This coconut and chia rice pudding will warm you through spring breakfasts, desserts and whenever you need a little comfort in a bowl. I have always been a huge rice pudding fan. I don’t know if it’s an Irish thing or what, but it is on my top-five-comfort-foods list.
I’ve added coconut and a heap of chia to a basic creamy rice pudding recipe. The result? AWESOME!
You could also totally make this coconut and chia rice pudding in a slow cooker or a Thermomix (I presume, don’t have one of those just yet). The recipe makes quite a bit, so consider halving it if you’re not feeding a small army.
There’s a bit of fiddling around with oven temperatures throughout the cooking process, but it’s completely worth it. Make this dish when you have a little time and need a little warming by the oven. Actually, make it one night and leave it ready in the fridge for the morning.
Also good for breakfast: Vegetable fritters for breakfast
Coconut and chia rice pudding
Makes 8+ serves
Takes 5 minutes
Bakes 1 hour 10 minutes
• 400ml can of coconut cream
• 1 cup of rinsed, uncooked brown rice
• 2 ½ cups of milk
• ½ cup chia seeds
• Half a cup of desiccated coconut
• 5 drops of vanilla extract
• ½ cup of brown sugar
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Rinse the rice and put all the ingredients in an ovenproof dish with a lid (I used a Pyrex pot thingy).
Bake for 30 mins, remove and stir well. Reduce oven temperature to 150ºC.
Return dish to oven for another 20 mins, remove and stir well.
Reduce oven temperature to 100ºC and return dish for a further 20 minutes of cooking.
If the liquid becomes absorbed at any point, add another half a cup of milk.
The dish will be creamy and saucy when it comes out – it will set in the fridge.
I was listening to an awesome podcast (it’s called Happier by Gretchen Rubin) and the team were talking about motivation. More specifically they were talking about how different personality types reacted to things like a to do list. One of their listeners suggested that a ‘Ta Da list’ can be heaps better than your standard To Do list.
What’s a ‘Ta Da list’?
It’s a list of things you’ve done, rather than a list of things you have to do. Imagine keeping a list of everything you actually get done in a day, rather than a list of everything you’re supposed to get done in a day. So, instead of fretting about everything you’re not doing, you’re celebrating everything you are doing. Sorry, To Do list, you’re a bit of a downer.
Don’t miss: Can you actually choose happy? (Some thoughts and a printable for you)
The Ta Da list is basically a list that you owe nothing to, and this concept made me fall a bit in love with the idea. You could have a daily or weekly or whatever Ta Da list. But it got me thinking about goals.
I used to be really into goal lists; dreaming up what you want out of life/work/family can be a really great way to focus your energies, but they can also be a bit of a downer. A few months ago I found a goal list I wrote in 2011 and even though I had smashed the majority of them, one was still (deeply) in the realm of fantasy. It bummed me out a bit. House, yup. Two kids, yup. Living by the beach, yup. Working from home as a writer, yup. Size eight, ha ha ha ha ha.
And I know it’s crazy; the fact that I had written that in my top-ten life goals is a bit embarrassing really, but there it was, that little goal that was important to brand-new-mum Babs. It made me feel instantly crap about the number on my jeans label, instead of proud of all I have achieved since becoming a mum.
The Ta Da list to the rescue
After I got over the fact that my clothing size was still in the double digits, I started thinking about bucket lists and, of course, I instantly felt stressed that I didn’t have one. I couldn’t even think of one thing I wanted to put on one. Should I write even one? If I did, should I put really outrageous things on it to encourage myself to live a crazy life? Or should I just be super-conservative so I would have more of a chance of completion and death-bed satisfaction?
Yup, it escalated really quickly.
So instead of fretting about my bucket list or out-of-control To Do list, I made myself a Ta Da list. For this week, this year and this life.
I know that no matter when I find it and re-read my Ta Da list, I will never owe it anything and it will bring me nothing but snaps for being so productive and awesome. Now, that’s the kind of list we all need in our lives.
Click on the image below to download a copy of the Ta Da list.
Do you think a Ta Da List would be helpful?
This is something I have been thinking about for a really long time, why am I such a crank right now? I try to choose happy, but about ten minutes later I’m swearing about the laundry basket or getting frustrated about the fact that I have to microwave my tea AGAIN.
(Quick disclaimer; mum, I’m fine, I’m not unhappy, just a bit cranky, okay?)
I’m cranky about basically any issue that arises. Actually, just sitting down and spending some time thinking about it (writing a list if you’re a listing type) actually really helps. So I thought… why aren’t I feeling like my happy self? And then I got more philosophical and started questioning if all this focus on happiness actually helps anyone anyway?
And I came to some conclusions.
Being told to ‘choose happy’ can actually make a person really unhappy
Sometimes I feel like the emphasis on happiness can put a lot of pressure on people, like it’s just ONE MORE THING that you’re fucking up. So your kids watch too much TV and you don’t earn enough money and you’re a bit chubby and you’re not bloody happy enough either? Ya know? And yeah, I don’t really want to make people feel like what they are isn’t enough. And I don’t really want to make myself feel like that either. So I have to make sure that this abstract concept isn’t actually making me less happy. Which leads me to my next point.
The concept of happiness is so abstract that it can sometimes feel unobtainable
Which is why breaking it down to actual things can really make it much easier. I wrote myself a ‘happy list‘ for exactly this reason. I had the hubby and the kids do it too because it totally takes a village. My list has things like fresh flowers, yoga, going to the beach and lighting scented candles. It seems pretty shallow at first glance but there are some pretty consistent themes going on there.
Connecting with nature, mindfulness, exercise, calm environments and fulfilled senses are all scientifically proven to help.
So, yeah I wrote the list but do you think I have actually done any yoga sine I wrote it? Nope. Have I been lighting candles? Not really. Have I made the time to really do anything on my list lately? Yeah, nah. It’s been a full on month and… insert lame excuse here.
We’ve got to acknowledge when we’re getting it right
I took a moment to give myself props for what I have been doing right. And I totally gave myself some high fives. I have been spreading myself thick as freakin’ Nutella. I have been consistent on the things I want to teach my kids about happiness and I haven’t been letting perfect’ be the enemy of good. It really is amazing how much a brief self appreciation session can do for your mood.
‘Choose happy’ probably just means choose what feels right
As much as happiness seems fleeting and a little bit useless, it also makes sense to choose to do the things you love the most. Our attitude can always use a little fine-tuning and I take my reminder to ‘choose happy’ as simply a reminder to choose the path that feels right for me at the time. If we always live knowing that we made a considered choice at any given time to feel good in the moment, then it’s rather had to regret anything, don’t you think?
So, I made us a Choose Happy sign to print out and display somewhere important. It’s a reminder to take a moment, reflect on our situation and choose the path that makes us feel good about ourselves.
Click on the image to print your Choose Happy sign:
Making time to do what we love
And lastly, something else that makes me happy is blogging, and I have been doing it less lately. Which is kinda part of the whole spreading myself thick thing but it does stress me out. I love my blog and I never feel settled when I neglect it so I made a printable to remind me to choose happy and now I am sharing it with you guys.
If you want the most foolproof, scientifically poven way to achieve happiness, it’s basically to give to others. Time, energy, charity, compliments and free printables. I made that last one up. But I think I’m feeling more chipper already.
You can grab the Choose Happy poster here, just right click and save baby. And you can find other free printables here.