This was another one of those “say-what?” recipes. Who heard of a breakfast pudding—plus one that contained pineapple, bananas, and raisins? Pudding was supposed to be something with chocolate or butterscotch or vanilla in the name. What commended this unusual dish, and why should I make it?
The answer to that last one is that brown rice is BIG, BIG, BIG right now. Its health benefits are legion. Just one cup of brown rice is said to provide us with 88 percent of our daily value for manganese, a trace mineral that helps our nervous system and in the production of good cholesterol. Women who eat whole grains are said to gain less weight. And of course the fiber factor of brown rice is high. Many health benefits are thought to be stripped from the rice when it is being changed from brown to white. One cup of brown rice a day is recommended.
Therefore anything that gives that brown rice serving some variety and makes it seem more of a treat is ideal. This is what happened when the additional ingredients are added to the brown-rice pan in the preparation process. Although the recipe called for crushed pineapple, it would be even more dynamite if you had a fresh pineapple on hand and wanted to cut up some slices to make 8-ounces of crushed (saving the juice, of course). I found that the more banana that I added, the sweeter the pudding tasted. Also for color, along with regular raisins I added some cranberry raisins—again, magnifying the sweet taste.
Long story short, I became a believer in this brown-rice pudding with add-ins that make it tasty and healthy. And it was good for breakfast as well as for lunch and dinner or as a dessert.
Tropical Breakfast Risotto
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup brown rice, dry
1/2 cup evaporated skin milk (not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk)
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple, crushed, drained
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut, shredded
1/4 cup almonds, sliced
1 banana, diced
In a sauce pan combine water, pineapple juice, and rice. Cook over high heat to boiling. Cover and reduce heat to low heat; continue cooking with the lid on until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender—15-20 minutes. Add evaporated skim milk and heat on high. Stir occasionally. When mixture becomes creamy and the milk is absorbed, reduce heat to medium-high and add crushed pineapple. Heat pineapple; then add raisins, coconut, almonds, and banana and stir. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon over top. Serve warm or cold. Makes 6 (1/2-cup) servings.