One thing that I absolutely love about my home country Finland, are all the Christmas traditions that we have here. There are so so so many, and they’re old and full of Christmas magic. I will tell you a lot more about them later, promise!
And I am a true Christmas elf. Born on the 23rd of December (50 minutes before Christmas, through a c-section! The doctor wanted me to have “my own birthday” and wouldn’t wait until the 24th) my mum always said I’m her personal Christmas present and an elf by birth. I am quite sure she is right. There’s not much I love more than Christmas songs, jumpers, Christmas baking, mulled wine, decorations and the entire spirit and magic evolving around it.
Rice porridge is a traditional Christmas breakfast in Finland. When rice first came to Finland during the 18th century, it was so valuable that it was only eaten during holidays. What nowadays makes the rice porridge so wonderful, is the magic that comes with it. Every Christmas morning one almond will be hidden in the porridge. Apparently eartlier it was believed that who finds the almond in his portion, will get married that year. We in our family believe that the person will have a lot of luck. As children we could wish for something, if we got the lucky almond. (Usually my parents made sure, each of us children got one!)
And now I just came up with the best new twist for this traditional recipe: coconut! I can only recommend it to anyone, no matter if you like coconut or not (it doesn’t taste that coconutty). Enjoy it with a mug of hot fruit punch – in Finland we drink “glögi”, which is something like alcohol-free mulled wine, or spiced fruit punch. It’s so wonderful and christmassy and goes so well with the porridge!
Ingredients (for 4 portions):
2 cups (200ml) water
2 cups porridge / sticky rice
1 litre oat milk (or any other plantbased milk, Alpro’s soy milk is good too!)
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
1 tbsp honey or agave syrup (all other sweeteners work as well)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom and cinnamon
- Place the rice and the water into a pan and bring to boil.
- When the water has evaporated, add the milk.
- Cook as long as the packaging says (usually about 30 minutes) and stir every few minutes to prevent the rice from sticking.
- Add the spices and the coconut milk as last. If you can’t find cardamom where you live, don’t worry. It will taste just as good without!
- Serve with nuts, raisins and chopped dried plums for a very christmassy flavour. I also love to add more cinnamon and sweetener on top.
And now enjoy the wonderful Christmas feeling that you’ll get from this, and if you make some porridge for your friends or family, don’t forget the Finnish magic almond!
I wish everyone a wonderful first Advent!