Vegan Vanilla Tapioca Pudding
Smooth, luscious, vanilla speckled tapioca is my favorite pudding. The texture of the slippery tapioca pearls always fascinated me as a child... it looked like frog's eggs!
The Cassava Plant
Tapioca is harvested from the cassava plant and contains properties that some research scientists believe helps prevent and cure cancer. Wouldn't it be wonderful to eat something that not only tastes good, but is good for you! I made this for my mother during her struggle with cancer... but it didn't cure her. Regardless, she loved it and was one of the things that tasted good during her last months.
The cassava plant has a root system that provides what the tapioca is made from.
Gourmet Vanilla Tapicoa Pudding with Flecks of Vanilla Bean Caviar
- 3 cups Vanilla Silk Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk or Lite Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca
- 1 cup water
- 1/8 t salt
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 presoaked vanilla bean, caviar-seeds squeezed out
- 2/3 cup granulated organic sugar
- Gourmet Option: experiment using Pure Coconut Extract or Pure Almond Extract instead of Vanilla
- Gourmet Option: make a batch of Whipped Coconut Cream for the BEST Tapioca Topping
Coconut Extract HINT: For a flavor alternative, try using a lite coconut milk, instead of soy, almond or rice milk and see if you like the coconut taste better... a tablespoon of Flavorganics Organic Coconut Extract creates an intoxicating aroma and taste enhancer.
BUY Flavorganics Organic Coconut Extract, 2-Ounce (Pack of 3)
Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca
The Tapioca Pearls
Let's talk about where to buy tapioca... I like the taste of Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca the BEST. The flavor is always great. But you can find tapioca in Asian markets in various sizes. Try making these other types to experience the differences.
The tapioca pearls need to be soaked in WATER before cooking, no matter what brand or size that you choose.
Trader Joe's has a canned lite coconut milk without any preservatives or additives. If you buy coconut milk, make sure it only has coconut milk and NO added chemical ingredients that are bad for your health.
Soak the Tapioca the Night Before Cooking
In the evening, after cleaning up from the evening meal, I measure out the tapioca pearls and put them in a bowl with the water. This hydration of the tapioca pearls must be done before you begin cooking, otherwise the pearls take forever to turn translucent... the tapioca is not thoroughly cooked if the pearls are white. If you forget to do this soaking the night before, you could soak them for an hour and then proceed cooking them.
Tapioca Pearls Hydrated In Water Overnight to Soften BEFORE Cooking
Cooking The Tapioca Pearls
Place the water saturated tapioca pearls into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Add the vanilla soy milk, sea salt and organic sugar.
Over low heat, stir frequently for 15 minutes, or until tapioca is completely translucent.
If any white is showing in the tapioca balls, keep cooking till the centers are translucent.
Once the tapioca is fully cooked and NO WHITE shows in the tapioca balls, remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and the caviar from one presoaked vanilla bean... stirr in completely.
Serving The Tapioca
Pour into individual custard cups or into a large bowl. If you have children who take lunches to school, pour single servings into small plastic containers... do not cover the dishes until the tapioca has cooled completely.
Cover and refrigerate.
Be CREATIVE... Custard Cups, Ramekins or Small Tea Cups for Individual Servings
Tapioca may be eaten hot or cold...
Fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are a favorite accompaniment with this dessert. Here, I ran a knife along the edge of the tapioca cup and inverted it onto a serving plate. Then I sliced a Freestone Peach into slices and circled the tapioca mound. With the Soyatoo Whipped Topping in hand, I shook it as needed and then sprayed the sweet fluffy cream along the edge of the tapioca mound! It was sooooooo goood!
SoyaToo, Whipped Topping
For those who loved whipped cream, I just tried a new whipped soy topping, SoyaToo, on top of my tapioca! It tasted good and made a great presentation. It deflates soon, so put the SoyaToo on just before serving. It's in the refrigeration case at Whole Foods... ask your health food store to carry it if they don't have it in stock. Soyatoo comes in an aseptic box like tofu and soy milk and you can whip it yourself... read and see how well it whips for those desserts that call for whipping cream. Now vegans can create any dessert that calls for whipped cream with Soyatoo as the healthy alternative!
Whipped Full Fat Coconut Milk Topping
Rather than using SoyaToo Whipped Topping, create my Whipped Coconut Cream Recipe. Then scoop the deliciousness into a pastry bag fitted with a large noozle of choice and pipe onto the top of your tapioca servings. Soooooo goooooooooood!