BYÂ AINE CARLIN
Traditional puddings often get a bad rap. Unfairly so I think, because for me there’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of creamy rice pudding or a helping of fruit crumble doused in custard with a scoop of ice-cream on the side – am I the only one that must have both?
Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy all that fantastic old fashioned food. In fact, most of it is very easily veganized. Take this tapioca pudding for example – all it requires is a quick switch from cows milk to oat milk andÂ voila,Â you’ve got yourself a fully charged vegan friendly dessert that might as well contain dairy – to the naked eye at least. When cooked slowly the oat milk, sugar and tapioca pearls take on an almost condensed milk-like quality. I’m positive most people wouldn’t recognize the difference, which, when you’re trying to encourage a plant based diet, is crucial.
Familiarity is key when first embarking on a vegan lifestyle. You don’t wake up one morning craving a kale smoothie, so take it slow and ease yourself in. There are substitutes for everything imaginable on the market now but I believe making your own is the way to go, a there is a danger of relying too much on vegan convenience products. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy!
With all that said, it is so nice to treat myself once in a while to a full on pudding and recently I’ve been thinking a lot about tapioca.Â Done wrong, tapioca can be vile and if this has been your experience I think you might just be ready to have your mind swayed. In my opinion it’s time for a tapioca revival – vegan style! Are you with me?
Lovingly stirred, chilled and paired with poached rhubarb this really is a surprisingly modern and effective twist on a classic.
1/2 cup tapioca pearls
2 cups filtered water
3 cups oat milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp rose water
- Soak the tapioca pearls in the filtered for an hour or overnight if you prefer.
- Combine the oat milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan (quite important – I used my le creuset) and bring to the boil. Remember to stir frequently to avoid the bottom of the milk being scorched – once this happens it’s game over and you’ll have to start again.
- Drain the tapioca pearls and add to pan. Turn the heat right down and now begins the stirring. Simmer gently for at least 45minutes ensuring to stir constantly. Just like a risotto if you fail to stir it will severely impair the taste.
- After 45minutes it should have reduced considerably and the pudding should be thick but not stodgy – remember it will firm up in the fridge. There’s no need to add cornstarch (cornflour).
- Take off the heat, pour in the rose water and stir thoroughly to disperse throughout. Cover tightly and leave to stand for at least 15minutes. You could have a bowl immediately if you prefer it hot.
- Place the warm tapioca pudding into glasses or small bowl. Cover to avoid a film from forming and chill for several hours before eating.
Poached Rhubarb Recipe
1 large rhubarb stalk
3 cups water
11/2 cup sugar
- Wash and cut the rhubarb diagonally.
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add the rhubarb and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon.
- Bring the syrup to a running boil until is reduces right down. You want about a 1/2 cups worth of syrup give or take. Allow to cool completely before pouring over the rhubarb.
- Chill in a container for several days for maximum flavor. Can be used in a multitude of dishes, including as a topping for vegan ice-cream, yogurt, cereals, porridge and puddings.
Photos: Aine Carlin
Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over atÂ www.peasoupeats.com
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