Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coo Coo for Coconut Forbidden Rice & Mango

Dessert time.....
Summer brings out many things in many people, and for me one of the things it brings out is my sweet tooth. Normally I eat tons of fruit every day and that about takes care of my sweet tooth, but every once in a while I decide to actually put in some effort and make a real dessert.

Whole foods, whole lotta flavor: It was really important to me in making this dessert that I use whole foods, and if I use a sweetener, it be an all natural sweetener that has a low glycemic index so that it doesn't cause a sugar high & crash. One of my problems with dessert is that they usually leave me feeling kinda gross and sluggish because of the processed sugar, the use of wheat flours, and the sometimes empty calories. I also want a dessert that is cooling, especially since this summer is so hot; mango has cooling properties, and rice is always a filling, substantial, and healthy part of any meal, so the two of those in a dessert sound good to me!

The Verdict: I decided to create my own take on Thai Sweet Coconut Rice & Mango. This is a traditional thai dish that I've had many times. I have heard of it being made with black rice, but I have only ever been able to find it with white rice (not a whole food) at restaurants. I decided to use black whole grain rice rather than white rice, and brown rice syrup rather than cane sugar. I also tried out a variation of the recipe without coconut milk in case you don't like coconut flavor, but still want the dessert (my brother was the inspiration for the coconut-free dessert since he loves desserts but hates coconut flavor)

Sweet Forbidden Coconut Rice & Mango

Ingredients:
- 1 cup dry black (sometimes called japonica) rice
- 2 1/4  cups canned coconut milk** or any non-dairy milk for coconut-free version 
- 4 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 1-2 whole organic mangos
**(can be full fat if you want a really creamy dessert, or "light" if you want a slightly lighter dessert, traditional recipes use full fat but I used "light" and it came out fine)**

Directions:
1) Rinse the rice a few times until the water runs clear. It usually takes me about 3 times.
2) In a heavy bottomed pot add the rice, salt, and the coconut milk or alternative to the pot.
3) Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, put the lid on, and cook for 50 minutes to an hour. 
4) Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for at least 10 minutes.
5) Stir in the brown rice syrup thoroughly.
6) Peel and chop the fresh mango.
7) Serve a scoop of the rice with half of a sliced mango, and enjoy!

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