Coconut Rice Pudding with Dried Cherries

I’ve had this bag of unsweetened shredded coconut for awhile now. I had promised my mom that I’d make some coconut macaroons for her while she was here to help use up some of the three dozen eggs (!!) that I got for unheard of 66 cents at Superfresh a few weeks ago. Though the weather ended up being ridiculously hot that week and needless to say baking was nixed from the to do list. I haven’t been doing much cooking lately save for a seemingly never-ending string of different types of stir-fry. I myself have grown tired of the same old in the kitchen so today I decided I was going to make something fun. I settled on making a rice pudding using coconut milk and the coconut. I’ve never made rice pudding before so I checked out some recipes to get a feel for how much of everything I might need. Here’s what I came up with.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Dried Cherries
Serves 6

1/2 C Basmati rice, rinsed
3.5 C light coconut milk (2 cans)
1/2 C water *see note
1/3 C natural cane sugar
1/2 C dried cherries
1/2 C unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
a pinch salt
1/2 t vanilla

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, sugar, and a pinch salt. Stir gently to combine the ingredients. Then add in the rice, cherries, and shredded coconut. Stir once more.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. When the pudding comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps and so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Just before removing from heat, stir in 1/2 t vanilla extract.

Remove to a bowl and chill 4-6 hours or overnight. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

The result? A success! *It was a little on the thick side so I’m thinking the next time I make it I might try adding an entire cup of water instead of just a half.

My dairy-free friends are going to go crazy over this.

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