Vegan Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Arroz con leche or rice pudding is a popular dessert known around many parts of the world including the Americas and Asia but it is believed to have its origins in Moorish cuisine. The Moors brought it to Spain during their invasion in 711AD and from there, the Spanish shared it with the countries they invaded, most of south and north America and some parts of Asia. Because of this many different variations exist.
The Vegan Version
To get this vegan version of arroz con leche to thicken and get creamy, I recommend using a high fat nut milk. I used a can of full fat coconut milk. Besides that, there are no other ingredients that need to be veganized. You'll see other recipes include raisins; that is a very delicious option I chose not to take this time but I recommend it. I would say maybe 40 grams or about 1/4 cup per cup of rice; add it with the lemon peels and sugar. I've never had much of a sweet tooth, so the amount of added sugar I added will only lightly sweeten the rice. Feel free to add more or even less.
According to researchers at Loma Linda University California, vegan food has a smaller carbon foot print than animal based foods, generating 1.5 tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions (t CO2e) and 3.3 t CO2e, respectively. To top it off, this recipe also has the ability to become a plastic free meal. For the exception of rice, which during better days we could buy plastic free in bulk, this recipe uses ingredients that can be found without plastic packaging.
Treating The Rice
Rice contains starch. You can wash this off before making your pudding or you can leave it unwashed to get a more gooey consistency. I personally like mine less starchy so I wash it, but feel free to experiment with that.
- 345g (1 cup) White Rice
- 675ml (2.5 cups) Water (Divided)
- 400ml or 1 can of full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 slices of lemon peels
- 50g (1/4 cup) white sugar
1. Rinse the rice under cold running water for about 3 minutes (optional, don't rinse for starchier consistency).
2. Add cinnamon sticks and star anise to 450ml (2 cups) of water and boil.
3. Once boiling add the rice to the pot and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
4. Add the can of full fat coconut milk, another 225ml of water, the lemon peel slices, the sugar and the vanilla extract. Stir to mix, close the lid for another 5 minutes.
5. Check the rice to make sure it is fully cooked; time will vary depending on the type of rice you use. If the pudding looks too thick, you can add 1/4 cup of water at a time to get to desired thickness. If the pudding is too thin, let it simmer and stir until it evaporated to desired thickness.
6. Serve with a dash of cinnamon powder.
6. To reheat, put desired amount on small pot and heat with a splash of nut milk.