Sweetened only with maple syrup, filled with nutritious low fat ingredients, and spiked with warm spices, this healthy vegan chai rice pudding recipe is a warm winter treat for breakfast or dessert! It was created by Leah Lizarondo and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free.
When made as is, this vegan chai rice pudding is naturally gluten-free, soy-free, and all around allergy-friendly (should you choose to omit the nuts!). However, it is still filled with some amazing ingredients …
Adzuki Beans – Beans in chai rice pudding? Why not?! Also known as azuki or aduki beans, these red-colored legumes are actually used most commonly in sweets in Japan and China. You can find canned brands such as Eden Foods in many stores, or buy them in bulk to cook at home. Just 1 cup of adzuki beans adds 17 grams each of fiber and protein to this recipe.
Coconut Milk Beverage – Leah opts to use the unsweetened version from So Delicious Dairy Free. Personally, I like the vanilla unsweetened, but original will also be a good fit for this healthy chai rice pudding. The coconut milk beverage adds richness that other types of milk alternative can’t rival, without a ton of fat. It is also fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and a few other vitamins and minerals. You can often find coupons for this coconut milk beverage via the So Delicious Facebook page.
Whole Spices -Don’t let the list of whole spices intimidate you! Most can be found in regular grocery stores or online, though I would look for them in bulk or at stores like World Market for the best prices. Leftover whole spices can be ground in a spice grinder to use fresh as you need them in recipes.
The Rice – Arborio rice is the type of rice used to make risotto. It has a very short grain that helps to produce a cream consistency. Nonetheless, short grain brown rice will result in a creamy chai rice pudding with a nutty whole grain vibe that is equally delicious, and adds an extra dose of protein and fiber.
Maple Syrup – This natural sweetener pairs beautifully with heavy spices for the chai rice pudding, but you can swap it for whatever sweetener you choose. If you want to keep it unrefined, coconut sugar is a tasty option. For a splurge, organic brown sugar would also be amazing, and a bit more cost-effective!
Special Diet Notes: Chai Rice Pudding
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 cup Arborio rice, sushi rice, or short grain brown rice (preferred)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 star anise
- 3 to 4 thin slices fresh ginger
- 6 to 8 green cardamom pods
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 1 to 2 cups cooked adzuki beans
- 2 to 3 cups So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Original or Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage
- ¼ to ½ cup maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
- Sliced almonds or chopped cashews, for garnish (optional, omit for nut-free)
- Place the rice and water in a heavy-bottomed pan.
- Put the cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and allspice berries in a loose spice bag, close and place the bag in the pot.
- Set the pot over medium heat, cover, and bring the water to a boil.
- Remove cover, and add the adzuki beans. Continue to cook, and check in to stir often.
- When the water is absorbed, lower the heat and add the coconut milk beverage gradually, ½ cup at a time, stirring from time to time until the milk is all absorbed.
- Remove the spice bag and large spices, and stir in the maple syrup and salt.
- Serve topped with a dusting of cinnamon and sliced almonds or chopped cashews, if desired.
More Sweet Chai-Spiced Recipes
Coconut Chai Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free & allergy-friendly)
Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Cake (vegan & soy-free)
Chai Double Chocolate Muffins (optionally vegan, nut-free & soy-free)