Sweet n’ Buttery Blueberry Rice Bowls

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(Becky, The Mama)

In big families life often feels like it’s balanced on a fulcrum, easily tipping toward The Waltons or The Jerry Springer Show, depending on the warm fuzzies or the latest drama of the day. One thing our big family is not, is boring. So, I am never lacking for comedic or dramatic  fodder for blogs or books.

After a recent trip with my eldest son to California, where I randomly lost and found my phone (in the airport bathroom), my shoes (left in hotel room), my computer (a doctor’s office), my keys (bottom of the dark hole that is my purse), my suitcase (left on the sidewalk outside hotel), my brand new prescription sun glasses (in rental car), I told God, “Really, I have enough material.”

We’ve compiled many of the stories that overflow from our crazy lives in our newly released food memoir: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook and we’re already gathering more for  next mom-daughter book.

It is my belief that life is stressful enough, so cooking shouldn’t have to be. Though I love those rare days when I can take my time in the kitchen, more often than not I lean toward the “fast, easy, healthy” recipes we typically post on this blog.

When life is nuts, trust me, I know how easy it is to give up on eating well. But after reading about Jamie Oliver’s recent scoop on the chemically “washed” pink goop that goes into McDonald’s burgers,  the thought of driving through a fast food joint makes me queasy.

In the middle of a  recent high-stress morning,  I was hungry, in a hurry, and in search of something sweet, but not too sweet, and relatively nutritious for breakfast. I grabbed a container of last night’s leftover Jasmine rice (not as healthy as brown rice, but boy, do we love it), a pint of fresh blueberries and some slivered almonds. One ingredient led to another as I thought, “Why not?” and proceeded to create a just-right-sweet and buttery blueberry almond rice bowl. Zapped it in the microwave for 35 seconds, took a bite, and fell in love.

The fresh blueberries, when warmed, are still firm on the outside but then burst in your mouth. Some also open a bit in the bowl, drizzling a lovely purple juice – that when blended with a little butter, brown sugar and pinch of sea salt – is simply divine. The almonds add crunch and protein.

In one minute you can go from layering ingredients to spooning this lovely concoction into your mouth. To up the nutritional value, use brown rice or another whole grain you enjoy. I used fresh blueberries and recommend them, but I am sure frozen berries would also be delicious (though not as firm).

Perfect for quick wholesome breakfasts on busy mornings, or a tummy-warming snack or before-bedtime dessert. Blueberries are what my good friend, Dr. Daniel Amen, refers to as brain berries. They are chocked full of antioxidants and brain-friendly phytonutrients. A great way to start, energize or end your day.

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Sweet n’ Buttery Blueberry Rice Bowls

Makes 1 large breakfast bowl, or 2 snack/dessert portions

½ c. cooked rice (pretty packed in measuring cup)  (I used jasmine rice as it is what I had leftover, but of course brown rice would be the healthier choice.)
1/3 c. fresh blueberries
1 t. butter (vegans can use Earth Balance or any healthy buttery substitute of your choice)
1 T. brown sugar (feel free to sub your favorite sweetener here –maple syrup, stevia, etc.)
2 T. slivered almonds
Pinch sea salt

Directions:

Place the rice in a bowl and fluff with a fork. Put a dab of butter in the middle and sprinkle over the top with brown sugar. Put blueberries and slivered almonds on top.

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Microwave for 35 seconds. Take a pinch of sea salt and sprinkle over all when you remove from the microwave. (This makes it taste even more “buttery”.) Gently fold all hot ingredients together and serve. Be prepared to be very surprised how amazing these simple ingredients taste when put all together!

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