Do you know the Scandinavian specialty Risgrød? It’s a rice porridge served with sugar, butter and cinnamon. Delicious! But maybe not the most healthy of meals. That is why I tried my hand at making a slightly healthier version, and I would say I succeeded!
Originally, rice desserts were “invented” in the middle east and came to Europe through the Romans. Risgrød arrived in Scandinavia during the 14th century, when it was seen as a luxury only the very rich could afford. Because of that, over time, it became a sort of status symbol to be able to serve risgrød to guests. Especially Christmas was the occasion to show off your wealth and serve steaming bowls of the delicious dessert. Though nowadays rice it not a luxury item any more, Christmas is still the typical time to serve risgrød. (But it is eaten very often outside of the festive season as well.)
A Cosy Food
Something about risgrød makes it a very cosy dish. It is warm and filling and the flavours are soft and rich, which makes it a very comforting thing to eat. And then there is also the fact that it takes some time to prepare. Having a bowl of rice simmering on the stove for a while gives a nice homely feeling as well. It makes it a bit of a “grandma-dish”, the kind of food you can imagine a sweet old lady making for the whole family.
Take your Time
Risgrød does take some time to prepare, but don’t let that scare you! In total you will need about an hour and a half, so it is definitely possible. Plan ahead and take your time, that is the best way to approach it. While the porridge is simmering on the stove, you can sit back and relax with a book, clean the kitchen or prepare dinner, it is not that bad, really! And while the risgrød is cooking, slowly you whole kitchen will start to smell delicious!
Because risgrød does take some time, I would recommend you to make a large batch at once. Not only did I find the porridge to turn out better that way, it will also save you a lot of time the next time you want to enjoy a bowl of risgrød. Cooking a big pot of risgrød to enjoy with a group of people is cosy and nice, so please do that if you have the opportunity! And if you just want to make some for yourself at some point, you can easily keep the rest for later. Cooked risgrød will keep for a few days in the fridge, but is also perfectly suitable for portioned freezing. Next time you just have to take it out and heat again, perfect!
With the normal toppings of sugar and a clump of butter, risgrød might not be the most healthy of dishes. Of course, nothing wrong with that every now and then! But if you do like to try a healthier version, I think this recipe is just as delicious as the traditional one.
Healthier Risgrød (serves 4)
What you will need:
- 2 dl “Grøtris” or dessert rice (short grain rice)
- 4 dl water
- 1 l milk (you could use vegan milk, but that will give a less creamy result. So far, I prefer to use cow’s milk.)
- A pinch of salt
- Cinnamon for topping
- Date syrup, honey or maple syrup
- Put water, rice and salt in a pan and bring to a soft boil.
- Leave to simmer for about ten minutes, until almost all the water is absorbed.
- Now add the milk and let come to a boil again.
- Turn the heat to a medium-low so that the milk just remains on a simmer.
- Stirring occasionally, leave to simmer for about 50 minutes, or until a thick, creamy porridge has formed.
- When the risgrød is finished, take off the heat and scoop it into bowls.
- Top with loads of cinnamon and a drizzle of sweetener. (When using date syrup, the porridge will become a light pink. How cute is that?)
- Enjoy steaming hot!
Have you ever eaten risgrød? What did you think of it?