Nutrition: Holiday Pumpkin Rice Pudding, by Julie Daniluk

Each year during the holidays, I pull out this recipe to make for my family. I always need to make it in large quantities as we eat it all day long: as breakfast, a mid-day snack or as a creamy dessert. The richness of the pumpkin and coconut milk make it very satisfying, which helps keep us away from other sweet (but less healthy) treats around the house.


3 cups (750 mL)   water
1/4 cup (75mL)  coconut milk (“light” if you want to reduce calories)
1 cup (250 mL)  short-grain brown rice
pinch of grey sea salt or pink rock salt
1/3 cup (85 mL) currants or cranberries
1 tsp (5 mL)    cinnamon (or to taste)
1 tsp (5 mL)    vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 mL) hemp seeds
1 cup (250 mL)  pumpkin puree
1/4 cup (63 mL)  honey
1 tsp maca powder


  1. Bring water, rice and salt to a boil in an uncovered pot over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
  2. Add currants and cinnamon. Cook on low for another 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  3. The rice should be very creamy.
  4. Remove from heat. Fold coconut milk, vanilla, hemp seeds, pumpkin puree and honey into pudding.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon. If desired, sweeten more with a drizzle of honey and add crunch with nuts or seeds.

Makes 8 servings.

Julie Daniluk, RHN, hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that highlights the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition by using unique groups such as bikers, dragon boat racers and ballroom dancers to challenge their taste buds with nutritious foods. Julie is excited that her show was chosen to be part of OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). Similar to Oprah’s book club, programs on OWN explore stories of strength and transformation. Television viewers also recognize Julie from her “busted” segments on The Right Fit (W Network) and The Marilyn Dennis Show (CTV) where she examines the foods people need to stay healthy, acting as a nutrition encyclopedia. Her fun and engaging style comes in handy when she creates a recipe a week that is packed with health tips for Her new book Meals That Heal Inflammation is available in stores now.