- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 1½ cups coconut water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Fuji apple, sliced
- puffed rice
- pomegranate seeds
- bee pollen (optional)
- In a large pot bring your brown rice, coconut milk, and coconut water to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and stir in honey and blackberries. Cover and let cook for about 3 hours, checking on it every 45-60 min to stir.
- Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is thick and creamy, take the rice off the heat. Squeeze in your lemon juice and stir.
- Divide the pudding between 3-6 bowls, top with all the toppings, and EAT UP.
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite meals in Paris. Which is ironic, because nothing about this is authentically Parisian. (What even is authenticity? More on this in a min.) The restaurant is called Holybelly and it was started by a couple of ex-pats from New Zealand. So the vibe is very different, the wait is always long (if you can get a table), and the food is amazing. I got the black rice porridge there and I spend the whole meal ooohing and awwing over the flavors. So I set out to recreate, as best I could, the dish that I fell in love with. And well folks, it’s not black, but it is delicious and it does taste pretty close to the original. Except, obviously, mine is *health-ified.*
Okay now let’s get back to this topic of authenticity that I’ve been tossing around in my head. There is an interesting paradigm between being authentic to yourself, and being American in a foreign country. (Especially now.) I feel a desire to not be *too much* or *too loud* or ask too many questions and to follow all the unspoken rules of a culture. It’s a hard dance to learn.
This same struggle can happen in relationships, in friendships, within families, and – yes – even with our bodies. I have seen beautiful people try to tone themselves down for a lover who couldn’t see their beauty. I have seen families ask each other to be someone else to fulfill their own needs. And I have asked my own body to conform to something it is not, based on the expectations of others.
There are a million ways in which the battle between being our authentic self, while also fitting in in society plays itself out. I know that when my family was in Paris pronouncing Merci like “mur-see” I was wishing they would be a little quieter, and a little less themselves. We do it to each other all the time. We do it to ourselves even more. We look in the mirror and we ask to see something that we aren’t.
I think authenticity is so scary because it’s vulnerable. It opens us up to the possibility of rejection. But god, isn’t it also beautiful? Like this blackberry coconut brown rice pudding in the middle of Paris – I hope we all know that being different doesn’t decrease our value. Being a New Zealand ex-pat in Paris serving un-French-like food doesn’t make you less authentic, it makes you YOU.
The same goes for your body. I’ve seen it in a lot of friends who have recovered from eating disorders or disordered eating. They start to nourish themselves, and their bodies come back. They get hips again, they have curves. And I have this moment where I realize, “oh, this is what their authentic body is supposed to look like.” And god, it’s beautiful.
I have seen this happen in myself. But it’s harder to admire your authentic self and authentic body from within. It takes a while to be able to see yourself through the lens of authenticity instead of conforming to society. There is no easy hack here. It takes hard work. It takes telling yourself you are beautiful even when you don’t believe it. It takes time to allow yourself the space to grow into you. Have patience my friend. And in the mean time, start yelling “mer-see” as loud as you can as often as you want. Because you are you and that’s totally enough. xoxo