There are some days when there is no interesting recipe amongst the 130 food blogs I research daily (see this post on how I keep track of them all yet stay mostly sane). Other times, such as today, I find as many as four of interest. The one which I actually had most of the ingredients for a change was for an almond rice pudding. What makes this pudding different from all other puddings (sorry, channeling wrong holiday) is that it specifically calls for no eggs and no milk/cream.
Wait ... aren't those 2 little ingredients like a major part of rice pudding? Won't the result taste kinda ... I dunno ... AWFUL?
Wrong, wrong, wrong! This rice pudding holds its own. Almond milk is not very high in fat, despite originating from a high-fat nut, and the flavor is surprisingly mild. Cooked down, it gives the pudding a very creamy taste and yummy mouth-feel. You, your hips and your cholesterol count won't miss the dairy at all.
Vegan Almond Rice Pudding
adapted from Whole Foods
makes 4-6 small servings
4 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
1 cup uncooked rice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
sliced almonds, to garnish
non-dairy whipped topping to garnish (optional)
Pour almond milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Add rice.
Stir in sugar and salt.
Heat until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
Stir occasionally, but don't leave the mixture unattended, in case it starts to foam up and possibly boil over.
As the mixture begins to thicken, the bubbles will start to get larger. When it starts looking like this, it's almost done. Stir, and when it's thick enough to your liking, it's done. Remove from heat.
Stir in dried cranberries ...
...vanilla and almond extracts ...
... and cinnamon. Be sure to measure out the cinnamon and not be a wise guy and attempt to sprinkle it on directly from the container, because too much will pour out. It always does. Someday I will learn. Luckily, cinnamon is very healthy and delicious.
Spoon into individual serving cups. Sprinkle with almonds. Spritz with non-dairy topping, if desired. Serve warm.