Have you ever had an amazing stir-fry or rice-dominant dinner and then didn't know what to do with the leftover rice? Here's how to make an amazing and soothing rice pudding recipe, Ayurvedic style, for breakfast out of last night's dinner. This recipe will not only support your physical body and satisfy your hunger, but will boost you emotionally as well. You'll never waste rice again!
What you will need:
Pre-cooked brown or white rice (2-3 cups or more)
Almond, coconut or other nut milk (3-4 cups or to cover rice)
2-3 cardamom pods or 1 tsp. powder
1 cinnamon stick or 1-2 tsp. powder
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
3-4 cloves – whole
4-5 black peppercorns – whole
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced – or 1-2 tsp. powder
handful of cashews or pistachios – raw (or other nut)
handful of raisins, dates (chopped) or both
½ cup coconut shreds (unsweetened) - optional
Place all ingredients in a big pot or crockpot, and then place on simmer and let cook on low for about an hour to get all the spices infused into the rice.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Rice Pudding
Cardamom is a most uplifting digestive. It soothes the tummy, assists in removing unwanted gases and toxins in the bowels, freshens the breath and helps remove pathogens from the body. It is also a fantastic anti-acidic way to start the day. Some say cardamom helps you with self-control and to regain a sense of objectivity and perspective when you've lost it. Basically, it helps you take responsibility for yourself and your life choices. What an herb!
Cinnamon keeps the blood sugar balanced and is important for pancreas health. It actually forces muscle cells to convert sugar from the bloodstream into energy. This amazing herb, which was once as valuable as gold, has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. It can also regulate blood pressure, which is helpful for irregular or painful menstruation as well as those struggling with high or low blood pressure. Cinnamon just regulates – giving you the pressure and flow your body needs. And with this regulatory property comes sexual harmony as well, for cinnamon supports the reproductive organs as well as the sexual relationship between people and allows for vulnerability, clarity and confidence in sexual and intimate love.
Cloves are great for digestion as well as pain relief. The oils are anti-inflammatory and emotionally help you increase stamina and feel generally more empowered about your life. I've also read that cloves are great for setting up healthy boundaries – and who couldn't use a bit more of that? I put together a “boundary support” body/room spray made up of clove and black pepper essential oils and it is incredibly empowering. Getting a little clove into your system in the morning is like a pow-wow with your energy field, letting it know that you are not open for psychic attack or boundary violations that day! (Beware of cloves’ potent oils and avoid using clove oil directly on your skin.)
Black Peppercorns, as I mentioned, along with clove, are like psychic protection. They are also not about the illusion or fake-dynamics at all. The energy of black pepper says “be yourself” and “get real,” which is fantastic, because physically, peppercorns are a no-nonsense kind of spice. They are one of those spices that tickle the taste buds and let your stomach know that food is on the way, stimulating the release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The beautiful skin of black peppercorns assists the body in the release of fat cells and the carminative properties of this spice move gas and bloating along with vigor.
Apparently, black peppercorns used to be traded as currency and as an offering to Divinity in ancient Greece as well as to pay taxes to the tax collector. Peppercorns would determine the wealth of a person and were key in ceremonies to honor the sacred. In this vein, starting your morning with black peppercorn-infused breakfast pudding is a way of honoring yourself and the divinity within you, and a way to access centuries of prosperity consciousness from the comfort of your cereal bowl!
Ginger is the spice of power. According to energy medicine and essential oil doctrine, this ancient root assists one in overcoming victim mentality and activating the inner warrior self. It encourages full presence in one's life and is a catalyst for change. Physically, ginger aids in digestion and assures balance and the absence of digestive upset. It is also extremely anti-inflammatory and can help one with physical pain by swapping their regular pain medication for increasing increments of ginger, over time. Ginger is also a fantastic immune system aid and wards against common colds, the flu and all manner of infectious diseases, fungal infections and sinus conditions.
Almonds, Cashews and Pistachios: Though almonds are most renowned in Ayurvedic medicine as the Sattvic nut, both cashews and pistachios are often used for added protein and for help in balancing the various doshas.
In India I first came into contact with the Cashew tree where we ate the fruit and found fresh nuts as the seeds. Cashews contain a high quantity of natural copper, which are great conductors of feminine energy in the body. The copper helps to connect one to the water element and to the aspects of the goddess available for access in each person. Copper also assists in hair growth. Cashews benefit the heart and are high in magnesium and antioxidants.
As a natural provider of Vitamin B6, Vitamin E and Vitamin A, Pistachios are great for your skin, your eyes and for the immune system. These tiny purple and green nuts can make you feel fuller faster and thereby cut down on how much you eat, helping you to maintain balanced weight. By their color signature, pistachios support the heart center and the third-eye in refinement of skills and attunement. You can find pistachios in almost every sweet all over India – there must be something special about them – they sure are delicious!
Raisins – always an Ayurvedic favorite, so as to take medicine without knowing that you are. This tiny, sweet, dried grape is among one of the most prized foods in Ayurvedic medicine and has been known to be an extremely beneficial and nutritious addition to the diet for thousands of years. Raisins, when coupled with spices such as cardamom and cinnamon – like in this Ayurvedic soothing rice pudding – help to lower the glycemic index, which is extremely important to good health. When added to milks and nut milks, raisins alleviate thirst and when soaked in water or liquid and made soft, as we do here, they help the bowels to move and stay regular. Only the kapha dosha should take care when adding raisins to their diet, so as to not increase sluggishness.
Dates – a most nourishing food, especially for pregnant and birthing mothers. This sweet fruit is a great balancer of the Vata dosha, the imbalance of which is the cause of any joint pains or inflammation. Eating dates helps the joints. A great source of iron and potassium. Dates are great for breakfast in combination with all the aforementioned spices as they are anti-acidic to the stomach.
Coconut – I can't say enough amazing things about coconut and neither can Ayurvedic medicine, where it is revered for its healing and sacred properties. In Asian and Island countries, the coconut symbolizes the head, and is therefore used to show full awareness and consciousness of the Divine, as well as the willingness to give over the mind/ego to a higher power – when cracked.
The water is life-giving and is the only known substance on earth that can replace our blood plasma exactly, if needed. It is full of electrolytes and the flesh is rich in omega fatty acids. Fresh young coconut water can help remove toxins from the body and soothe the digestive system. Coconut shreds from the more mature nut are best consumed with the spices and herbs in this recipe, so as to counteract any of the heavier aspects of the fruit.
As you can see, making soothing, Ayurvedic friendly breakfast pudding out of last night's rice is a fabulous idea to start the day. Plus, it's fast and easy while combining health supportive spices to start your day off right! So, next time you find yourself with left-over rice, get ready to create the most delicious breakfast pudding and never waste again! I've also done this with other grains like barley, quinoa and millet. Experiment and have a great time brewing up something special for your family today!
Emotional Healing with Essential Oils by Daniel Macdonald