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Maple Brown & Wild Rice Pudding with Dried Cranberries

In the fall and winter, I tend to make the switch from berries with yogurt and granola to warmer, heartier oatmeal in the mornings, but some days I don’t have the gumption to stir a pot. Enter this grainy rice pudding, that I can make a batch of and stash in the fridge to dip into all week. It’s made with brown and wild rices – whole grains that make a great base for any breakfast – simmered with milk and sweetened with pure maple syrup. Substitute 1 1/2 cups of wild rice blend instead of the brown and wild rices if you like, or add pearl or pot barley, which cooks in the same length of time as brown and wild rice, for an added fiber boost and chewy, nutty texture.

If you don’t have dried cranberries on hand, use any chopped dried fruit – raisins, chopped apricots and figs are all delicious. Like oatmeal and granola, this can be customized to suit your taste.

Beyond breakfast, maple brown & wild rice pudding with dried cranberries fills the gap when you need a quick snack, is easy to pack in small containers to add to school lunch boxes, and makes a not-too-sweet dessert.

Maple Brown & Wild Rice Pudding with Dried Cranberries

3/4 cup wild rice
3/4 cup brown rice
3 cups milk (any kind, or a combination of milk and half and half for creamier pudding)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Combine 5 cups of water, the wild rice and brown rice in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to a simmer, cover and cook for 50 minutes, until very tender. Drain and return to the pot.

Add milk and maple syrup, and cook on medium-low until almost all the milk has been absorbed. Taste and add more maple syrup, if it needs it. Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries.

Cool completely, then refrigerate either in the pot or spooned into individual bowls. Makes about 6 cups.

Per ½ cup (using 2% milk): 136 calories, 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0.3 g polyunsaturated fat, 0.2 g monounsaturated fat), 4.6 g protein, 27.6 g carbohydrate, 2.4 g cholesterol, 1.4 g fiber. 7% calories from fat.

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