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Adaptogenic Coconut Black Rice Pudding with Butternut Squash (Gluten-Free, Primal, Vegan)

With the cold weather kicking in and autumn in full swing, I’ve been craving warm, comforting dishes that are packed full of nutrition and flavoured with warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger. I wanted to create a recipe that was both comforting and immune boosting which is how I came up with adding in some cheeky adaptogenic Maitake Mushroom from Indigo Herbs.

This Adaptogenic Coconut Black Rice Pudding is antioxidant rich. Maitake mushroom boosts the immune system whilst warming spices and cacao comfort the soul.

Because we’re getting even closer to Halloween (woohoo!) I thought using black rice in a dish would be amazing, especially with a contrasting orange fruit or veggie. I honestly couldn’t think of anything more comforting and wholesome than a Coconut Black Rice Pudding with butternut squash which has been gently pan-fried and caramelised ever so slightly.

Is Black Rice Paleo?

Now, being Paleo, or largely Pegan I guess, I don’t tend to consume grains often but I do like to have them every now and then for a nice little treat. I think keeping balance is great for mental health and simply adding a little variety into life. Strictly speaking, no rice is deemed as being Paleo, however white rice is often allowed these days on a primal diet although it is not to something to be consumed daily. Black rice, however, has been a sort of on the fence debate for a while. Mark Sisson doesn’t class it as primal but he does have some really interesting views on the matter, and like myself, he doesn’t see much harm in consuming it occasionally so long as it’s undergone a 24-hour soak. It’s worth noting that he does recommend an additional ferment but personally, I think that if you soak the rice overnight – at least 8 hours but preferably 24 hours – you will be able to reduce the phytic acid content gravely. Besides, this isn’t brown rice, it’s black rice which due to its rich dark purple colour means it’s packed full of antioxidants.

How to Remove Phytic Acid

For those of you that don’t know, phytic acid is an antinutrient that binds to minerals, preventing your body from fully absorbing them. High consumption of these phytates can lead to mineral deficiencies, leach calcium from the body, and block the absorption of the key minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. This can result in poor bone health, tooth decay, anaemia, and a lower metabolism. So, I would highly recommend soaking for the full 24 hours as it will help to break down the antinutrients and harder to digest components, helping to release those highly beneficial nutrients that live within. To soak add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with one cup of warm filtered water and stir in the rice. Cover and leave for 24 hours then rinse thoroughly before cooking. Be sure to use a ceramic bowl as metal bowls will release heavy metals into the rice.

Adding in foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium can also help to reduce the adverse effects of phytic acid so that’s why I thought adding in a little butternut squash would be a good idea as it is rich in vitamin C. You could also add in a little mango too or another vitamin C rich food.

The Nutrition

There are so many amazing ingredients in this recipe but I want to talk about the nutritional and health benefits of my favourite key ingredients. Take a little look below:

  • Black Rice – Just 1/4 cup of uncooked black rice contains roughly 34g carbohydrates, 2 grams fibre, 5g protein, and 1.5g of fat. It has the highest amount of protein and antioxidants in comparison with any other variety of rice and it contains more of the antioxidant compound anthocyanin than in blueberries. What makes it really special though is that it’s rich in iron making it great for those following a vegan diet. Black rice has been found to improve heart health by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, detoxify the body, and balance your energy levels.
  • Coconut Milk  – Coconut milk is rich in healthy saturated fats such as MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which can help to promote weight loss and act as an instant fuel source for your brain. It’s also a great source of many essential minerals including iron, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese.
  • Butternut Squash – Butternut squash in incredibly rich in vitamins A and C which both help to fight off free radicals, keeping those wrinkles at bay. They’re also packed full of useful minerals such as calcium, folate, niacin, thiamin, magnesium, and potassium. Butternut squash is great at reducing inflammation and boosts your immune system too.
  • Maitake Mushroom – These powerful medicinal mushrooms have been known to lower cholesterol levels, promote immune fertility, and boost immune function. They’re packed full of B vitamins and vitamin D and plenty of minerals too. They have very similar nutritional values to the shiitake mushroom.
  • Raw Cacao  – Raw cacao powder contains 40 times the antioxidants than blueberries, is the highest non-heme iron source, and is packed with calcium and magnesium. Think of this as an immune-boosting skin food that will also help to battle those SAD blues.

Adaptogenic Coconut Black Rice Pudding with Butternut Squash

This recipe is just comfort food at its best. The star anise and cardamom make this recipe in my eyes – they give out mega Chai vibes and they’re really warming. It reminds me of snuggling up in a big baggy jumper relaxing in front of the TV, or fire, I wish I could say fire but I don’t have one. It’s perfect as a breakfast for 2 people or just as a little dessert when split between 4 and you can serve it up alongside anything from coconut yoghurt, chopped nuts, toasted seeds, to even mango

Make it your own, play around with the spices you add or drizzle over a little raw honey when you just want that super sweet treat. Because this isn’t so high in sugar it will help act as a slow releasing source of energy for the day. Enough of my waffling though, check out the recipe below!

Looking for more adaptogenic treats? Why not try my Salted Caramel Magnums with Lion’s Mane or CBD Chocolate Fudge Spread? Oh, and if you want to keep up to date with my deliciousness then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll love you forever – who am I kidding? I already do!


Adaptogenic Coconut Black Rice Pudding with Butternut Squash (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Adaptogenic Coconut Black Rice Pudding is antioxidant rich. Maitake mushroom boosts the immune system whilst warming spices and cacao comfort the soul.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
For the rice pudding:

For the toppings:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil/grass-fed butter/ghee
  • 1 cup/160g peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 2 tsp Indigo Herbs Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Coconut milk or coconut yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed nuts
  1. Soak your rice in filtered hand hot water with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for at
  2. least 4 hours then rinse thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve and set to one side.
  3. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and then add the rice. Cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the water, star anise, root ginger, ground cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, cardamom seeds, and sea salt to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low heat and simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat then remove the root ginger slice and star anise.
  4. Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, Maitake mushroom powder, and cacao powder, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer on a low heat and leave uncovered, cooking for roughly 20 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to ensure that the rice cooks evenly and doesn't burn or stick to the pan. The pudding should be thick and the rice tender and a little chewy. Stir in your apple cider vinegar then remove from heat and leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  5. Whilst your pudding is cooling add your butter to a non-stick skillet and melt on a low heat. Add the butternut squash and cook over moderate heat until browned. Cook for 4 minutes then sprinkle over the coconut sugar and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide the pudding equally into bowls then pour over a little leftover coconut milk, and top with the butternut squash and 1 tbsp of mixed chopped nuts per person.
Store the rice pudding in an airtight container within the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

All cup measurements used are UK cup measurements. 1 cup = 250ml, 1 tbsp = 15ml.

 Please note that this is a sponsored post. This means that I was sent free products and compensated in return for an amazing review. Any payment I receive I use to purchase more ingredients and equipment to keep this blog up and running, and most importantly to keep creating quality content for you all. I am not an affiliate of Indigo Herbs and any purchases you make via them I will not be compensated for. I am not influenced by the company in any way and all opinions, ramblings, and thoughts are my own and 100% honest. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.

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