Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tapioca Pudding is a Comfort Food

TAPIOCA PUDDING is one of those desserts you either have a fond memory of – maybe your grandmother always made it for you – or you find disgusting. It is smooth, but then what’s the deal with all those little balls in it? And yet there is a lovely sweet blandness to it. It could well be one of your comfort foods. Tapioca comes from the manioc or cassava plant, native to South America, and a staple there and in Africa, where the pearls are called Boba. It is considered a very digestible form of carbohydrate.

I served a batch of tapioca pudding to some dinner guests, one of whom having since requested the recipe, and it was a light, pleasant end to the meal. Really, I pretty much just followed the recipe on the box of Let’s Do Organic small pearl tapioca. I used their options down at the bottom of the recipe, and I left one ingredient out (shredded coconut). It’s a pretty easy recipe, and if you serve it in little fluted pudding cups it will seem more special. Double this recipe if you want to serve small servings to more than four people.

2 cups – water
3 Tbl. -- Tapioca pearls, small pearl variety
2 Tbl. – sugar
Sprinkle of salt
2/3 cup – light coconut milk (reduced fat organic version)
A banana – sliced, with a little lemon on it to keep it from browning

In a heavy bottomed saucepan boil the water before adding the tapioca pearls. Use a fork or whisk when pouring them in, to help keep them from bunching together. Let the tapioca cook for about fifteen minutes until it is looking more translucent, the mixture now seeming a little thicker and cloudy-looking. Add in the coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir it together and let it cook an additional ten to fifteen minutes. During this time be sure to stir it, scraping the bottom of the pan, or the pearls will stick there like glue. Place a few slices of bananas in each cup and pour the pudding over them. Let the cups sit until they are just warm, and then refrigerate until cooled.

Alternately, you could refrigerate the tapioca pudding in one mixing bowl or the pan itself. Mix it all together before dolloping servings into small glasses or bowls. If you have some Soyatoo whipped cream, that would be fun to squirt on top.

Tapioca pudding can be made with some other kind of milk, like rice or soy, but the coconut gives it a little extra flavor. If you added some vanilla, that would help, too.

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