Last year I won a copy of Amy Green‘s cookbook, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free in a giveaway that was hosted by Alta of Tasty Eats at Home. As I’ve shared and mentioned before here, I first met Amy when she was the hostess of the virtual recipe round-up Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! and later, as we got to know each other better, she invited me to guest post on her blog. Coincidentally enough, I’ll be sharing a recipe next Monday as part of the launch of a new website she and Maggie (She Let Them Eat Cake) have started called Balanced Platter.
This vanilla pudding, and its chocolate variation, is a simple and effortless recipe that you can easily pull together with few ingredients, most likely already in your fridge or pantry. As there are no eggs used, it’s also vegan. (Honey is used, whether or not it is vegan is a topic of debate, although you can use any sweetener of your choice and that you feel comfy with.)
Amy’s cookbook is a great resource for people who are not only gluten-free but also sugar-free, or for anybody who is thinking of cutting down on their refined sugars and gluten for a healthier lifestyle, or want to help a friend who has to avoid gluten and refined sugars (usually white sugar). Dairy is used in some recipes, although nondairy options are helpfully suggested.
Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding
Tweaked slightly from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free by Amy Green
Serves 4 to 6
In addition to using coconut milk beverage, I’ve also successfully used almond milk to make this pudding. To make this pudding vegan, simply substitute the honey with agave nectar or another vegan sweetener of your choice. Amy’s recipe originally used agave and stevia. I also upped the vanilla slightly, as the original amount didn’t seem enough to me.
While you may serve it the same day it was made, this pudding tastes even better the next day!
2 cups nondairy milk of your choice (I’ve used So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage and almond milk)
2 1/2 to 3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used an alcohol based one, although Amy suggests alcohol-free)
1 tbsp. honey, or more to taste
For chocolate variation:
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not chocolate drinking mix)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional; see instructions)
Heat 1 1/2 cups of the coconut milk in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat. (If making chocolate pudding, whisk in the cocoa powder to the heating milk.)
Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk with cornstarch separately in a small bowl, adding the milk to the cornstarch. (This makes it easier to mix.)
Add the honey to the milk and pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk the milk until thickened and comes to a boil, about 4 minutes.
Chocolate pudding takes an additional 3 minutes, 7 minutes in total. It’s finished when the tiny bubbles have subsided (from whisking in the cocoa powder into the milk) and it has a smooth, shiny appearance and starts to gently boil. Adjust sweetness, if necessary.
Remove the pudding from heat and add vanilla extract. (For chocolate pudding, I feel the vanilla is optional, though it usually helps round out chocolate in desserts. Completely up to you.)
Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The chocolate pudding will start to set almost immediately, so work quickly.) The pudding will continue to thicken as it chills.
When ready to serve, stir the pudding until smooth and portion into individual bowls.