Happy Tappy Yoka

I'm obsessed with making foods I love using new techniques and ingredients so I can continue to enjoy eating my favorite things and not feel deprived. This creativity and determination not to miss out on anything edible has certainly made my paleo transition fun, exciting and absolutely delicious.

I made my first loaf of paleo bread the other day and it was a big surprise. This bread received major thumbs up from both David and me. (I promise to blog this in the very near future, but needed to test it first because I was not convinced. Though now I am a believer.)

Considering what a lover of arroz con leche (rice pudding) and tapioca pudding we both are, I was elated to come across a paleo variation using small tapioca beads (made from cassava root, or yuca, so it's basically just tapioca starch) and coconut milk with a bit of honey.

Coconut tapioca pudding. Of course, we can do that. And then I thought, why didn't I come up with this brilliant idea months ago?

Fortunately, I am also hooked on coconut milk and use it for nearly everything these days. From ice cream to coconut bars to chia seed pudding and a very generous splash in my coffee, it is my go-to non-dairy milk of choice. Just be sure and use the Califia Farms brand. Hands down, it is the best.

Rich, creamy and absolutely good-for-you coconut tapioca pudding--or at least not that bad. My grandmother made the very best tapioca pudding and I have incorporated her secret trick to make this amazing paleo pudding even better.

The next time you're craving arroz con leche or tapioca pudding, give this version a try instead.

Buen provecho!
Coconut Tapioca Pudding
The Cowgirl Gourmet found this recipe on the Paleo Diet Lifestyle blog

Print recipe

If you love arroz con leche or tapioca pudding, this is going to be your new favorite and healthy pudding. With no grains and no dairy, this pudding tastes like it's made with cream. It's thick and rich and you won't miss what's missing. I like to beat the egg whites into a meringue and gently fold it in to the pudding once it's cooled. That was my grandmother's trick to a light and fluffy tapioca pudding. Dress up the pudding by adding a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes, raw cacao powder, chopped nuts, whipped cream, dried fruits, sliced bananas--whatever your heart desires.

Serves 6

1/2 cup small tapioca pearls, organic
2 1/2 cups almond milk (Califia Farms), choose the toasted coconut almond milk variety
1 can full-fat organic coconut milk (14 oz.)
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
A pinch of kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup raw, local honey
2 egg whites, at room temperature

Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Combine the 2 1/2 cups of toasted coconut almond milk and the vanilla bean (or vanilla paste) in the saucepan and slowly whisk in the tapioca so it does not clump. Add a pinch of kosher salt.
Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until the tapioca is translucent and tender, This will take about 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the remaining can of coconut milk.
The pudding may seem a little loose, but don't worry. It will thicken up with the egg yolks and will continue to thicken as it cools.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place in two bowls, setting the egg whites aside. Whisk the egg yolks and add the honey, stirring until smooth. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the hot coconut milk-tapioca concoction very slowly while whisking continuously so you don't make scrambled eggs...then pour the egg yolk and coconut mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the heat and let cool in the saucepan. Remove the vanilla bean, if using. As the pudding cools, it will thicken up, so just be patient. Once it's cool enough, put the pudding in a glass bowl and place it in the refrigerator where it will thicken even more.

Leave the egg whites on the counter at room temperature. Once the pudding is cool and slightly chilled in the fridge, you will want to beat the egg whites into a meringue. (Egg whites beat much better at room temperature.)
Then gently fold the meringue into the pudding. This is the trick to making the world's best tapioca pudding. You can refrigerate again to chill through or you can serve it as is.
Serve in bowls and enjoy. You can add toppings such as a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut and a drizzle of honey; stir in raw cacao to make chocolate tapioca pudding; top with berries and whipped cream. Add a few chopped nuts. Sliced bananas. Add whatever makes you happy. Grab a big spoon and dig in!
Refrigerate any remaining pudding.
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