Crockpot Cooking: Brown Rice Pudding

Happy Friday!  Who is excited about a 3-day weekend?!  I know I am.  I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends tonight and getting a few miles in with my running buddies in Central Park on Sunday! 🙂

So last night I posted this picture on Instagram:

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Mmm..brown rice pudding!

I immediately got requests for the recipe, so here we go!  Yesterday, while driving home from work I got a serious craving for something sweet.  Somehow the thought of rice pudding came to mind, so when I got home I busted out the crockpot and searched for a good recipe.  Of course I wanted to make a healthier version of traditional rice pudding, using less cream/milk and sugar.

I came across a few recipes calling for brown rice (which we happen to have a TON of) and coconut milk for flavor.  Jackpot! I used this recipe as a base, but I’ll write out what I did exactly below!  Now I hate coconut and coconut-flavored anything, but boyfriend loves it and we always have coconut milk on hand.  We also just found coconut sugar at Trader Joe’s, so were looking for a reason to put it to use.  I knew the coconut would add a little creaminess and some healthy fat to the recipe, but I was hoping the flavor would cook off and not overpower the pudding.  And I was right! 🙂

 

The final product was so good.  It’s not too sweet, definitely not too “coconut-y” (phew!) and would even be perfect for breakfast! I hope you enjoy!

Crockpot Brown Rice Pudding

Makes 4 servings

2/3 cup brown rice (I used Uncle Ben’s)

1 can (14oz) light coconut milk (Trader Joe’s)

1 1/2 cups reduced fat milk (2%)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Combine rice, milks, sugar and cinnamon in crockpot.

2.  Cook (stirring occasionally) for one hour on high heat, one hour on low heat.  {This may vary by slow cooker. I started on high because I wanted it done quicker 😉 }

3.  When rice is almost fully cooked, stir in vanilla extract and cover crockpot for another 10 minutes.

4.  Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition facts (per serving) 210 calories, 6.7g fat, 4g protein, 0.5g fiber

 

Are you a coconut fan?  Do you have a good rice pudding recipe to share?  Good plans for the 3-day weekend?  Tell me about it…

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Merry Christmas Eve + An Easy Cookie Recipe!

Today is Christmas Eve!

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Happy Holidays from my little snowman!

I could use today to post about staying healthy over the holidays, but you can read some of my tips in this article instead.  Today, I want to write about cookies!  You see, I’m a dietitian…but I LOVE cookies.  And this weekend, I baked millions.  Okay, probably only about 30 dozen, but it was still a lot of cookies. 

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#allthecookies

The cookies were my gifts to coworkers and staff at the nursing home, but boyfriend snagged a bunch of them and I even enjoyed a few!  For the gifts, I made trays with a variety of the cookies and wrapped them in fun holiday cellophane.  I also bought these decorative bags for individual gifts. Super easy and so cute!

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Dollar store packaging FTW!

My coworkers are pretty accustomed to my baking, although they know it’s usually modified to be healthier.  I try to use less sugar and less fat, and also substitute whole wheat flour where I can.  But these Christmas cookies were (GASP!) made using original recipes and ingredients! Regular sugar, butter, eggs, oil and flour!  Sometimes it’s nice to indulge… 😉

I have one coworker who is vegan, so I also whipped up a batch of super easy vegan chocolate chip cookies!  I actually made these a few weeks ago too, but boyfriend and I gobbled them up before I even snapped a picture!  They’re really good.  They’re also really easy to make and only require 4 ingredients!  And chances are, you already have these 4 ingredients sitting around your cabinets!  This recipe is totally RD-approved (see nutrition facts below) and gluten-free too.  So, a healthy, delicious cookie that’s easy to make and vegan-friendly?  Awesome.  Check out the recipe and try it for yourself!

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Vegan chocolate chip balls

4 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: 18 cookies

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 bananas, mashed

1 cup almond butter (I used Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, but this can be substituted for your favorite nut/seed butter!)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350*.

2.  Place bananas and nut butter in a saucepan over low heat until combined.

3.  Fold banana/nut butter mix into oats and add chocolate chips.

4.  Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes.

5.  Let cool and enjoy! 🙂

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Ta da!

Nutrition Facts (per cookie): 160 calories, 9g fat, 4g protein, 3g fiber

The other batch of these I made using peanut butter, so I added a little honey for extra sweetness.  Also, If you can’t find vegan-friendly chocolate, you could substitute dried fruit!  Gotta love recipes that are customizable to personal tastes and convenience!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday!!!

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