Last night after work I dropped by the market to pick up a few things. A huge barrel of short grain brown rice caught my eye in the bulk food section. Rice pudding came to mind immediately. I hadn't made it in months and suddenly I was craving it.
I sweetened this rice pudding with dates. Start off with the lesser amount and add a bit more later if it isn't sweet enough.
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup raw short grain brown rice
1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped dates
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups milk or almond milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp whole flaxseed, optional
1/2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
fresh blueberries for serving
Lightly toast the almonds. Set aside and cool.
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan with a lid. Stir in the rice and simmer gently uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped dates. Continue to simmer uncovered for another 4-5 minutes.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups milk and add the cinnamon. Return the mixture to a light simmer. Taste the liquid and add the extra dates at this point if you prefer your rice pudding sweeter. Cover the saucepan and lower the flame to the lowest setting. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender with a small bite to it.
Remove the lid. Stir in the remaining milk, flaxseed and lemon zest. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow to sit for about 15 - 20 minutes. Most of the remaining liquid will have absorbed into the rice. Stir in the toasted almonds, reserving some for garnish. If the pudding seems too thick, stir in additional milk or water.
Serve warm or at room temperature with the blueberries.