4.28.17 Coconut Brown Rice Porridge
Porridge does not instill excitement in me. I’ve never looked at a bowl of the stuff and immediately thought to myself, “ I want that”. Not until now, that is. My relationship with hot cereals of any kind has always been sketchy at best. It started when I was little and we used to eat things like Cream of Wheat, except that for some reason I thought it was called Sweep of Cream, which sounds absolutely delicious. You know what isn’t delicious? Cream of Wheat.
From there, I moved on to eating packets of instant oatmeal on a regular basis, which tasted good enough (because they were full of sugar!), but the texture, oof. As a kid, I couldn’t deal. So, as a work-around, I’d just mix the contents of the package with some warmish tap water, and make a sort of disgusting oatmeal slurry, and then just eat that. So, you can see why I’ve never looked back at warm cereals with any kind of fondness.
But for whatever reason, I decided to give porridge another go, and this time I hit upon success. I used brown rice as the base, and cooked it down in a sort of rice pudding style, with plenty of coconut milk and cinnamon. I no longer have the same aversion to porridge texture I once did as a child (thank god, because a slurry of brown rice and warm water would be pretty much the worst thing ever), but now it’s too much sweetness I can’t handle. Thus, I went with minimal sugar on this version, opting to throw in some pureed dates to give it just the right amount of sweet. A dose of vanilla, and this stuff actually makes for a pretty good breakfast. Coming from a former porridge hater, this is high praise.
Now, I’ll warn you, making this stuff does take some time, but it’s time you’ll spend doing nothing more than some leisurely periodic stirring (and your kitchen will smell insanely good throughout). Like many things I cook these days, I like to make a big batch on the weekend, and store it in the fridge. It reheats like a dream, so breakfast for the rest of the week is a cinch. I like to top it with toasted nuts for some texture and whatever jam I have on hand (rhubarb cardamom and strawberry balsamic are some solid options, just saying). Sorry Cream of Wheat. You’ve got nothing on this stuff.
Coconut Brown Rice Porridge
I try to avoid making my porridge overly sweet, knowing that the jam I’m putting on top is also going to add more sweetness to the final product. But if you prefer a sweeter porridge, you can easily add more dates to add during cooking, or stir in some honey or brown sugar to taste before serving.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 14 oz can (full fat) coconut milk
- 6 cups water
- 2 (about 2" long) cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 mejool dates, pitted (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- toasted nuts and jam for serving
1. Add rice, coconut milk, water, cinnamon sticks, and salt to a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, remove approximately 1/2 cup boiling liquid and add it to a blender with the pitted dates. Blend until smooth, then return date mixture back to the pot, stirring well to mix.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring every once in a while until porridge is soft and thick, about 70-90 minutes. Stir in vanilla, and serve topped with nuts and your favorite jam.