin puree) spices, and 1 cup milk.
  3. Heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds and add them back into the milk.

    Stir in rice and remaining milk

  5. Stir in the rice, turn the heat back up to medium and add the remaining 3 cups of milk, slowly 1 cup at a time. Let the mixture come back up to a simmer each time before adding more milk.  Return to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

    If a skin forms just stir back into the milk

  6. Simmer, stirring frequently for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the milk is absorbed but still creamy. It may form a skin in between stirring but don’t worry, just stir it back into the milk.
  7. Stir in the pumpkin (and vanilla extract now if using in place of the vanilla bean).
  8. Add the cranberries and pecans if using.
  9. Cook a minute or two more to heat the pumpkin.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Serving size about 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 450, Cal. from Fat: 12.5, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 98g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 29g, Protein: 13.5g, Sodium: 153mg, Chol: 5mg

Notes:

Sweet brown rice can usually be found in health foods stores or in asian markets.

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