Rice is a staple food in many cultures and can be transformed into side dishes, desserts and even drinks. Growing up, my mother made traditional Mexican dishes like arroz con leche, horchata, albóndigas and arroz rojo using a filling and comforting grain: white rice. As I began to experiment with the recipes passed down through my family, I wondered how much the flavor of these dishes would change if I used more nutrient packed rice such as brown or black.

Black rice is higher in fiber than white rice, is a good source of protein and is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This experiment brought me back to one of my childhood favorite dishes, arroz con leche, which is made here with black rice, golden raisins (for contrast) and Mexican cinnamon.


2 cups Water

1 whole Cinnamon Stick

1¼ cup Almond Milk

1 cup Black Rice, rinsed and drained

¾ cup Maple Syrup

¼ cup Golden Raisins

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

½ tablespoon Ground Cinnamon, garnish


1 | Add water and the cinnamon stick to a medium pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil.

2 | Once the cinnamon has diffused in the water, add rice and almond milk.

3 | Allow mixture to come to a boil, then lower heat to a medium low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.

4 | Add in the maple syrup, golden raisins, vanilla and a pinch of salt, stirring gently.

5 | Serve in small bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

*Prep Time: 60 minutes.

**Serves 5.

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