Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with vegan arroz con leche

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Cuponeando/Creative Commons

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Arroz con leche has to be one of the most nostalgic and comforting dishes for members of the Mexican community. Although this dish has taken on various adaptations throughout different cultures and countries, arroz con leche makes me feel connected to my Mexican culture. It was the dish my abuelita made when I was sad, an after-dinner dessert with family and an early morning breakfast. Now, it has become what I eat when I feel homesick at school. Although this is a vegan version of arroz con leche, it tastes delicious nonetheless. The sweet and sticky rice, complemented by a rich cinnamon flavor, can really be enjoyed at any time of the day. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups dairy-free milk (I recommend using oat milk)
  • Maple syrup (or substitute with cane sugar — try not to use honey)
  • Vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice with water and cinnamon sticks in a rice cooker or a large pot. If you choose a pot, boil the rice for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed by the rice.
  2. Once the water has been absorbed, remove the cinnamon sticks and add your milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Then, bring the mixture to a boil. Once reached, begin to simmer the rice on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you are stirring the rice often throughout this duration. 
  3. Finally, do a taste test to check the sweetness. Add maple syrup or milk (for a milkier consistency) according to your taste preferences and enjoy!

This recipe is the perfect fall treat and just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month. I hope you enjoy this part of my culture as much as I do, and don’t forget to add some ground-up cinnamon on top!

Contact Paloma Torres at [email protected].