OK, I will have to come clean: I love rice pudding. It seems people hate it or love it, but no in-between. I have always enjoyed this dessert.

So when I fell on a recipe that suggested it as a healthy breakfast option I was of course all over it. It’s a nice change from oatmeal or cream of wheat.

And since this recipe calls for coconut milk it is vegan as well. I am sure you could try it too with rice, almond or soya milk.

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I came across this recipe as I was searching for a dish that included cocoa beans. My friend Susan brought back a few cocoa beans for me from a trip to Mexico about 3 years ago.

Well, those cocoa beans got lost in the jungle I call my food pantry. Too bad I waited so long, I never cooked with this ingredient before but now I am hooked.

There is not a huge amount of cocoa beans in this recipe so the taste is subtle and earthy, perfect for breakfast in my opinion.

Also, try this vegan chocolate pudding
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Cocoa beans are the main ingredient of chocolate. Once the bean has dried and fermented (which removes the bitterness), one can extract the cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter counts for 50% of the bean’s composition, the rest being protein, sugar, and starch.

The beans are also packed with antioxidants, serotonin, vitamins, minerals, and phenylethylamine, a natural antidepressant. So in small quantities, eating cocoa beans or dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health.

A lot of people who have tasted the bean straight complain it is bitter. That means it was not a fully fermented bean. I ate one and found the texture to be like a fatty coffee bean, with a sublime intense chocolate nutty flavor, not sweet and not bitter.

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And with the addition of brown rice, molasses, and toasted coconut, this rice pudding has nice rich deep flavor. If you do not have molasses you could substitute with brown sugar.

And if you want to turn this breakfast meal into a dessert you can simply add a bit more molasses and/or sugar to taste. If you cannot find cocoa beans (or nibs) you can use chocolate chips, just keep in mind it will melt, unlike the beans.

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Breakfast Chocolate Coconut Rice Pudding

Ali Eaves
Course Breakfast & Brunch
Servings 5


  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut spread
  • 4 to 5 cups of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded
  • 3 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs


  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut in a thin layer over a baking sheet with ridges and bake on the lowest rack setting for three to four minutes. Keep an eye on the coconut to make sure they don't burn, and stir if necessary.
  • In a heavy, medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add the rice and brown it for about four minutes. This will give the rice a nutty flavor.
  • Once browned, add the coconut milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan, and reduce heat to low, simmering lightly and stirring periodically until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens.
  • Add the molasses, coconut flakes, and cocoa nibs towards the end of the cooking process to preserve crunch. It will take 45 minutes to an hour to cook the rice, so add the additional ingredients 30 to 50 minutes in, depending on how fast the liquid is absorbing.
  • When the rice is done and a small amount of liquid has retained, turn the heat off and let the rice sit under the closed lid for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.