Vegan Tapioca Pudding

Here’s a simple recipe for a comfort food we all remember from childhood.  This recipe makes a lot, so if you don’t really love tapioca pudding you may want to cut it in half.  I do love this stuff, so if I’m going to spend the time then I want to make a BIG batch!

First of all, soak 1 cup of large pearl tapioca overnight (or at least 8 hours).  This step is crucial.  (If you’ve tried making tapioca pudding before and couldn’t figure out why your pearls never cooked all the way through, this is the reason why). The next day drain pearls in a colander.

In a large heavy pot mix:

2 qt. vegan milk (I used a mixture of almond, soy, and canned coconut)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

3/4 c. raw sugar

Heat this mixture until it just comes to a boil. Add drained tapioca to pot; cook and stir constantly over med./low heat at least 30 minutes or until tapioca is clear and mixture thickens somewhat. (It will get thicker as it cools).

Remove pot from heat and add:

2 tsp. vanilla extract

pure stevia powder (if desired) — just a sprinkle to taste

  Stir well.  Chill and serve.

Note: If pudding seems too thick after chilling, simply add a little vanilla almond or soy milk, OR if you’re lucky enough to have “So Delicious Coconut Nog” or “Silk Nog” on hand you may use that to thin the pudding.

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RECIPES: AVOCADO PUDDINGS

   Here are two very simple raw puddings that are rich and creamy without any milk or butterfat. Don’t let the word “avocado” scare you — no one will guess your secret ingredient in these yummy desserts.

   I use medium size Haas avocados. They are best when they are very dark green, almost black, but still kind of firm. If the skin feels too squishy it is too old. If the skin is still hard and green it isn’t ripe enough yet.

NO CHOCOLATE PUDDING

2 medium, ripe avocados (peeled and pitted)

1/2 cup carob powder (or to taste)

3/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste)

1/2 Tsp. vanilla

  Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth and creamy. Chill, serve.

KEY LIME PUDDING

1 medium, ripe avocado (peeled and pitted)

1 ripe banana (peeled and sliced)

juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 – 1/3 cup honey (to taste)

   Blend all ingredients in a food processor until creamy. Chill, serve.

Recipe: Baked Rice Pudding (vegan)

   This time of year, when the weather traps us inside, I always like to fill the kitchen with the wonderful smells I remember from childhood. Something sweet and creamy, like this vegan rice pudding, is the perfect comfort food for dessert or even breakfast on a cold day. There are only a few ingredients, and it goes together quickly. It does take a long time to bake, but the way the house smells as it bakes makes it worth the time. Everyone who comes in will say, “Yum, what smells so good?”

BAKED RICE PUDDING (vegan)

1/2 cup white or brown rice (brown rice takes a little longer to cook)

4 c. soy milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/4 c. honey

   Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then transfer to a lightly sprayed, ovenproof, 1 1/2 qt. casserole.

   Bake uncovered for 2 – 3 hours, stirring every half hour, until done. Remove from oven just before rice is completely done because it will continue to cook a little as the rice cools. If you cook until you think it’s completely done the rice may get mushy as it cools, and I think rice pudding is best when each grain of rice is separate and distinct — not one congealed mass.

   Serve warm or cold — it’s delicious either way!

Baked Rice Pudding (vegan)