Friday, March 7, 2008

Brown Rice Pudding

Today I went searching for a recipe for brown rice pudding. I have delicious memories of the white rice pudding my mom used to make - it was wonderful!

Throughout the years I've tried various rice pudding recipes and today made some with white rice. I've gotten smarter with brown rice and recently came across a tip about soaking brown rice overnight to cut down on the amount of time it takes to cook. I forgot to do it the night before but it worked by soaking the rice beginning in the morning. After soaking it all day, I can cook the brown rice in the microwave in about 1/2 hr (not sure if that amount of time is good or bad - I know it's better than what it used to be before I soaked it - but the microwave is "vintage"...I keep hoping it will die so we can replace it with something smaller - but this one seems like it was built to withstand a nuclear holocaust, so it'll be with us for some time yet).

This rice pudding was great! I kind of combined a couple of recipes and actually found I used too much cinnamon - but it didn't stop me from eating a lot of it. It only contains 1/4 c of sugar (I would have liked it sweeter but sweeter means less healthy). The kids liked it some - but they didn't like the raisins in it. It reminded the boy of cinnamon raisin porridge/oatmeal which he suddenly doesn't like and I think it may have been a result of his sister reminding him of the following story:

One day I decided to make some chocolate covered caramel popcorn. Nothing sounds much better than that does it? Seems like it was around some gift giving holiday b/c I was going to make it for someone. I bought a couple of boxes of caramel popcorn and some chocolate chips or chocolate bars to melt. But before I got down to the difficult task of making said treat - I needed to fortify myself with some of the extra caramel popcorn...while laying on the couch...eating it straight out of the box...and probably reading a book at the same time.

After awhile I decided it was time to stop eating all the caramel popcorn and poured it into a bowl and got ready to add some melted chocolate. And then I saw it. Well actually saw them. A bunch of creepy crawly critters had been inside my boxed, sealed foil lined package of caramel popcorn. Some might say it served me right for eating it straight out of the box and while on the couch no less. Needless to say I did not eat anymore. I packed up those things I purchased earlier at the store (kind of a close-out discount store which I won't name - but it wasn't anything like expired goods or such)...and returned them all. It just gave me such a creepy feeling to thin of having (possibly) eaten creepy crawlies. Wouldn't bug me too much to eat a dead/cooked insect (preferably chocolate covered grasshoppers - remember that from Blubber?) - but not something that was alive and covered only in the melted chocolate I was pouring on it.

Anywhooo - now ds won't eat raisins in his oatmeal...and since the pudding reminded him of the oatmeal that must have reminded him of the caramel popcorn bugs (he might not have even been born when it happened!) - he wasn't crazy about that aspect either.

OK now that I've squashed your appetite I'll give you the recipe. It's all approximations b/c like I said I combined two recipes and I didn't measure all that well.

1 c uncooked brown rice (soaked about 12 hrs)
2 c water (add to brown rice and cook in microwave for 20 min - then see if you need to do it longer - or you can do it on the stove)

In a greased oven safe covered baking dish add the following:

1 1/2 c milk
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c raisins (optional)
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground cloves
2 small Jonathan apples (peeled and grated)

Bake covered, for 30 min at 325 degrees (I did mine at 350 for about 35 min) - then remove lid and bake for 5 more minutes.

This tastes great either warm w/a bit of ice-cream, or plain or cold the next day.

I'm not really sure if the grated apples added much to the pudding - other than some healthy nutrients. I couldn't taste the apple part...I think when I make it again, I'll use more apple...maybe even some larger chunks of apple.