After-School Peanut Butter Rice Balls
By Julie Cader
Check out this delicious and healthy after-school snack that is easy to make, nutritious and tasty! A combination of brown and white California jasmine rice, combined with the sweet and savory flavor of crunchy peanut butter, soy sauce and coconut is a snack that both kids and parents will love. Be creative with toppings such as dried fruit, crumbled cookies, yogurt-covered raisins or sesame seeds. Use a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes, or simply roll the rice into balls. Makes around three dozen rice balls, depending on the snack size you prefer.
1 cup California brown jasmine rice
1 cup California white jasmine rice
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom seed
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Food Decorations such as yogurt-covered raisins, dried fruits, crumbled cookies, or sesame seeds.
Bring water to a boil; add salt, butter, brown sugar and brown rice. Stir, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in white rice, turning up heat just long enough to bring rice back to a boil. Turn down again to simmer another 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside, keeping rice covered.
In a small pot, combine the peanut butter, coconut, soy sauce, dried spices and sugar. Mix well and bring to a soft boil. Turn off heat and taste/adjust seasonings. If you are adventurous, try adding ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to the peanut butter sauce!
Gently combine the hot basmati rice with the peanut butter sauce in a large bowl until well blended.
To roll the balls, use a plastic bag and add in a heaping spoonful of rice. Squeeze the rice inside the plastic until you have formed a tight ball, or you can simply roll by hand. To use cookie cutters, place several cups of cooked rice mixture on a large sheet of parchment paper. Add another sheet of parchment paper to the top and roll out rice into ½ thick circle. Cut with cookie cutters and decorate as desired. Serve warm, or refrigerate snacks for lunch box delights.
Julie is the former Finance & Administration Manager for the California Rice Commission, and a big proponent of trying new recipes- especially if they feature California rice.