Vegan Rice Porridge (1 Million Ways!)

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     If you don’t know, I’m a (un)happy Floridian living in the Garden State. I’m used to sunshine, fresh citrus, world-class beaches, and DISNEY. Being in New Jersey is a definite adjustment. There are beautiful parks, great hiking trails, and amazing seasons… but there’s also snow. Yuck.

     Ok, wait! Don’t freak out. Yes! Snow is gorgeous and super fun…  For about 20 minutes before the hypothermia sets in, and no one ever talks about driving to work in the snow! Not fun, my friends. Plus, I live on a hill. Have you ever tried to carefully descend down a snowy hill? Talk about an entire heart attack.

     But living amongst the Jersians I have learned to adapt. Fluffy socks, thick robes, multiple layers, boots, and of course, 1,000 blankets. Oh, baby. And who could possibly forget food? Warm teas, steaming soups, and my new found love… rice porridge.

     Rice Porridge has an extensive history, particularly in East Asian countries. The savory form of rice porridge is usually called “Congee”. Recorded over thousands of years in China, the first version of congee seems to have been made with millet.

      Today, I have brought you a few variations of rice porridge/congee that you can try at home. I have 2 base recipes for you, based on if you’re wanting a savory or sweet dish. There is an endless number of ingredient combinations and flavor profiles you can make, so hopefully, these recipes inspire you to do something special!

     Pictured is a sweet base recipe topped with bananas, pomegranate, cinnamon, and coconut flakes!

     The cooking method is very simple, a high ratio of liquid to rice, to get the nice creamy consistency of broken down rice. A good ratio is 1:5, rice: liquid.

      From my kitchen to yours, buen provecho, bon appetit, and as always, enjoy.

 

Sweet Rice Porridge

Ingredients

  • 1 c rice (white rice cooks quicker than brown rice, but this is up to preference or availability)
  • 2 c coconut milk
  • 3 c water
  • 1 ½ tbs vanilla extract/paste
  • 2-3 tbs sugar (I typically use brown sugar, coconut crystals, or raw organic sugar)
  • ½ tsp – 1 tsp salt
  • Opt. 2-4 tbs cinnamon (I prefer using cinnamon in all of my sweet porridges, but this is optional)
  • Opt. 1 tbs vegan butter (I use Earth Balance or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vegan Butter! for added creaminess)
  • Opt. 3+ tbs coconut flakes (I love the taste of cooked coconut flakes in my porridge)
  • Opt . 2 tbs chia seeds (chia seeds are a must in nearly everything, but that’s just me!)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring all of your liquid, vanilla, sugar, salt, and optional ingredients to a boil.
  2. When a hard boil is reached, add in your rice, stir for a minute, and then reduce to a low simmer. I recommend putting the stove on its lowest setting.
  3. Simmer for 1 and ½ hours to 3 hours depending on the type of rice you’re using. The consistency should be similar to an oatmeal. The grains of rice will be very thick, and expanded, nearly disintegrated. Stir often to avoid burning at the bottom of the pot. I recommend stirring every 3-5 minutes, making sure to stir the bottom.
  4. Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, take off of the heat, and top with whatever you’d like!
  5. Enjoy!

 

Possible Toppings

Extra cinnamon, agave nectar drizzle, maple syrup drizzle, diced apples, banana coins, pomegranate, nutmeg, pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, berries, nut butter, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, passion fruit, vegan chocolate chips, coconut flakes, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, raisins, dried cranberries, and anything else you can imagine!

 

      My personal favorite combinations are bananas, cinnamon, maple syrup, pomegranate, coconut flakes, and pepitas, or apples, vegan chocolate chips, pomegranates, cinnamon, dried cranberry, coconut flakes, and maple syrup! Similar taste profiles but very different and yummy!

 

Savory Rice Porridge (Congee)

Ingredients

  • 1 c rice (see tip above)
  • 5 c vegetable stock (or plain water, I would recommend LS veggie stock, or homemade, but I tend to use Better than Bouillon)
  • Salt to taste (you may also use tamari or soy sauce!)
  • Opt. 1 c finely diced onions or sliced green onion
  • Opt. 2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
  • Opt. 1 bay leaf
  • Opt. 1 tbs vegan butter
  • Opt. Sliced ginger

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring all of your veggie stock or water to a boil on high heat, along with whatever optional ingredients you decide to use.
  2. Once the ingredients reach a hard boil, add the rice, and leave for about a minute.
  3. Simmer for 1 and ½ hours to 3 hours depending on the type of rice you’re using. The consistency should be similar to an oatmeal. The grains of rice will be very thick, and expanded, nearly disintegrated. Stir often to avoid burning at the bottom of the pot. I recommend stirring every 3-5 minutes, making sure to stir the bottom.
  4. Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, take off of the heat, and top with whatever you’d like!
  5. Enjoy!

 

Possible Toppings

Sun Dried tomatoes, pan fried tofu (seasoned with your favorite marinade), seasoned jackfruit, basil, sesame seeds, sesame oil, scallions, chopped roasted nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews), hot sauce (sriracha!), pan fried or baked vegan sausage, cilantro, chopped vegan chicken breast, fresh or pickled veggies, cooked greens (spinach, kale, collards, bok choy, etc. – seasoned with garlic?), kimchi, chili paste, toasted sesame seeds, mushrooms, or any other savory combinations you can think of!

 

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