Eat for Your Health: Brown Rice for Breakfast

Do as the Asians do.

Eating healthy and trying to save money while traveling long-term sounds difficult, but it's actually quite doable, especially if you have access to a kitchen (hello, Airbnb!) and are willing to do minimal cooking at home.  I'm spending the month in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and my Remote Year accommodations in District 1 come with a fully equipped kitchen.  Our first night here, my roommate and I hit the Co-op grocery nearby and picked up some fruit, veggies, nuts, almond milk, brown rice and vegan matcha green tea cookies.  I was disappointed I couldn't find oatmeal, as this was my breakfast staple last month in Malaysia, but I figured this month I would branch out and do as the Asians do: eat rice for breakfast!

These brown rice porridge recipes are simple, quick and you can make so many different variations!  We have a rice cooker in our apartment, but this can easily be done on the stovetop too.  Brown rice is packed with fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, protein and thiamine, so it's an excellent and filling way to start your day.  We ate the first recipe alongside a cherimoya, a fruit grown in South Asia, and South and Central America.   It is nick-named 'custard apple' because of the creamy texture of it's flesh.  

Nicknamed 'custard apple', you eat it by cutting in half and scooping out the fruit with a spoon.

Nicknamed 'custard apple', you eat it by cutting in half and scooping out the fruit with a spoon.

And now for the recipes...

Brown Rice Breakfast

For this one I used what I had on hand at the time which was brown rice, almond milk, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. 

Simple Brown Rice Porridge

Serves 2

What you need:

  • brown rice, 1 1/2 cups uncooked
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • Optional- trying adding a pinch of sea salt and cinnamon

What you do:

  • Combine brown rice and almond milk (and salt and cinnamon if using) in a medium saucepan or rice cooker and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  
  • After about 10 minutes add the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds and stir.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes
  • Serve alongside fruit and enjoy!

Brown Rice Banana Mash

Mashing banana into the rice while cooking adds a nice flavor throughout and a creamier texture. The riper the banana, the easier to mash and the sweeter the rice porridge.  If your banana isn't super ripe, break into pieces and throw into boiling water with the rice for a few minutes and let it soften before mashing.  I ate this alongside a Pomelo, which is sort of like a mix between an orange and grapefruit and is native to South and Southeast Asia.

pomelo

 

Serves 2

What you need:

  • brown rice, 1 1/2 cups uncooked
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
banana brown rice mash

What you do:

  • Combine brown rice, almond milk and mashed banana in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  
  • After about 10 minutes add the chia seeds and stir.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes
  • Garnish with pumpkin seeds, serve alongside fruit and enjoy!