Vegan Strawberry Tapioca Pudding

With converting traditional tapioca pudding recipes that use whole milk and eggs to vegan recipes, there are generally two ways to procede. Use a nut milk and cornstarch (less fat and expense) or use a combination of nut milk and coconut milk (more fat, more expensive, slightly more rich in texture). I'm all about indulging for less $$, so I made the cornstarch version. I also reduced the sweetener just a bit because the sauce will add sweetness. If you are serving this without sauce, you may opt to add 1-2 more Tbsps of maple syrup. As a general rule, I do not like super sweet desserts, and now that I know how sugar affects our health, the aversion is both physical and cognitive. Plus, it means I can eat this for breakfast, guilt-free! If you prefer your desserts sweet, you may need to add more sweetener... but please try this version first!

UPDATE: To make this pudding even creamier (but still healthy) and more reflective of whole milk and egg versions I've added 1 Tbsp of coconut oil. It is now PERFECT!

For six servings, you will need: PRINT HERE

3 cups almond or cashew milk (or a combination), divided (see below)

1/3 cup small pearl tapioca

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp of the milk

1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)

The Process:

1. To make the pudding, combine the tapioca pearls and half of the nut milk in a medium saucepan. Allow to sit for a couple of hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Reserve 1 Tbsp of the remainder of the nut milk and set aside.

2. Add the rest of the nut milk to the saucepan with the tapioca. Add the maple syrup.

3. Heat this mixture over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking.

4. Dissolve the tsp of cornstarch in the reserved Tbsp of nut milk. Once the tapioca mixture has come to a boil, add the dissolved cornstarch and salt and stir constantly until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut oil. Allow to cool slightly, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

When it's strawberry season, berries don't last long in our house. We didn't even make it home from the farmer's market with enough for me to make my fresh strawberry sauce, so I used a low-sugar strawberry jam here instead.

Options: try this with my Wild Blueberry Sauce and fresh blueberries on top! You can also replace the vanilla extract with almond extract and serve the pudding sprinkled with toasted sliced almonds.

If you're pressed for time, you can use an instant boxed pudding mix and substitute your favorite nut milk for the dairy milk in the directions. You may notice a slight separation as the mixture comes to a boil, but as it cools and thickens it becomes creamy and is unnoticeable. I like to control the amount of sugar and prefer the recipe above.

Any way you try it, you end up with a delicious, healthy and quick dessert that looks like you spent all afternoon making!

Nutrition information for 1/2 cup of tapioca pudding (with 1 Tbsp coconut oil):

Strawberries provide a low glycemic load, are a good source of Folate and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese. Read more here.

When you make this, let me know how it turned out. Be sure to take a photo and tag me #chefcatherinebrown. I love seeing what you make!

DISCLOSURES: None. This post was not created in affiliation with any product or brand. The opinions expressed are my own. I will only write about products that I trust and use.

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