Coconut Black Rice

Hey Purposeful readers!

Today I’m talking alllll about black rice, also referred to as "forbidden rice." Have you tried it?

If not, this super simple, 2-ingredient recipe will surely encourage you to become as obsessed with this beautiful grain as I am. In fact, it's kind of hard not to feel cozy just thinking about this flavorful rice.

Move over, side dish. Main course, coming through!

Coconut Black Rice | Purposeful Plate

Warm, nourishing, and incredibly beautiful, black rice provides a really unique dining experience compared to its white or brown counterparts. 

Plus, when it comes to nutrition, black rice really belongs in a league of its own. Containing the highest concentrations of protein, fiber, and antioxidants of all rice varieties, it is easy to see why this particular one belongs in a standalone, meal-worthy recipe.

Remember that precious antioxidant anthocyanin that I discussed in my "Functional Food Friday: Blueberries" post? (If not, check it out here.)

Turns out, black rice is one of the richest known food sources of this phytonutrient, and is also what gives black rice its signature dark, almost purple-ish hue.

Although it has been praised for thousands of years (dating back to ancient China), black rice is finally getting confirmation in the science world as a truly healing food, providing a number of physiological benefits, including these listed below: 

  • slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream during digestion (keeps blood sugar stable, reducing the spike and crash in energy and mood due to strong insulin response to eating carbohydrate-rich foods)

  • reduce toxic build-up by assisting in liver detox pathways

  • reduce overall inflammation and oxidation

  • prevent and reduce constipation, GI distress, and bloating

  • improve satiety (feeling of "fullness")

  • decrease plaque buildup in arteries and blood vessels (reduce the risk of CVD)

  • reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol

  • improve quality of life by encouraging people to jump for joy

Okay, I added in that last one just for fun. But quite literally, I can attest to beaming, giggling, and 'mmmm'-ing with joy at just the very sight (and every last bite) of this recipe. I hope you will, too.

Coconut Black Rice | Purposeful Plate

Serves 2 large, or 3 small bowls.
*Recipe calls for soaking overnight, so plan to start
the night before you wish to eat it.


  • 1 cup black rice

  • 1, 14-oz can coconut milk / cream

  • plenty of filtered water for soaking

TOPPINGS. (optional, but strongly recommended!)

  • fresh, organic, seasonal fruit

  • organic / grass-fed crème fraîche*


  1. Add rice to a clean glass mixing bowl, and cover completely with filtered water. Stir to combine, and set aside to soak overnight (uncovered).

  2. Drain and rinse the rice, and add to a small saucepan with the coconut milk. (I like to pour a splash of water into the empty coconut milk can and swirl it around to get all the remaining creamy bits out of it, and pour that liquid into the pan, too.)

  3. Turn the heat to medium, and cook uncovered until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a gentle boil, cover the pan with a lid, and reduce to low.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare your fruit by rinsing and slicing as desired.

  5. Cook the rice until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. You'll know it's done when the rice is still glossy, but not runny. Remove from heat, and let set for 5 minutes, covered.

  6. Transfer the warm rice to 2 or 3 bowls, and top each with a generous dollop of crème fraîche (or yogurt) and fruit. If you wish to make this a more indulgent treat, drizzle with your favorite raw honey. Otherwise, your local, in-season fruit is likely ripe enough to sweeten the entire bowl.


  • Substitute a thick dairy-free yogurt for the crème fraîche for a vegan option

  • Add extra protein and fat by sprinkling on your favorite nut or seed toppings

  • The coconut oil may gather at the bottom of your bowl as it does not absorb very well into the rice, so if you're left with a little puddle at the end, that's ok

  • You could turn this into a savory dish by adding a fried egg, fresh herbs, or other toppings of choice as the rice itself is not sweetened

Nutritional Tidbits.

Apart from the above mentioned benefits of black rice and anthocyanins, this recipe is also healing in the following ways.

  • Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are less likely to be stored as fat, and more often broken down by the body to be used for lasting energy, especially favored by athletes

  • Coconut oil is one of the few plant sources rich in lauric acid (also found in human breastmilk), which kills invading pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and enhances brain function, even during hypoglycemic situations (low blood sugar)

Please let me know how you like this recipe in a comment or shoot me a message if you have any questions! 

From my plate to yours,