This delicious pumpkin brown rice pudding is packed with ingredients that are good for you, like brown rice and pumpkin, of course, and almond milk and molasses. Vegan, gluten-free and can be made nut-free with coconut milk or hemp milk.
My Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding is a super-fun way to sneak “healthy” into your Thanksgiving dessert.
But wait, let’s not start with healthy. Let’s start with delicious because that’s what this dish is– absolutely, mindblowingly delicious. So delicious in fact that you might have a hard time sharing it.
And as for the healthy part– besides the pumpkin and the brown rice, both stars on the health front, we have almond milk which is way healthier and way tastier than dairy milk. Then there is cinnamon and molasses lending their cozy warmth to this bowl of goodness. And yes, there’s sugar, but that’s because you really can’t make a dessert without it.
I must admit I was a little skeptical about adding brown rice but I couldn’t be happier I did. I used fragrant brown basmati, but you can go with arborio, a medium-grain rice often used in puddings. The brown rice takes a little longer to cook but it’s so perfect in here that you will wonder why you ever used white rice in your puddings. To make this dish just a little richer, I stirred in a small amount of cashew cream toward the end. You can completely skip it if you’re so inclined (although I don’t see why you would).
This recipe is pretty much fool-proof. If you can measure some rice into a cup and stir a pot with a ladle you are pretty much set. Even better, you can make this recipe a couple of days in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator until it’s all ready to serve. No warming, no fussing. And the standing and chilling makes it even more delicious, if possible.
Thanksgiving’s almost here. So what are you waiting for? Here’s the recipe.
A quick note about the nutrition labels I post on these recipes. The information is always per serving and you can find the number of servings right on top of each recipe. In case of our Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding we have 16 servings and the nutrition info below is for one serving of pudding.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree (use canned or fresh-- I used canned. If you plan to make your own, be sure to roast the pumpkin pieces before you puree them)
- 5 cups almond milk
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (you can use brown sugar and skip the molasses)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup cashew pieces soaked in 1/4 cup almond milk for 30 minutes, then blended into a smooth cream
- Place the rice in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with an inch of water. Zap for 10 minutes and then let it stand in the hot water for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the rice and place it in a large pot with the almond milk. Heat on medium-high until the almond milk starts to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15 minutes.
- Mix together the pumpkin puree, vanilla and molasses. Add a little almond milk if needed to make a homogeneous mixture.
- Add the pumpkin puree mixture to the rice and milk mixture along with the sugar and stir well to mix. Don't add all the sugar at once-- add about half a cup and then add a little at a time, adjusting to your taste.
- Continue to cook the pudding, stirring frequently, until most of the almond milk has evaporated. This should take about 30-45 minutes more. You want a slightly runny mixture at the end because puddings firm up as they stand. Stir in the cashew cream at the very end.
- Remove the pudding to a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap, and chill. To serve, ladle into bowls, sprinkle a little brown sugar on top and garnish with toasted almond slivers.
More vegan puddings: