This recipe is the combination of two recipes up on the blog: Vitamix Almond Milk and Grandma's Stovetop Rice Pudding. I never thought it would be possible to make a healthier, low-fat, vegan version of rice pudding until I experimented in the kitchen. I have made this recipe 5 times, tweaking it each time until it came out perfect.
Throughout this process of tweaking, I found two ways to sweeten the pudding: one with sugar and the other with dates. I couldn't pick which one to make this recipe about, so I've included both ways. If sweetening with sugar, this dairy-free rice pudding rivals the same taste as milk rice pudding. The proof is in the pudding, or shall we say rice pudding.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Almond Milk: I recommend using homemade almond milk to make this recipe because it's creamier than store-bought almond milk. Also, I have not tried making this recipe with store-bought almond milk, so I'm not sure how it will turn out. If you make it with store-bought, drop a comment at the bottom!
- Cooked Rice: This recipe calls for pre-cooked plain rice. It can be any type of steamed rice. For this exact recipe, I used leftover Calrose steamed rice from last night's dinner.
- Cornstarch: This rice pudding thickens up because of the added cornstarch. This is a MUST for this recipe.
- Sugar: You can use raw sugar, white sugar, or brown sugar for this recipe. Alternatively, you can sweeten this almond milk rice pudding with dates (see the section below).
Using Dates As A Natural Sweetener
I was a little hesitant to add this section because it might complicate the recipe. However, almond milk sweetened with dates is so good! The dates give the almond milk rice pudding some caramel flavor undertones. Dates are a natural sweetener, unlike refined sugar, so this would be my go-to recommendation if you have easy access to dates.
If using dates, add 20 Sukari or 15 Medjool pitted dates to the blender while making the almond milk. Strain the almond milk using a cotton cloth. The end result will be a darker color almond milk that is very sweet. Because the almond milk is already sweetened, do not add any additional sugar.
Tips and Tricks
- Make your almond milk from scratch. It takes 5 minutes to blend and strain the milk with a cotton cloth.
- Don't freak out if the almond milk is not thickening. I go into more details in the section below for exactly how to thicken up almond milk with the cornstarch. Just keep stirring and give it a little more time on the stovetop until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Don't panic if your rice pudding is too thick. There's a quick fix for that issue as well. Just add a little bit more almond milk (and stir) until the right consistency is achieved.
- Add nuts or spices to garnish. I prefer ground cinnamon or ground nutmeg to my almond milk rice pudding.
- For thicker rice pudding, put it in the fridge overnight. The rice pudding thickens as it cools.
How To Thicken Up Pudding
- Dissolve the cornstarch in cold almond milk. I whisk the almond milk for a good 30 seconds to a minute to make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved into the almond milk before setting it on the stovetop.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat. Don't keep the stovetop on high, otherwise, the bottom of the pan will burn.
- Closely monitor the almond milk and stir frequently. I stir every 1 to 2 minutes to make sure the almond milk is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the rice once the almond milk is thickened up. Continue to cook on the stovetop for another 5 to 7 minutes.
- Once the texture is where you want it, remove the rice pudding from the stovetop. Allow the rice pudding to cool for 30 minutes.