Boring old rice and beans are getting a makeover today! There is NOTHING boring about Creamy Banana Coconut Rice and Beans!
This dish takes a page from risotto's playbook, and cooks up in a dreamy creamy sauce highlighted with notes of sweetness and rum! I use rum extract to keep it non-alcoholic but still tasting great! A mashed banana lends its lusciously tropical vibe without being cloying.
While it can be a main dish all on its own, I highly recommend serving this alongside a mild baked white fish with mango salsa. A match made in heaven!
How to Make Banana Coconut Rice and Beans
To make this Banana Coconut Rice and Beans, start with brown rice. I like to use a long grain brown rice that cooks in about 20 minutes. If what you have needs longer, make sure to adjust the cooking time. You could also use instant brown rice and adjust the cooking time.
You'll combine the rice with water and unsweetened coconut beverage. That's the coconut "milk" you can get in the refrigerated dairy section. Don't use canned coconut milk for this. You want the creaminess without all the calories and saturated fats in canned coconut milk. If you can't find the coconut beverage, cashew milk would work well too.
Simmer these ingredients in a pot until much of the liquid is absorbed. Now you can add the mashed banana, rum extract and beans. Continue to simmer until the rice is tender, and the whole mixture has reached creamy dreamy cruising speed. It won't be as dry as plain rice. If it seems too dry you can add a bit more water or coconut beverage at the end.
What about all the sodium in the beans? I recommend cooking your own black beans from dry for the most nutrition and least sodium. I know that can be time consuming, and far less convenient than canned, though. If you decide to go the canned bean route, look for a no added salt variety. If you can't find that, make sure to drain and rinse the beans before tossing them in the rice. First of all, it will look way better in this particular dish without all the black bean residue. But more importantly, draining and rinsing will remove about 40% of the sodium. That's a lot, and can go a long way in helping you manage your blood pressure!
If you like Creamy Banana Coconut Rice and Beans, you might also like Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Tostadas, or Lentil & Rice Italian Pantry Casserole.
Creamy Banana Coconut Rice and Beans
- 1 ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Beverage
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Brown Rice
- 1 Banana, mashed
- 1 teaspoon Rum Extract (optional)
- 1 ½ cups Black Beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
- Combine coconut beverage, water, and rice in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed; about 20-25 minutes.
- Add mashed banana, rum extract (if using), and black beans, and continue to simmer until rice is tender, and mixture is creamy.
- Garnish with mint, if desired.