Southern comfort food: Peach rice pudding

Rice pudding has always been such a comfort food for me. Its probably because I grew up with my mom and grandma making it all the time. It’s also the type of food I only really want to eat when its raining or cold outside. Its just really comforting. But super unhealthy. And if you’re anything like me, the fact that it is so unhealthy is the number one reason why I hardly ever eat it anymore. And that makes me sad. Which in turn makes me want comfort food. It’s a vicious cycle.

The weather here in Naples has been really awful the last few days. It has been so cloudy and rainy and I feel like we haven’t had a good “beach day” in forever. My tan is suffering.

Because of this weather, I have been really jonesing for some rice pudding and in an effort not to balloon up, I tried to make a healthier version. Now let me just follow that by saying, rice pudding is an extremely fattening dessert. By making it healthier, I by no means made it healthy. Tasty for sure, but not super diet friendly.

Ingredients

4 ripe peaches, diced
3 Tbl butter
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 gallon 2% milk (you can use whole milk here, but I used reduced fat to cut out some extra calories/fat)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 Tbl cinnamon

In a pot heat milk. Once heated, turn the heat off and set aside.

In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add in peaches and cook until soft and starting to caramelize. Pour in the rice and coat the rice with the butter and peach mixture.

Pour just enough milk into the rice mixture so that all the rice is covered and stir constantly the milk has been absorbed by the rice. Ladle in more milk and stir until absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is soft and the consistency is creamy.

Once your milk has all been absorbed and the rice is cooked through, add in brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir to combine and take off the heat. The more your rice cools, the tighter it will get so if you like a creamier consistency, add more milk.

This can be enjoyed warm or cold.

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