I’m pulling this recipe out of the archives, dusting it off, and proclaiming it baby food. But also: Mama food, too. Belly-pleasing, soul-soothing, Mama-and-baby-both-have-a-cold-but-one-of-us-still-has-to-take-care of-the-other-one comfort food.
You know it’s bad when you don’t mind when baby wakes up in the middle of the night because at least you get to sit in her room with the humidifier. I’m telling you–a humidifier is amazing. I’m not sure the science behind it, but anytime Camille has a runny nose, I crank that thing all the way up during her nap and she’s almost instantly better.
But let’s talk whole grains.
When Camille was an itty bitty baby (ok, 7-8 months old), she would eat all kinds of grains because I pureed them. Oats were easy, amaranth was common, barley, millet, quinoa–it all went in her belly. And it made me so happy. Whole grains are some of the healthiest foods for you–rich in B vitamins and great for your blood sugar. Fast forward to today, and I now have an awesome eater (seriously, she ate sauerkraut the other day and begged for more)…but she is VERY into feeding herself. I can hardly offer her a bite of anything–she wants to do it herself.
This is troublesome for whole grains. She can’t quite wield a spoon, and so picking up tiny grains of quinoa or brown rice is near impossible. How are we supposed to get the good stuff in their bellies, Mamas?
I had a pot of leftover brown rice from the night before, and I remembered this recipe from my archives. It is perfectly suitable for baby because it has no added sugar–just a mashed banana. You can top it with honey or maple syrup, if you like. I am unbelievably thrilled that Camille can eat honey now–isn’t that silly?
This brown rice pudding is easy to throw together with leftover rice. I always cook double the amount of brown rice I need when I’m making stir-fry for dinner during the week. A little milk (or whatever nut you squeeze hard enough to get a milk-like substance out of), a drizzle of honey, and your favorite fruit and nuts to top. A handful of this, a handful of that. It’s warm, filling, and a totally guilt-free dessert for breakfast.
Mix up the fruit and nuts for your topping, but don’t leave out the mashed banana for sweetness and texture—it makes the rice pudding creamy without cream.
1 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
16 minTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (cold)
- 1 cup milk (any kind)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 banana (half mashed, half sliced)
- garnishes: dried fruits, nuts, extra honey
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice, milk, butter, and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the mashed banana half and the honey. Cook about 1 minute to thicken.
- Divide between two bowls, and top with your choice of garnishes and the remaining banana slices. I used dried Mission figs and pepitas for the photos.