Desserts Plate

Tapioca pudding-memory of Brazil

19 March 2016

I have an obvious reason for loving tapioca and generally speaking having a sentiment for it. Why? I discovered it first during my travels to Brazil. It is very popular there and throughout the Latin America and you will find many different dishes prepared on the base of Manioca (Manihot esculenta). Manioca is a starch made by leaching and drying the root of the cassava plant-when dried to a powdery (or pearly) extract, is called tapioca, which I truly love.

My version of tapioca pudding is not exactly how I remember it from Brazil.They have their version of pudding which they called cuscuz branco- very sweet and thick. But the first thing I ever eat from manioc, was something like light, white pancake served with coconut.I remember eating it in Salvador,a colonial city of north-eastern Brazil.Bought on the street, from a local seller, next to the ocean. Simple food,which still  remember the slavery time. Eaten with accompaniment of local music and dance. That’s the memory I have. If you ever visit Brazil, you can’t missed Salvador. One of the first harbor and  important place during Portuguese colonization. This city will tell you a lot about Brazilian history, colonization and unfortunately the slavery.I will comeback to my Brazilian experience in special posts about traveling-  so we do not miss the main topic of this post- tapioca pudding. But the food, different scents and smells, always remind me about travels and places I discovered.

This pudding is something what I call a comfort food-something what may bring a childhood memory, as it may remind you of some rice on milk and children puddings prepared by grandmas or mum. It will definitely gives you the comfort over weekend’s relaxation, be a perfect dessert with your  afternoon coffee or whenever you have some cravings for something delicious.

Tapioca pudding has definitely it’s own uniqueness. The pearly small tapioca, once cooked slowly, become completely translucent and this will be the sign that it is well cooked and ready. I simply love this texture.

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From the health point of view, although tapioca is not rich in macro-micro elements or vitamins,
and by definition it is a pure starch, it’s gluten free and can be easily eaten by anybody allergic to any type
cereals.Me myself, although I am not allergic to gluten, I try to avoid it whenever I can. Why? Nowadays wheat is modified till the level, that our body simply don’t recognize it any more. This is another topic I will write about.

This version is also my healthy version. Prepared on plant based milk, with no added sugar. Instead I cook tapioca with a few chopped dates. If you add them to the whole process of  cooking, it will give all necessary sweetness.

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Cooking process:
Very easy recipe. But similarly to risotto, rice on milk or polenta, it simply requires stirring and you need to watch it. As mentioned above, once well cooked, the small tapioca balls become translucent.

Don’t make very high temperature- bring tapioca pudding up slowly.Give it a time to cook and stir  almost constantly. Soak tapioca balls in water or before cooking. You can also soak it in the milk you will use. Already 1h will be enough.But you can also soak it overnight.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of tapioca balls
  • 2 cups of plant milk- around 500 ml (I used coconut milk; during cooking add more milk if needed. This will depend if you soaked  tapioca over night, etc. as it will influence the cooking time.If I see that tapioca is not yet translucent,I simply add more milk
  • 5 dates
  • natural vanilla- I use natural, dry vanilla powder- I added a pinch of it.
  • pinch of cardamom
  • pinch of salt- I use just small pinch of Himalayan salt.

Forest fruits chia jelly:

  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries and blueberries (you can also use a forest fruits mix)
  • 2 spoons of chia
  • 2 spoons of coconut sugar

 

Put tapioca into the pot, add milk,vanilla,cardamom,salt and chopped dates. Cook slowly until tapioca balls become completely transparent. Stir constantly. Once ready fill glass jars. In the meantime unfroze the forest fruits. Put them in the pot, add coconut sugar  and cook over the low heat for a few minutes (they will start juicing). Take it out from the fire and add 2 spoons of chia seeds- it will make it jelly. Add fruits over the pudding. Keep in the fridge for a while. Enjoy!

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