Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, December 21, 2013

For Good Luck in 2014, Try Baked Brown Rice Pudding

Baked Rice Pudding Brings Good Luck

The theme this month for recipe Redux is “Good Luck Foods.” We were asked what we will be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? For some, it might be it black eyed peas and greens, or Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe. For me, it is pudding. Yes, pudding.  Many years ago when I was doing my dietetic internship in Minneapolis, I was invited to a friend’s house for New Year’s. This family was of Swedish descent. Their tradition was to serve a large bowl of rice pudding and the person who got the whole almond in their bowl was the bearer of good luck for the year. I was the one who got the almond. I don’t remember of my following year was especially lucky, but I have never forgotten that prize.


I have learned since then that many cultures, in addition to Sweden, treasure almonds as a symbol of good luck, good health and good fortune. One story I read said that the person who finds the almond is said to get married in the coming year. That didn’t happen to me.


Here is the recipe for Baked Brown Rice Pudding.

Inspiration for this recipe came from: All Recipes. Made with some modifications, mainly using brown rice for white rice.


Non-stick cooking spray

2 large eggs, beaten

3-1/2 cups 1% milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup uncooked jasmine brown rice

1 tablespoon light butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 whole almond


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Stir in sugar, rice, butter, extracts, and nutmeg. Pour into prepared pan. Stir in one almond.

Bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes during the first hour.

Makes  6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

216 calories, 4 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 69 mg cholesterol, g dietary fiber, 8 g protein, and 102 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of riboflavin and vitamin D and a good source of protein, vitamin B-12, and calcium.

Cost per Serving: $0.50

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.
Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Be sure to check out these other “good luck” foods from fellow Recipe Reduxers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Monk Fruit In The Raw Perfect for Cranberry Apple Clafouti

Cranberry Apple Clafouti

I received free samples from Cumberland Packing Corp., maker of Monk Fruit In The Raw. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cumberland Packing Corp. and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Monk Fruit In The Raw is a new sugar alternative. It is made from vine-ripened monk fruit and has zero calories, yet tastes like sugar. Each one teaspoon serving contains less than 2 calories, which the FDA considers “zero.” Monk fruit extract is combined with maltodextrin so that cooks can create the perfectly sweet taste that measures cup for cup like granulated sugar. Here's a photo of the package of Monk Fruit In  The Raw Bakers Bag.
Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag

The package indicates that cooks can use Monk Fruit In The Raw for all of the sugar in drinks, like lemonade or tea, and most sauces and dressings. They recommend that you replace only half of the regular sugar in baked goods, as granulated sugar is important for moisture, browning, and rising in most baked goods. Another tip they offer is to check for doneness of baked goods a little earlier than given in the recipe to ensure the finished product is moist.  For many more tips from Monk Fruit In The Raw, click here. This site includes information on how to convert recipes made with sugar and other sweeteners, how to use it in beverages, equivalents when working with Monk Fruit In The Raw packets, how to use it in frozen dessert, breakfast items, and baked desserts, as well as non-baked desserts.

Cranberries are one of my  favorite holiday foods. I love the taste and color and they add such a festive note to holiday meals. I usually make homemade cranberry sauce. And, I love cranberry desserts.

Cranberries are tart and require a fair amount of sugar to make them tolerable. So, when I decided to test Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag, I thought its use in a cranberry dish would be perfect. It would counter the tartness of the cranberries, without adding all the calories that comes with granulated sugar.

Clafouti, pronounced clah-foo-tee, is a dessert typically found in parts of rural France. I have seen the word spelled with and without an “s” at the end. Clafouti is often made with fresh cherries. Clafouti takes its name from clafir, a dialect French word meaning “to fill.” It’s a cross between a puff pancake (or Dutch baby) and a custard. Julia Child has a wonderful recipe for a cherry clafoutis that can be found here.

In this recipe, I used Monk Fruit In The Raw for all of the sugar that is combined with the cranberries, as the purpose is generally to counter the tartness of the cranberries. Then I used granulated sugar in the batter mixture, as the sugar is needed to help with browning and rising of the custard mixture of the clafouti.

Here is the full recipe.

Cranberry Apple Clafouti


Non-stick cooking spray

1 cup + 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In The Raw Baker’s Bag, divided

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 large apple, cored, peeled and sliced into very thin wedges

3 large eggs

1 cup nonfat milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch round baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan combine one cup of Monk Fruit Sugar In The Raw with orange juice and peel; cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Add the cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring frequently. Pour cranberry mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish. Top cranberry mixture with apple slices, arranged in a single layer, slightly fanned out.

Combine eggs, milk, flour, granulated sugar, flour, and vanilla extract in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour slowly over apples in baking dish.

Bake until clafouti is puffed, light brown, and firm to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Dust the top with 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit In The Raw. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:

170 calories, 3 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 6 g protein, and 54 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of riboflavin.

Cost per Serving: $0.89

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except cranberries which were on sale for $2.50 per 12-ounce bag. Monk Fruit in the Raw can be purchased online at
Here are some prep photos:
Prep Photos
Be sure to check out these other recipes that use Monk Fruit In The Raw.