I've always been a pudding person, and rice pudding is no exception. It's so quick and easy to make, I never mind throwing it together spur of the moment. I often make a double batch, because my kids love the leftovers for breakfast. I have a basic recipe which I use as a blueprint, and then will often vary it depending on my mode. Sometimes it's vanilla all the way, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Other times it's chai spice or pumpkin or almond. I love the versatility. It really is endless.
Here's my basic rice pudding recipe, just in case you're in the mood.
Julie’s Creamy Rice Pudding
Makes about 4 cups (6 to 8 servings)
2 cups water
1 cup medium grain white rice (such as Cal Rose or sushi rice)
1-1/2 to 2 cups non-dairy milk (hemp, almond or soy), can be vanilla or plain
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. Add milk and sugar to cooked rice, stirring well. Return saucepan to stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 15 to 20 minutes or until very thick and creamy. If pudding is too thick, thin with a little more milk until desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract or paste. Let rice pudding cool slightly before serving. If desired, sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving.
Almond, add 1/2 to 1 tsp almond extract in place of the vanilla
Raisin, simply toss in a handful of raisins when first cooking the rice. This will plump them up nicely (or add in with the "milk")
Pumpkin, stir in a little canned pumpkin puree with the "milk". You'll want to add pumpkin pie spice too, or ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to taste.
Chai Spice, substitute unsweetened brewed chai tea as part of the "milk" -maybe 1/2 cup or so (or to taste). You can also add some additional ground spices for extra flavor
Ginger, stir a handful of finely chopped candied ginger in at the end of cooking (maybe a 1/4 cup or so)