It was pouring rain outside, and there was a pot of sprouted brown basmati rice simmering on the stove. Two of my faaavorite smells in the world, and I was reminded of my dad’s arroz con leche. If ever we had leftover rice from dinner, we almost always had arroz con leche in the morning for breakfast. My dad would heat up some milk on the stove, add in the rice, and then vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, plump raisins, and an egg or two for thickening. It was sweet and creamy and chewy and so comforting. A decadent breakfast, for sure, but we never complained! 😉
I was just north of Chicago last week visiting my mom and while I was there, we went to our favorite little Mexican ice cream shop called La Michoacana. The flavors are so fun and unconventional. My very favorite is the arroz con leche, a vanilla base swirled with cinnamon and bits of rice. When I came home, I wanted to make something inspired by that flavor…and this chia pudding was born! It’s a traditional chia pudding, almond or cashew milk whisked with chia seeds, with little flavor boosters like vanilla and cinnamon and just a touch of maple syrup. I then added in some spoonfuls of cooked brown rice because, after all, this is inspired by ARROZ con leche! I like the added texture and boost of hearty grains it gives.
I love this healthy twist on a nostalgic favorite of mine. It’s vegan, gluten free, and refined-sugar free, so it’s something you can feel really good about eating at the start of your day. If you want, you can leave out the rice to keep it grain-free!
I picked up this incredible vietnamese cinnamon at Penzeys a month or two ago and woweee is it so amazing! I’m really not very well educated on cinnamons but apparently there’s a lot of different kinds and vietnamese is the best! Or so they say. Well, I’m choosing to believe them because it really is SO good! It’s bold and spicy and delicious. It’s perfect for this chia pudding. Also, nothing makes me feel more like a kid in a candy store than spending time in a spice shop!! Or a farmer’s market.
This “arroz con leche” chia pudding is SO easy to make & after a quick two-minute assembly at night, it’s ready to eat first thing when you wake up in the morning. It’s a perfect quick breakfast for those of us that need to get up & going about our daily business (or take care of little babies 😉 )
Love you guys! As always, thanks for being here 🙂
- 1 c unsweetened nut milk (I used cashew)
- ¼ c chia seeds
- ½ t ground cinnamon
- ½ t vanilla
- 2 t pure maple syrup
- ½ c cooked brown rice, cooled
- In a bowl, whisk together nut milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. You could add the rice in either at this step or after the pudding has chilled overnight - totally up to you.
- Set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- When ready to eat, stir in the cooked brown rice and add more nut milk if you'd like a thinner consistency. Additionally, you may add extra cinnamon and maple syrup to taste. Enjoy!