Hispanic Heritage Month: Arroz con Leche Con Tu Mamá


Arroz con Leche Con Tu Mamá

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups long grain white minute rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 13.5-ounce cans lite coconut milk
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ to 1 cup maple syrup (Try it first with ¾ and, if desired, add extra ¼ cup. Opinions varied in my family about what was best; my brother preferred it with ¾ cup and my dad thought it was perfect with the full cup. My baby niece liked it with just ½ cup, but she's only one so we don't really trust her.)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Follow minute rice instructions: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the cinnamon sticks and salt. Stir in rice; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes or until water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Stir in 27 ounces (2 cans) lite coconut milk, orange juice, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rice mixture is to your desired level of thickness. (If it begins to boil, you may have to turn the heat down to low and simmer.) Mine took 40 minutes, but I like it extra creamy.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast walnuts for 9 to 10 minutes on aluminum foil.
  4. Stir dried cranberries into the rice mixture, remove cinnamon sticks, and transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with toasted walnuts.

It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, so it’s an appropriate time for three things in particular: 1. Checking out some exhibits related to your history, 2. making your favorite traditional dishes, and 3. doing all of this with your family.

I’m at home in Arkansas this week with my own family, so I decided to make a batch of vegan arroz con leche, which has all of the good qualities—sweet, fast, and, depending on how you make it, not so terrible for you.

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