The one saving grace of winter is being able to enjoy cozy comfort foods without any guilt. Like this chai spiced rice pudding. It has the flavors of a warming cup of chai and the sweet richness of traditional rice pudding. For a luscious texture, I recommend using a rice that is labeled medium- grain rice, which has the perfect amount of starch to thicken the pudding while keeping it creamy but not sticky.
While this pudding is sweet enough for dessert, it’s healthy enough for breakfast. Your options for topping are endless, but I love something crunchy like toasted nuts for a contrast in textures. It’s also fabulous with stewed plums or the Roasted Grapes.
1 1/2cupsunsweetened plain almond milkor other nondairy milk (use soy or oat milk for a nut-free option)
1cupcanned full-fat coconut milkwell stirred
1tsppure vanilla extract
1/2tspfreshly gratedor ground nutmeg
2tbspno-added-sugar almond butter
1tbsppure maple syrupor coconut sugar
4soft Medjool datespitted and roughly torn into pieces
ROASTED GRAPES (OPTIONAL)
1bunch of seedless grapes
Kosher salt or sea salt
If making the roasted grapes, preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Make the rice pudding: Place the rice, almond milk, coconut milk, water, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, almond butter, maple syrup, and dates in the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the roasted grapes: Spread the grapes out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and thyme leaves and gently toss with your hands. Bake until the grapes just begin to burst, 8 to 9 minutes.
Once the 10-minute timer on the Instant Pot has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release the remaining steam.
Open the pot and stir the rice pudding thoroughly. There may be some extra liquid on top, but once you stir it, the liquid will incorporate into the rice and thicken up. Transfer the rice pudding to bowls and serve each bowl with the roasted grapes, if desired.