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Brown Rice Pudding With Nuts and Cardamom

This vegan rice pudding, from Dan Buettner’s new cookbook, The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, uses plant-based milk in place of dairy.
A dish of rice pudding
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 80 minutes


  • 3 cups unsweetened, unflavored, plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups room-temperature water plus 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 pinches of saffron, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 tbs. raisins
  • 1 tbs. toasted slivered or sliced almonds, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 tbs. chopped roasted pistachios, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom


In a large saucepan, combine the milk, rice, dates, sugar, and 1 cup of the room-temperature water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked; there should still be plenty of liquid in the pot.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the saffron and the ¼ cup of hot water. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the saffron with its soaking liquid, the raisins, almonds, pistachios, cardamom, and the remaining ½ cup of room-temperature water to the pot with the cooked rice. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the rice is creamy.
Serve hot, garnished with a few threads of saffron, sliced almonds, and chopped pistachios.

This recipe was included in The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100, the new cookbook from #1 New York Times bestselling author, National Geographic fellow, and founder of Blue Zones, Dan Buettner.

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Hao Tran

Hao Tran is co-owner of Hao & Dixya and the Table.


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