Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vegan Tapioca Pudding

It’s funny how sometimes after going vegan you end up missing things you never liked all that much before.  As a non-vegan I thought tapioca was okay but nothing special. But having not tasted any for at least a decade, I came across a recipe and thought, hmmm. That sounds sort of good. And I was pretty pleased with the result.  Either tapioca is better than I remembered, or the homemade (and vegan) version is better than the little ready made cups I had as a kid. The fruit helps too.

The spices, flavorings and sweetness can be increased or varied if you like.  I wouldn’t leave out the coconut extract, though—it adds a lovely richness to the flavor.

Lightly Spiced Vegan Tapioca Pudding (with sugar-free option)

3 cups soymilk, vanilla or plain (or other nondairy milk)
4 Tbsp instant tapioca (just pearls without flavoring or sweetener)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ cup sugar or equivalent sweetener (more or less according to how sweet your soymilk is)
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp coconut extract

Fruit (soft tangy fruits such as berries, mango, apricot, peach, or pear)


Thickened and cooling
Whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the soy milk; set aside. Place rest of soymilk, tapioca, sweetener, and spices in saucepan, stir, and let sit for about five minutes at room temperature. Stir in cornstarch slurry. Cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan unceasingly until it comes to a full boil and stays there for 1 minute. It should be somewhat thickened at this point. Take pan off heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extract. Let cool for twenty minutes, at which point it should be quite thick.

A mix of mangoes and apricots

Meanwhile, prepare your fruit by washing, peeling and chopping as necessary.

Serve by dividing fruit among serving bowls, and spooning pudding over top. You could garnish with nuts or toasted coconut if you like.

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