I’m a pretty big fan of healthy desserts.
I know, I know. That may seem like an oxymoron. How can healthy and dessert even be friends in the same sentence?!
After all, it IS January: that month where EVERYONE talks about dieting and ditching sweets. But as you’ve come to expect from Kitchen Stewardship, we’re all about balance. Definitely eat more veggies. Definitely drink your water and get exercise. And definitely enjoy a little treat now and then – especially if it is healthy.
Dessert … For Breakfast?
A few years ago, I learned a wonderful secret. It’s okay to make breakfast food into “dessert.” And it’s even better when you can upgrade a dessert into a breakfast food. My Fail-Proof Fruit Custard is an example of a delicious treat that packs enough protein and nutrition to be served for breakfast.
I created this Healthy Baked Rice Pudding based on a similar inspiration. I found myself with a small spattering of leftovers: 2 cups of milk that I needed to use up. A little bit of rice that wasn’t quite enough to serve for dinner. A few eggs that needed to be eaten.
And thus my favorite no-fuss rice pudding was born.
- Dump rice in 8x8 pan, spreading evenly (no need to grease).
- Sprinkle raisins on top.
- Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour the liquid into the pan, covering the rice and raisins.
- Bake about 35-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
- Let stand ten minutes to "cure." (If you dig in right away, it may be runny. It will firm up as it cools.)
- Serve warm or cool.
Some Notes About the Recipe
Got A Sweet Tooth? I have already reduced the sugar quite a bit from a typical dessert. If you find that it isn’t sweet enough after baking, drizzle some maple syrup on top.
Keep the Raisins! As I mentioned before, the sugar is reduced in this recipe. The raisins and the cinnamon really help bring about the sweetness factor. If you’re a raisin-hater, consider adding another type of fruit or serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.
No Sugar? No Problem. If you’re really wanting to avoid sugar altogether, try using applesauce in place of the sweetener. You’ll want to increase your raisin volume if you do this because applesauce isn’t as strong of a sweetener as sugar or honey. And don’t worry. You won’t be able to taste the applesauce at all.
Everything But The Kitchen Sink. I love recipes that are high in protein, feature healthy grains, get good dairy into our diet, and even include a fruit (ie. – raisins). I was laughing as I was making this recipe for the photos. “It has everything but vegetables in it!” And then I realized: this could be delicious with the addition of pumpkin!! Start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin and maybe add some clove and nutmeg. Tadaaaaa! All your food groups in one delicious meal!
Make Two. An 8×8 dish doesn’t go very far in our family. I highly recommend you double the recipe if you want some for later (or are feeding a hungry crew). You can double it into a 9×13 pan, although that will extend the cooking time and sometimes I’m too impatient for that. I find it easier to just make two 8×8 pans instead.