The warming aromatic spice cardamom and lots of orange zest make this a digestive comfort food extraordinaire. Serve warm for breakfast or chilled for dessert. Cardamom has long been considered the elixir of longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. I can’t think of a better way to encourage long life than to start the day with warm rice pudding. You will need a slow cooker for this recipe.

DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN

SERVES 4 | PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 3 TO 4 HOURS

1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 (13.6-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk

1 cup water

1 cup organic white basmati rice

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1½ teaspoons ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons brown sugar

⅓ cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, plus more for garnish

¼ cup chopped almonds, toasted

¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts, toasted

1.Coat the bottom of a slow cooker with the coconut oil.

2.Pour the coconut milk and water into the slow cooker, followed by the rice, salt, cardamom, ginger, brown sugar, golden raisins, and orange zest.

3.Stir gently to combine, and cover with the lid.

4.Turn the slow cooker to high. After 3 hours, check the consistency of the pudding. Stir well. If the mixture is too runny, cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour longer, or add more water if the pudding appears too thick.

5.Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with the toasted almonds, pistachios, and additional orange zest before serving.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: If you have a timer on your slow cooker, you can assemble the rice pudding before bed, set it for 3½ hours, and wake up to a warm, fragrant breakfast. Otherwise, you can assemble your ingredients and turn on the slow cooker while you’re making dinner, then turn it off at bedtime. It will be ready to reheat when you get up in the morning.

HERB PROFILE

CARDAMOM

Whole seeds, ground seeds

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: None known

TASTE/ACTIVITY: SPICY/WARM/DRY

PROPERTIES: Antibacterial, antifungal, carminative, expectorant

USES: Treats nausea, diarrhea, poor digestion of fats, gas, bloating, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, and constipation; inhibits bacteria, yeast, and fungi in the gut

SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS: Baking, chai tea

ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR: DIGESTIVE RELIEF

Carminative herbs and spices help reduce the formation of gas bubbles created by gut bacteria in the digestive process. Carminatives also help eliminate intestinal spasms, burping, bloating, and flatulence.

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