having cut most refined sugars from my diet has actually retrained my palate and made me use hardly any sweeteners (such as honey, agave syrup, rice syrup or maple syrup) either when preparing something sweetish! here is an example for something that can serve as a dessert or a nice breakfast … even though it is quite carby through the rice, it is a nice treat every now and then:
coconutmilk ricepudding with vanilla and banana
all you need is one cup of round rice (any short grain rice or risotto rice will do – i prefer white rice to brown rice but it depends on your liking. it can be done with basmati rice as well but then it will be less sticky in texture) and four cups of coconut milk. soak the rice in the milk for 15 mins, add a quarter of a vanilla bean (cut it open and scrape the pods out, which are added too) and bring to the boil. then add a pinch of fleur de sel and two to three teaspoons of creamed coconut. stir well and let it simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. stir occasionally while it simmers. this should be enough for three to four portions, depending on your appetite.
serve with ripe banana slices (i prefer the mini or baby bananas, as they are fuller in flavour than regular bananas). the rice pudding can be eaten hot or cold, though i find it tastier when hot!
as the coconut milk, coconut cream and vanilla have a slight sweetness and the banana adds sweetness as well, there is no further sugar or any sort needed … the rice itself has a natural sweetness as well and you can taste the different flavours much better if you don’t cover them in added sugar.
it is a true comfort food and you might want to enjoy it on a rainy sunday afternoon as well – instead of cake! rice and coconut are quite a successful combination.
PS. when i say cups i actually mean a coffee or tea cup … and not the american measuring system!