I love taking advantage of the availability of fresh, organic fruits in the summertime. While a fruit salad melange of whatever’s available is always a healthy, refreshing option, I also like to add fruit to other desserts.
Fruit is inherently sweet on its own, so when I add fruit to a dessert, I want that dessert to be on the less-sweet side. It’s easy to regulate the sweetness of rice pudding, because you can add a little sweetener at a time and adjust to your taste. A friend recently gifted me a package of black (japonica) rice, so I found a recipe for a black rice pudding in my oft-mentioned favorite cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
The recipe calls for tropical fruits, but sadly, the only ripe, tropical fruits I could find were bananas. I did find some incredibly ripe strawberries and added some very sweet green grapes to my version of this pudding. Mango is a traditional addition in Thai versions of black rice pudding, but the only mangoes I could find were hard as a rock. I’ll keep trying though.
This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
Black Rice Pudding with Fruit Topping
1 cup black rice
1/3 cup starchy short-grain rice (I used sweet rice, but arborio rice—used in risotto—would work well too)
15-ounce can coconut milk
2 cups water
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 t salt
1 T coconut oil
2 cups assorted fruits, cut into bite-sized pieces
Juice of 1-2 limes, added to fruit
Bring black and short grain rice to a boil in two cups of water and the can of coconut milk, lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add vanilla, salt and sugar. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer another 10 minutes, while stirring, until the rice is soft and creamy, but still toothsome. Add coconut oil, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Top with chopped fruits and coconut flakes if you like.