Growing up, my mother would often serve big bowls of porridge with plenty of sugar on top. Even during the summer in the Catskills, but with heaping spoons of freshly picked blueberries – my favorite way. In Russian, we call it mannaya kasha, which is basically wheat semolina based Cream of Wheat, made with milk. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. What did I know, I thought it was normal to get bloated and feel the need to pass out soon after. Needless to say, this is a better porridge option without the belly-aching, sugar-crashing side effects … what I like to call the ‘new and improved’ version of breakfast porridge. A whole lot healthier and I must say, a whole lotta DELICIOUS.
I came across the recipe in Amy Chaplin’s cookbook at home in the whole food kitchen. I thought it was clever to use the superfood, forbidden rice, in porridge and liked the idea of making a big batch on the weekend while doing laundry for quick, nutritious breakfasts during the week. I was intrigued but went with it and happy I did because we are hooked!
The first time I tried forbidden rice, also known as Chinese black rice, was a few years ago in the Caribbean, served as a cold salad tossed with nuts and mango. Before that, I’ve never heard of it. Little did I know, this ancient grain is the highest in protein (10 grams per cup), fiber, and anti-inflammatory anthocyanins of all rice varieties (more about benefits of anthocyanins here ).
What makes this different from a rice pudding is the finer texture of the rice since it has been soaked overnight, and it’s far less sweet and custardy than the dessert. It does have a sweetness to it, but not overly so.
And despite the amount of coconut here, it does not taste like a tropical coconut cocktail. The creamy coconut is a mild back note to the hearty rice, and as far as taste goes, it’s grassier, or earthier, if you will, than long grain rice, and less heavy than brown rice. If you prefer added sweetness drizzle on some syrup, but I think some added fruit does the trick. I use fresh mango since it’s abundant now and my boys love it so much, but any seasonal fruit will do. Happy Monday!
- 2 cups forbidden black rice, washed and soaked 12 hours in 6 cups of water
- 1 15-oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 3 cups non-dairy creamer (I use hazelnut or vanilla flavors by So Delicious)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup blonde coconut nectar, or maple syrup
- dried coconut chips
- fresh mango
- optional: additional non-dairy milk or creamer
- Drain the forbidden rice and add to a medium heavy-bottomed (4
quart) saucepan. Add canned coconut milk, creamer, water. Set on high heat and bring to a boil, then add kosher salt and coconut nectar (or syrup) and stir well. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for an hour, stirring often. Stirring will help break down the starches resulting in a creamier texture. As the porridge cools,or is refrigerated overnight, it will thicken. Serve spoonfuls hot or chilled with additional creamer or coconut milk for desired consistency, coconut chipsand fresh mango.
- Forbidden black rice can be found in health food stores or online.
- This also makes a lovely dessert with a scoop of fruit compote and non-dairy whipped cream (we love Coco Whip by So Delicious).
- Extra can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will thicken up further, simply add some of your favorite non-dairy milk and stir for desired consistency.
- Some variations we love: Hazelnut creamer adds a nutty sweetness to the porridge and goes well with sliced banana, chocolate syrup, and cocoa nibs. Sliced peaches or plum with pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon is another tasty variation. In the winter:
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