St. Patrick’s Day is next week, so I wanted to post a ‘green’ recipe to get you all started.

This vegan, gluten-free rice pudding recipe is super easy, and best of all, rich and delicious! It can actually be made two ways – with the matcha, or without – and both versions are yum. The matcha version obviously is green, hence the St. Paddy’s Day reference.

Let’s talk about matcha for a second. Matcha is essentially a type of green tea that’s processed into powdered form and typically used to make tea. You can also find it in a host of other hot beverages (matcha latte, anyone?), and you can also cook and bake with it. It tastes (to me at least) grassy…sort of like you think a green powder would taste – and is very rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants associated with cancer and heart disease prevention, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation, and anti-aging. Matcha also contains the chemical EGCG, which may be associated with boosting metabolism and slowing cancer growth.

I tried to keep the sweetness at a minimum here, so if you like your rice puddings pretty sweet, you might want to add a bit more maple syrup. You can also add other things to the finished pudding – slivered almonds, dried fruits, or pretty much anything you want.

Non-vegan rice pudding usually contains eggs. Too keep things vegan, I used a bit of cornstarch to thicken this recipe. Coconut oil finishes the pudding and gives it a looser, more luxurious texture.

** when you refrigerate this pudding, it’s going to thicken…a lot. To bring it back to the correct texture, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. **

Matcha Coconut Rice Pudding 3

Matcha Coconut Rice Pudding

Makes 8 servings

4 cups cooked rice

2-400ml cans of coconut milk, divided

2 cups water

1T cornstarch

3T maple syrup

2t cinnamon

1/4t cardamom (optional)

2t matcha powder or more to taste

1.5 T coconut oil

Place the rice, 1 1/2 cans of coconut milk, water, and maple syrup into a pot. Bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining cup of coconut milk and the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir into the simmering pudding.

Continue to simmer the pudding for about 5 more minutes or until the pudding thickens, then remove from the heat.

Stir the matcha into the pudding until fully incorporated.

Stir the coconut oil into the still-warm pudding until melted and thoroughly incorporated.

Serve with fruit, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of toasted almonds.