Monday, November 11, 2013

Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding with Vanilla Bean Whipped Coconut Cream + Why I LOVE Carob

Last year after I posted my Bottomless Key Lime Pie recipe one of my lovely readers left a comment in the post introducing me to Great Lakes Gelatin.  I was so thankful for this reference, as I was using Knox gelatin up until that point and appreciated this new ingredient.  I’ve since been using Great Lakes to make weekly homemade Jello and to thicken smoothies and puddings (and most all my SCD desserts that need thickening).  Today I am sharing a carob pudding recipe that is the perfect anytime treat for my kiddos (and yes for my sweet tooth husbandwho LOVES this pudding BTW).  It’s smooth and creamy and has a lovely malty flavor from the carob.  We are big carob lovers in this house for many reasons (no caffeine & no theobromine) but for me I love that carob has so many health benefits (please see below for that information).  Pudding is such a great treat anytime of the year and so easy to fill with nutrient dense, whole foods!  
Health Benefits of Carob:
(Information below generated from this site)
Once referred to as locust, carob pods are found mainly in Mediterranean countries. Evergreen carob trees generally can grow wherever citrus or olive trees do, meaning a warm, dry climate. The pod’s fruit is technically a legume. 
 

Antioxidant

Carob is high in antioxidants. A study published in the “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” journal in March 2011 found that carob germ flour showed not only antioxidant but also cytotoxic activities. The flour has capabilities to attack and target specific cervical cancer cells, the study found. The antioxidant activity helps the body repair free radical damage, which is a process of aging.

Fiber

Plants are naturally high in insoluble fibers, which contain polyphenols. Another study published in “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” in January 2010 compared two groups of people with high cholesterol. One group took a placebo, while the other consumed approximately 4 grams of carob fiber a few times a day. After four weeks, the group eating the carob fiber had lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Gastrointestinal Support

Carob has a binding action within the intestinal tract. This means it helps absorb liquid and aids problems such as diarrhea. Mixing carob powder with pureed cooked fruit or an electrolyte solution is a gentle and natural way to help with diarrhea, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Talk to your health care provider before using carob or other herbs to treat diarrhea.
Please see HERE for Carob’s complete nutritional breakdown.  And HERE for another post discussing carob’s benefits.  Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding

Ingredients

Carob Banana Pudding:
-1 can room temperature coconut milk here or here 
-1 1/2 cups very ripe banana
-3 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-2 teaspoons grass fed gelatin (see notes for vegan sub)
-1/4 cup carob powder

How To
1.  In a 1 cup glass Pyrex add 1/3 cup coconut milk and 2 teaspoons gelatin.  Whisk together well and let “bloom”
2.  In a sauce pan heat the remaining coconut milk until heated, not boiled (do not boil the milk).  
3.  Remove sauce pan from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.
4.  Add all the coconut milk to a blender along with the other pudding ingredients and blend on high for 15 seconds.  
5.  Pour pudding mixture into a bowl or several little jars or glasses.
6.  Transfer to refrigerator and allow to set up for at least 8 hours.  
7.  Top with maple coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean coconut whipped cream (recipe below).  

Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream:
-1/2 cup soaked cashews (4 to 6 hours)* 

-Coconut cream from 1 can of coconut milk here or here 
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped out 
-2 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup 

How To
1.  Drain the cashews and add to a blender (preferably high speed). Add in the coconut cream, vanilla, vanilla bean, and honey.
2. Using the tamper, move the mixture around and blend until everything is well incorporated, smooth and creamy.  
3.  Transfer to a glass container and store in fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
4.  Remove from fridge and mix.  Fill a pastry bag and top pudding. 

Notes:
*Omit cashews for AIP – just use the coconut cream 
*Vegans add 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds in place of the gelatin.  If you are a die hard chocolate lover and looking for a vegan chocolate recipe, please see my Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding. Or for a different flavor combination, try my Vegan Raw Persimmon Cranberry Pudding

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Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, dessert, Paleo, pudding, snacks.

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