Vegan Arroz con Leche

Arroz con leche is a childhood favorite of mine. I would spend countless weekends at my dad’s mom’s house along with my cousin Alex. We would devour plates of huevos y papas con chorizo and watch Saturday morning cartoons, but it was a seriously good day when my Grandma Celia broke out the arroz con leche.

I’ve become a lot worse with dairy since then, so finding dairy-free alternatives to Mexican dishes is a new pastime of mine. With the widespread availability of plant-based milks, it hasn’t been super difficult.

The recipe I used for this dairy-free arroz con leche is adapted from Thyme and Love; I really like their suggestion about adding cashew cream, which I was intimidated about making at first. Luckily, I found that it’s a simple, two-ingredient process and it can be used as a substitute for any time a recipe calls for a creamy texture. Instead of soy milk I used almond milk, only because I prefer the taste and rarely have soy milk in my fridge. Another change I made to mine is the addition of a lot of powdered cinnamon as well as the entire stick that I left in the arroz while it cooked. Arroz con leche just doesn’t taste right to me unless it’s super cinnamon-y.

Cashew Cream Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup water

  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least two hours. (I soaked mine for about 4, and it was much easier to get the creamy consistency with my weak single-serve blender.)
  2. Drain cashews, add them to a blender with the 3/4 cup of water. Blend until the mixture is a creamy consistency.
  3. For this recipe, you leave the cashew cream as is. If you’re making it to replace Mexican crema, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt to taste.

Arroz con Leche Ingredients:

1 cup short grain white rice (I used jasmine)
2 cups water
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
pinch of seasalt
2 long strips orange zest (I used the peel of a tiny mandarin orange, shoutout to my Halo addiction)
1 large cinnamon stick
1/3 cup brown sugar (piloncillo is better, though)
powdered cinnamon (my arroz con leche was looking uncomfortably pale without it so I added at least 2 tablespoons)

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add your rice and water. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the water has evaporated, stirring often.
  2. Add the almond milk, sea salt, orange peels, cinnamon stick, and cashew cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add in the sugar, and stir often. Reduce to a low simmer. Add in your powdered cinnamon and cook on low for about 30 minutes.


1 Comment

  1. This sounds great. I’ve tried a similar coconut milk variety before as well, and that was pretty incredible. I have a lot of fond memories of my grandma making arroz con leche. She also put raisins in hers.

    Btw, I have you down for 14/18 blogs so far. If you get those last four up (hopefully exploring Profe Cintli’s book as well as Robert’s visit the other day), I can give you the points. Also, I want to read what you have to say about both of those, and also to encourage you to keep up with the great writing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s