A lighter version of a comfort classic, so no need to skip dessert.  Tropical rice pudding is the perfect dessert (or snack), served chilled or room temperature that is perfect for the warmer weather. 

Tropical rice pudding. A lighter version of a classic with fresh vanilla and nutmeg, topped with mango, papaya and kiwi .
A glass bowl filled with rice pudding topped with kiwi, mango and papaya

Most people (including myself), like to enjoy a lighter dessert that’s not too heavy in the spring and summer months.

This is a lighter version of rice pudding that can be serve chilled on warm evenings or an after lunch treat and the tropical fruit topping adds a natural sweetness. (I’ve also  been known to eat it for breakfast).

A closeup of the rice pudding showing the vanilla bean specks and fruit

Cooked on the stovetop, I’ve discovered that you can enjoy a creamy and healthy low fat rice pudding using low fat milk. Boiling the rice in the milk instead of water is the first secret. The second is the type of rice used, arborio.

A side view of the rice pudding in a glass bowl

Arborio is used for risotto and because of its high starch content, when it released during cooking, makes the milk even creamier. You’ll notice there is no cinnamon in this rice pudding because I wanted the fresh vanilla flavor to be prominent so I left it out. You can add a small pinch if you like.

Rice pudding, fresh kiwi and mango on a fork
Yield: 4

Tropical Rice Pudding

Tropical Rice Pudding

A lighter version of a classic with fresh vanilla and nutmeg, topped with mango, papaya and kiwi for natural sweetness.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (946 ml) low fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (104 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup (175 grams) arborio rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 papaya, cut into cubes
  • 1 mango, cut into cubes
  • 1 kiwi, cut into cubes.

Instructions

  1. Add the milk, sugar and salt to a saucepan and heat over high heat.
  2. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and using the tip of a knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and and the bean to the milk.
  3. Grate in the nutmeg and add the rice. Whisk to break up any lumps of vanilla seeds.
  4. Bring the milk to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and clumping together.
  5. Remove vanilla bean.and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until thickened, stir occasionally.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly onto the pudding so a skin doesn't form.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until chilled.
  8. Serve in bowls topped with the fruit.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 450Saturated Fat 3gCholesterol 18mgSodium 261mgCarbohydrates 89gFiber 3gSugar 47gProtein 11g

For the holidays,  White Chocolate Rice Pudding is a delicious festive treat.

A closeup showing the sweet topping of dried cranberries and nutty pistachios
Yield: 4

Tropical Rice Pudding

Tropical Rice Pudding

A lighter version of a classic with fresh vanilla and nutmeg, topped with mango, papaya and kiwi for natural sweetness.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (946 ml) low fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (104 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup (175 grams) arborio rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 papaya, cut into cubes
  • 1 mango, cut into cubes
  • 1 kiwi, cut into cubes.

Instructions

  1. Add the milk, sugar and salt to a saucepan and heat over high heat.
  2. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and using the tip of a knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and and the bean to the milk.
  3. Grate in the nutmeg and add the rice. Whisk to break up any lumps of vanilla seeds.
  4. Bring the milk to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and clumping together.
  5. Remove vanilla bean.and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until thickened, stir occasionally.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly onto the pudding so a skin doesn't form.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until chilled.
  8. Serve in bowls topped with the fruit.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 450Saturated Fat 3gCholesterol 18mgSodium 261mgCarbohydrates 89gFiber 3gSugar 47gProtein 11g

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