This golden rice pudding is a spin on the Ayurvedic turmeric-based beverage, golden milk. Dairy-free and gluten-free, this lightly-sweetened pudding includes turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, peppercorn, and ginger for a health-promoting treat. 

As we head into the new year, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone that checks in around here. It makes me so happy to connect with you, and to know you might give my recipes a try. This whole space is really a place for me to share something that I enjoy, and I hope that you enjoy it too. I’m so excited for 2016. While not a resolution, per say, I am fully intending to lean into the things that make me truly happy this year. The people that I love and who it makes me happy to be around, the activities that make me feel good and healthy, and cultivating some more wellness-focused practices into my everyday. I want to make sure that the people I love know it, and that I feel like I have time for the things I enjoy rather than just rushing to “fit in” those things amongst all the other tasks. This should be a wonderful year 🙂

I know January is the month of juice cleanses, gym memberships, and all manner of healthy behaviours. I’m not feeling particularly pulled toward participating in a cleanse right now though. To be honest, I want both crunchy salads and something sweet to snack on. I’m completely happy to just continue with my regular, predominantly healthy diet where desserts made from wholesome ingredients fit right in. I made this rice pudding with all that in mind, and it completely satisfied my urge to have a treat while still being full of good ingredients.

Rice pudding has always been a favourite of mine. While it’s not something I make too often, I have shared a recipe for rice pudding here before. It’s one of those things that reminds me of the home I grew up in where I would eat much more than my share of my mom’s rice pudding whenever she’d agree to make it. Nowadays, my own versions mostly feature coconut milk, unprocessed sweeteners, and always some sort of topping to add contrasting texture.

This particular rice pudding is a spin on the Ayurvedic drink, golden milk. Golden milk recipes can be found on several websites and health-focused blogs, and feature turmeric with other warming spices. One of my favourites is Elenore’s recipe, which also describes many of turmeric’s health benefits and offers a wonderful method for creating a paste so that golden milk can be made quickly. It’s best to combine turmeric with pepper, as it increases the absorbency of curcumin which is the main component of turmeric and why turmeric is known as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. I love how the other spices add such lovely warming flavour to this pudding. I mix in my fresh ginger and raw honey at the end, to keep their active properties alive. So delicious. I hope you enjoy my take on the classic, and that your new year is off to a beautiful and healthy beginning! xo

Golden Rice Pudding with Turmeric, Ginger + Pink Peppercorns

Serves 4

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp peppercorns (I used pink), plus a few extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1-2 star anise (optional)
  • 6 cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated using a microplane or zester
  • 2-3 tbsp raw honey, to taste (may substitute another liquid sweetener such as maple or agave)
  • a small pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, to garnish

Add the coconut oil to a pot over medium-low heat to melt. Place 1/8 teaspoon of peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and grind finely, or alternatively crush the peppercorns with the back of a knife. Add the turmeric powder and the crushed peppercorn to the melted oil, and stir to combine. Cook, continuing to stir often, until very fragrant (about a minute). Add the rice and stir to coat and toast, for about a minute. Bash the cardamom pods in the mortar and pestle or with the back of a knife just to break the pods open (but not further than that). Add the star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom pods to the rice and mix together, then add 1 cup of water and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, until most of the water is absorbed but not dry. Add the coconut milk and additional 1/2 cup of water, and stir very well. Continue cooking until the rice is fully cooked and the pudding has a creamy consistency (about 10-15 more minutes). Remove from the heat and fish out the star anise and cardamom pod shells, letting any cardamom seeds that were released from the pods remain. Stir in the ginger, sea salt, and raw honey to taste.

Using the mortar and pestle again, or the back of a knife, finely crush the pistachios. Take the remaining few pink peppercorns and roll them gently between your fingers – you should get a pink peppercorn “dust” (discard the peppercorn or set aside for another use). Divide the rice pudding into serving dishes, and garnish with the ground pistachio and pink peppercorn dust. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cool.

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