Holidays are approaching and parties have already been lined-up. For Filipinos, celebrations are synonymous to food. With families and friends gathering around the table, we want to serve the best dishes in the house. And as one of the leading rice-eating countries, celebrations will never be complete without this staple. 

As we list down ingredients for the holiday menu, it’s best to favor healthier rice options such as brown, red, and black rice. Desserts, for example, can be made healthier just by twisting an ingredient!

Photo by Zenny Awing

Have you tried black rice ice cream popsicles? By using colored rice, this popsicle will be packed with antioxidants and minerals, which are beneficial to the body. To make this dessert prepare: 1 cup cooked black rice; 2 cans all-purpose creamer (370mL/can); 1 can evaporated milk (410mL); 1 can condensed milk (390g); 2tbsp vanilla extract 2pcs ice. 

Black rice must be cooked for 30min in a 1:2 rice-to-water ratio. Let is set aside to cool.

Chill the evaporated condensed milk overnight. Combine evaporated and condensed milk and vanilla extract. Chill. Prepare an ice bath by placing the mixing bowl or big stainless pot over the ice. Put the all-purpose cream in the pot and whip for 10min on high speed. Add the vanilla mixture and cooked black rice. Whip for another five minutes at high speed.

To mold, fill the disposable plastic cups with the mixture and cover with aluminum foil. Insert half of each popsicle stick in the cupped mixture. Freeze overnight and it’s ready to serve.


Photo by Zenny Awing

Being with our significant others this Yuletide Season can also be made special with simple cups of coffee.  Just the mention of coffee already brings the addictive aroma creeping our senses and the warmth  enveloping  our being. Aside from its distinct taste that gives satisfaction to our everyday drink, coffee also keeps us alive owing to its caffeine. However, while some find this as an advantage, others see it as harmful. That is why decaffeinated coffee is an option in the market. 

According to Adda Bjarnadottir of Healthline, however, only 97% of caffeine on decaf coffee has been removed from its beans. This may still be a no-no for the caffeine-sensitive people. But, worry no more, as rice lets you drink caffeine-free coffee. Caffeine-free rice brew is a drink that you can easily make in your kitchen. Only prepare 1/2 cup uncooked white or brown rice.

To make your own caffeine-free rice brew, roast the rice grains in an iron pan over medium heat for 45 minutes while stirring constantly. Set aside and let it cool. Grind the roasted rice into a fine powder for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container. 

The 1 1/2tsp of powdered rice can be mixed to 200mL boiling water. Sugar and creamer can also be added for taste. Aside from rice, mungbean is also a good option for a decaf coffee. 

The simple yet healthy and affordable rice menu is fit for the hearty Filipino celebrations. Let’s enjoy the season with our loved ones without compromising our health. 

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute