I am a big fangirl for turmeric. After reading about its DNA-repairing and anti-inflammatory benefits, I am sold on it until science proves otherwise. That’s why I try to sneak this liquid gold into our meals as much as I can. Let me introduce you to my beloved vegan turmeric rice pudding recipe that needs to be in every health-conscious person’s back pocket.
This dessert was served to the Ottoman Empire palace cohort for centuries before it found its way to commoners’ tables for a variety of celebrations. The dessert’s Turkish name, “zerde”, can be literally translated as “turmeric” from Turkish. Some chefs in Turkey shockingly skip the turmeric in their recipes and use more saffron to land its yellow hues. I am assuming that they do so to exclude turmeric’s distinct flavor from the dessert since not everybody is into it. So if you passionately dislike the taste of turmeric, either omit altogether or use half the amount prescribed.
Optimizing Nutrition for Vegan Turmeric Rice Pudding
You can swap the white rice for other gelatinous options such as tapioca. I plan to test it with brown rice one day as well; and will update this post when I do.
Yes, we do have a good dosage of turmeric in this dessert, but we also have lots of sugar. Therefore if you want to skip the sugar, use 1 1/3 cups of erythritol per 1 cup of sugar instead. The taste is different of course, but the end result will still be delicious.
When optimizing a recipe for health-related or macro-friendly purposes, I usually choose whole food sweeteners such as blackstrap molasses, date sugar, date syrup, or sweet potato syrup. However, there are some recipes that the aforementioned sweeteners just won’t work with. That is when I try these recipes with erythritol instead.
According to Dr. Greger:
The natural sweetener erythritol does not appear to carry the adverse effects associated with other non- and low-caloric natural and artificial sweeteners, and may actually have antioxidant potential.Dr. Greger on nutritionfacts.org
Moreover, I find the taste of erythritol a lot more neutral when compared to other popular options such as stevia or monk fruit.
This recipe is…
- cooling (if you choose to chill it)
- cozy (if you choose not to chill it)
- a party-favorite
- super easy
- and fit for sultans’ tables. 🙂
Enjoy this super-light, easy-to-make, healthy, and gluten-free vegan turmeric rice pudding cold or warm. Sugar-free, macro-friendly substitution included!
- 1/2 cup rice soaked in 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup rosewater
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for one hour
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 cup sugar*
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup currants, soaked in 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup sour pomegranate seeds
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat and add the rice. Cook for 5 minutes while skimming the surface with a spoon.
- Reduce heat to low, then cook for another 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, add the cornstarch and half cup of cool water until dissolved. Then add this mixture into the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, whisking continuously.
- Add the turmeric, rosewater, saffron, pine nuts, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and currants and cook for another 10 minutes while stirring.
- Divide into 4 bowls and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the refridgerator to chill for at least 5 hours.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and pistachios to serve.
- It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- *If you want to skip sugar, use 1 1/3 cups of erythritol per 1 cup of sugar instead. The taste is different of course, but still delicious.
- You can skip chilling in the refridgerator for a warm dessert instead.
Keywords: turmeric, fall dessert, rice pudding, turmeric dessert, rosewater, pistachio