By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation, and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.
I love it when I find a new way to use a familiar thing. Like adding a marshmallow to the brown sugar bag to keep it soft. Or using vinegar to remove mineral deposits from the shower glass. Or using toothpaste to get your diamond rings to sparkle when you’re on vacation and they’re caked up with sunscreen. LOVE it when I see something in a whole new way – it makes me feel so creative 🙂
This month, the USA Rice Federation challenged members of the Recipe ReDux to Think Rice for National Nutrition Month – so I decided to try to look at this familiar favorite in a whole new way, and I gotta tell you – I’m feeling kind of creative right now! I cook with US Grown rice a lot because it’s a healthy, inexpensive and really versatile grain. I like whole grain rice for it’s chewy, nutty flavor, and its extra fiber and protein. Rice is also naturally low sodium, low fat and cholesterol-free, and it’s a great source of complex carbs to fuel your day. Which got me thinking…
I often serve rice as a dinner side dish with protein and vegetables, or as an easy way to turn a salad into a meal. And I always serve rice and beans with anything Mexican. But I’ve never eaten rice for breakfast – although I know it’s a breakfast staple in many parts of the world. So – let me introduce you to my latest and greatest use for rice – Sweet Cherry Almond Breakfast Risotto! Who knew rice could steal the show for breakfast?
When buying rice, look for the “Grown in the USA Rice” logo, and you’ll be guaranteed that your rice is sustainable, GMO-free, and locally-grown. USA rice comes so many varieties including white, brown, basmati, wild, red… you name it. The other great thing about Grown in the USA rice is that it comes in long, medium and short grain, and each cooks up a little bit differently. The rice grains in long grain rice tend to separate more then cooked, which makes it lighter and fluffier.
Short grain rice is a bit starchier, so it sticks together better. It also makes for a perfect creamy and satisfying breakfast risotto. The cherries add an antioxidant punch, and the almonds are so very heart healthy.
I made a large batch of this risotto in my slow cooker. The house smelled all almond-y and amazing, and I had enough to last me all week. If you don’t want to use a slow cooker, just do it in a pot on the stove. Just be sure to simmer it on very low for at least 30 minutes.
- 1 cup US-grown short grain brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1- 12 ounce package frozen sweet cherries
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Mix together rice, almond milk, almond extract, salt and maple sugar in a slow cooker, and set to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1 hour, or until rice starts to plump and absorbs about half of the milk.
Add frozen cherries and almonds and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes or until rice is soft and chewy.
Serve hot or cold.
Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container and reheat or eat cold, adding additional almond milk if necessary.
Do you ever Think Rice for breakfast? Do you have a favorite rice dish?
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