Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sattvic rice pudding

This rice pudding is the business.

It is sweet, well-spiced, creamy, beautifully satisfying, and full of superfoods and medicinal spices. In Ayurvedic understanding, this would be considered to be a very grounding recipe and perfect for the chill in the unpredictable weather we are experiencing in Sydney at the moment. It is also incredibly easy to digest. I'll explain why.

As you may or may not know, I am not a big eater of the old grains. 

I eat them, certainly, but I have a grain threshold. As do many people. 

If I eat too many grains I feel bloated, sluggish, and - believe it or not - a little edgy and depressed. The fact that over 80% of our neurotransmitters are created in the gut, and that our gut flora create some very powerful substances that do cross the blood-brain barrier (such as various opiates), it is no surprise that the food we eat and how well we digest it can influence our moods and mental health so greatly. A nutrient deficiency can also cause lethargy and sluggishness, and eating too many grains that are not properly prepared to minimise their phytate content can inhibit nutrient absorption significantly.

For those who don't know, when I refer to properly prepared grains, I am talking about sprouted, fermented, or soaked grains. The reason these traditional methods of grain preparation used by our ancestors are so important is that grains contain a high amount of phytates, which can cause inflammation and digestive upset in excess. They also interfere with nutrient absorption by binding to certain vitamins and minerals in the gut. Soaking the grains in warm water with some lemon juice for 12-24 hours will significantly reduce the phytate content, as will natural fermentation (such as when we create genuine sourdough), or sprouting the grain.

If you, like me, have a grain threshold, take it seriously. You will be amazed at the difference it will make to your digestion, your energy, and yes - even your thoughts and feelings.

This recipe contains basmati rice - a very digestible grain when prepared correctly.

Enough talk.


¾ cup basmati rice, soaked for 8-12 hours 
1 can (2 cups) organic coconut cream
2 cups water
2 cardamom pods
4-6 cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 vanilla bean, scraped
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch Himalayan salt
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup goji berries


1. Place all ingredients except for coconut sugar into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. 
2. Turn down to a low heat and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed the majority of the liquid (about 20 minutes). 
3. In the last 5-10 minutes, add the coconut sugar and stir through.
4. Remove cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon quill just prior to serving.
5. Garnish with extra powdered cinnamon or nutmeg and serve warm.


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