Coconut Rice Pudding (DF,GF,VG) with Caramelized Banana

I fell in love with this easy to make and “hits the sweet spot just perfectly” coconut rice pudding about 5 years ago. It’s almost a fool proof recipe, made from pantry staples. Before this website ever existed and before my whole food journey began, there was this rice pudding. The only change I’ve made to it since is the type of sweetener I use. I like that I can make endless versions of this based on my mood and what I have on hand.

If you’re new to whole foods, trying to limit the amount of pastries, cakes or chocolates you eat may be challenging. And eliminating all treats may have you doing a bakery drive by like some crazy person.

You know, the kind of person that hurriedly rushes into a pastry store, quickly lists off 5 things you “need” even though you promised yourself you’d only order 1. Your heart rate is up, your palms are sweaty and you know the “post sugar binge regret” will be huge, but you don’t care.

Hey, we’re all human. It can happen to any decent person.

If you’re just starting to reduce the amount of processed foods or sugar in your diet, this type of craving can hit like a sucker punch to the back of the head.

And you know what else?

It happens to most decent people. It really does. At least in the beginning.

In fact, I had a moment like this, the day I discovered this rice pudding. The only thing was, there was no bakery or pastry shop in sight. In fact, no store of any kind. I was living at a fire tower in Northern Alberta, over an hours drive away from anything store like and unable to leave the tower (on call almost 24 hours a day), I needed to think fast. I had run out of eggs, had no milk, or dairy for that matter, no chocolate and I REALLY needed a “sweet fix”.

This is the dessert that SAVED me. Trust me, I would have perished.

It now makes a regular appearance and in fact, I make a big batch and freeze individual portions for quick easy dessert solutions when, and if, a sweet tooth decides to hit.

Now I know it’s no slice of triple layer chocolate cake iced with chocolate ganache. That’s kind of the point. It’s mildly sweet, slightly nutty and won’t leave you feeling that “post sugar binge regret”. In fact, I’ve even had this for breakfast!

Notes on sugar or rice substitutions, including adding some lovely spices, will follow in the recipe notes. Also there’s a recipe for caramelized bananas.

Note: I buy my sprouted brown rice from Costco. Sprouted rice has higher nutritional values due to the fact that it is sprouted, meaning alive, before it is dried and packaged. Here’s a good post if you’re interested in learning more. In fact all my baking flour is sprouted and we also enjoy a sprouted bean mixture.

Coconut Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups sprouted brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar (also known as coconut sugar)

Add all the ingredients to a large pot. Bring the rice to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes during the last 10 minutes of cooking process. Add water if the rice is beginning to dry out or begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, adding 1/2 cup of water at a time.

Recipe Notes:  If you choose to use a different type of rice, you will probably need to adjust the ratio of liquid to rice. Sprouted rice requires less water to cook. Just keep you’re eye on it during the simmering process and add more as needed. When you first make this, you want it to be slightly runny, like warm pudding. The rice will absorb a lot of the moisture if it is allowed to cool overnight. Reheating the rice pudding the next day will most likely require you to add more water. I added a cup of water the next day during the reheating process. Different types of rice also have different cooking times. Adjust accordingly.

Sugar Substitute: Use any amount of sweetener you need to make it taste good to you. If you’re new to whole foods you may require more sugar. That’s ok. You can adjust it over time as your need for sugar decreases. I love using honey in this recipe as well. Any sweetener can be used here and add a little bit at a time until you get the desired result. Each type of sweetener will also give a slightly different flavor.

Spices: Cinnamon is a lovely addition, as is cardamom. A 1/2 tsp of each or of just one makes for a nice change.

Other Yummy Additions: One of my favorite additions is coconut or cranberries. Both can be added during the cooking process. Don’t underestimate adding roasted cashews, pistachios or coconut ribbons as a garnish which are all completely delicious. Nuts and seeds of any kind are delightful as well. It helps add diversity in the textures which lends to a pleasant mouth feel.

Fruit or yogurt: Serve this with fresh or roasted fruit and/or yogurt.

Caramelized Bananas

  • 1/2 banana per person
  • honey (use maple syrup if vegan)

Preheat the oven to broil. Cut the banana in half and again in half lengthwise. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the banana cut side up on baking sheet. Brush with warm honey or maple syrup. Broil until golden brown on top. About 5 minutes.


I’m sharing this with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Full Plate Thursday.


20 Responses to Coconut Rice Pudding (DF,GF,VG) with Caramelized Banana

  1. Katie January 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Oh my! Does that look good! I love coconut and rice pudding, so this would be a heavenly dessert. I hope to make it sometime soon in the very near future. :)

    Thanks for sharing,

    • beyondthepeel January 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I love coconut, my hubby not so much, but he likes this. Not that I really feel the need to share….:)

  2. Rosanna January 28, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    All my favorite ingredients!
    Can I use a crockpot for this?

    • beyondthepeel January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      I haven’t tried it, but I wouldn’t see why not. Actually that’s a great idea.

  3. Linda January 28, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    Yumm…I love a healthy rice pudding!! I’ve not seen or tried sprouted brown rice and am very excited to try this out! I love the caramelized bananas!

  4. Koko January 28, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Caramelized bananas….yes please! This might be the most enticing rice pudding ever. I will have to keep an eye out for sprouted brown rice, too- thanks for the info!

    • beyondthepeel January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Sprouted brown rice is super yummy on it’s own. We use it almost exclusively. I’ve even used it to make healthier sushi rolls.

  5. mjskit @ January 29, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    What a delicious rice pudding! Love the coconut milk and those caramelized bananas definitely take it over the top!!! Beautiful bowl of healthy deliciousness!

  6. Kathleen January 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    It sure looks good, but “pantry staples”? Sprouted brown rice? Coconut sugar? Not in my world, but I’ll work on it. :)

    • beyondthepeel January 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Well, most of us have rice and sugar. Eventually white rice can get substituted for brown, then sprouted, and the same with sugar. First sub out white for organic white, then rapadura, then palm sugar or honey or maple and so on. Nothing happens overnight. At least it didn’t for me.

      • Kathleen February 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

        Whoa! You mean plain brown rice, the kind at the supermarket, can be sprouted? I know how to sprout alfalfa seeds. Brown rice sprouts the same way? Thanks for the new info.

  7. Debbie Plaistowe January 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    OMG I LOVE rice pudding, it has always been a comfort food for me since childhood. Love the idea of using sprouted brown rice, and the caramelized bananas look delish!

  8. inspirededibles February 2, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Your caramelized bananas look gorgeous France and the pudding absolutely swoon-worthy. It’s hard to beat warm coconut milk in any dessert but rice pudding is especially wonderful. It hits all the spots, alright ;0).

    • beyondthepeel February 2, 2013 at 3:59 am #

      It does hit all the right spots. hehehe. Coconut milk has a way of doing that.

  9. Miz Helen February 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    France, Rice Pudding is one of my favorites. Have a great week and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. Jen April 28, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    We’ve never eaten rice pudding, but stumbling over this recipe yesterday inspired a try! I used brown rice, unsweetened chocolate almond milk (didn’t have coconut milk), vanilla/cinnamon and bit of maple syrup as sweetener. Topped with the banana… Yum! Pleasantly surprised! Thanks!!

  11. Melissa June 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Did you use the thick canned coconut milk or the thinner coconut milk sold in cartons (such as So Delicious brand)?

    • beyondthepeel June 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Thick canned coconut milk.


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