Green veggies have long been hailed as healthful foods that are good for us. Less well known is that dark fruits, vegetables and grains are nutritional powerhouses as well. Black beans, black lentils, black berries and black rice. These black foods have more antioxidants than light-colored foods because of their high pigment content, anthocyanins, that may help lower the risks of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
I posted a black rice risotto recipe adapted from nutritionist Ellie Krieger a few weeks ago. Black rice recipes are not that easy to spot. Very pleased to have come across this black rice pudding recipe. It is a sweet dessert dish from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food. Oliver has been on a mission to get school children, and all of us, to eat healthier. He is the featured chef this month at IHCC with which I’ve been cooking and blogging.
If you have a difficult time finding black rice in your local markets, try looking for it in Asian food markets.
This black rice pudding looks like the mango panna cotta I’ve posted earlier. The similarity ends with the look. The black rice pudding is low in fat, no dairy or refined sugar is added. Regular panna cotta is made with cream, milk and sugar, lots of them. The black rice pudding might not have the smooth custardy texture of panna cotta. But it is as satisfying as it is good for you. I served a mini version of this pudding to a few health conscious friends (one with doctorate in nutrition), no one turned down this dessert.
The cooked black rice was blitzed with ripe bananas, almond milk, vanilla extract and a small amount of manuka honey in a Vita-mix blender. Almost like making a smoothie, except that the pudding is thicker and denser. Spooned the black rice mixture into individual glasses and then topped with the mango puree. I put them in the refrigerator until service time. A sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts and coconut flakes added a finishing touch.
I substituted almond milk for hazelnut milk in the black rice mixture, since almond milk is more widely available in my area. Jamie Oliver’s recipe calls for the passion fruit and yogurt, together with the mango for the fruit puree atop the rice mixture. I skipped the passion fruit because it was not in season. Skipped the yogurt to make the dessert dairy free.
I made this black rice pudding dairy-free, gluten-free, low fat and refined-sugar free. Somewhat guilt-free, if you will. I need to find a few more of these back-pocket, delicious, naturally sweetened and healthful desserts to treat my friends and family. It is January when resolutions are made. I’d love to see these big ideas getting played out more in the months ahead.
|Mango puree, hazelnuts and coconut flakes topped the pudding|