In need of a little breakfast inspiration? I know I am! It’s getting a little nippy for my sheep’s yoghurt and berries; I’ve OD’d on MYO muesli; porridge is a little too heavy (and it makes me pee); and I need something a little more hearty than a juice to get me started on these cold mornings…

Enter Black Rice Pudding!

Black rice (not the same as wild rice), sometimes referred to as ‘forbidden rice’, or ‘longevity rice’ during the Ming Dynasty, is prized for its high nutritional value and fabulously nutty flavour. It’s packed full of more of those super antioxidants called anthocyanins, than a spoonful of fresh blueberries, and is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus; vitamins E, B1, B2, and folic acid; and essential amino acids lysine and tryptophan. It’s also more proteinous than brown rice but less calorific. Legend has it that this purple (it turns purple once cooked) prince of rices was once reserved only for the Emperor, as it was thought that it would extend life and, even today, Chinese herbal medicine considers black rice to be a blood tonifier, with properties to help cleanse the kidneys, stomach and liver.

You can substitute brown or white rice with this treasure in any savoury dish, but it also makes a deelishous sweet breakfast treat too, and is commonly served in parts of Southeast Asia where they haven’t yet discovered MYO Muesli 😉

Serves 4 (or 2 in my house :-0)
INGREDIENTS (organic wherever possible)
1 cup black rice
3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 can (400ml) unsweetened coconut milk – shake well before opening
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
Small handful of chopped dates (optional)

Bring the rice, 3 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes (rice will be cooked but still wet).

Stir in the sugar, and 2/3 of the can of coconut milk and bring back to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered.

Stir occasionally until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy – about 20 minutes. Right at the end of the cooking process, add the chopped dates to warm through.

Remove from heat and cool to warm or room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Divide among bowls and drizzle some of the remaining coconut milk over the pudding.

I prefer to eat this warm on the day, but you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and eat it chilled if you like, or re-heat it until piping hot. If you’re going to re-heat it, add a little more coconut milk/water so it doesn’t dry out.

Black rice can be found at most good health food stores.

Enjoy your breakfast of Emperors