Rice for breakfast? Yes, please — especially when it’s this delicious slow cooker breakfast risotto.
This month, the USA Rice Federation challenged my dietitian colleagues 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 because I’m using rice to make this warm and cozy slow cooker breakfast risotto.
I cook with US Grown rice a lot because it’s a healthy, inexpensive, and really versatile grain. I like whole grain rice for its 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?
What Are the Different Types of RIce?
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 in 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 when cooked, which makes it lighter and fluffier.
Short grain rice is a bit starchier, so it sticks together better. It also makes for a perfectly 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.
Sweet Cherry Almond Breakfast Risotto
- 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.
Do you ever #ThinkRice for breakfast? Do you have a favorite rice dish?