By: Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole Food Plant Based, Oil Free, Sugar Free, Soy free, Nut Free
This whole food plant based banana pudding combines coconut milk pudding, coconut whipped cream, and cookie crumbles to make a delicious southern-style dessert that will be a perfect addition to your summer bbq.
Sweet Summer Days
It has been hot here. Hot. With these temperatures over 100 degrees, it calls for a nice cold and delicious dessert to round out a summer barbeque. Luckily, we were able to escape the heat this last week with a quick trip to Monterey to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday. We got to visit the aquarium and check out the tide pools. We even saw a purple crab! My kids enjoyed themselves and I was excited to try some delicious vegan dishes from local restaurants, including an incredible curry from Julie’s Vegetarian restaurant and a portabello mushroom and eggplant sandwich from some other local restaurants (hold the cheese!). Now that we are back, it’s all about the dinners that we can cook without the oven and enjoy on our new patio table. Thank goodness our yard gets shade in the afternoon and early evening.
I love this vegan banana pudding and I know you will too! It comes together quickly and really satisfies that craving for a creamy, sweet summer dessert. To make this pudding without the egg, butter, and milk, you simply use coconut milk and arrowroot powder to thicken it. The coconut whipped cream comes together in a flash. If you are in a hurry, you could even use store bought coconut whipped cream and store (or bakery) bought plant based cookies. I prefer to make my own so that I can make them oil free, but you may be able to find some healthy plant based cookies at a specialty store.
Light Coconut Milk: I use light coconut milk for this recipe to make it a little lower in fat, but you could use full fat coconut milk for a richer dessert.
Sweetener: I use liquid stevia for no sugar, but you can definitely use maple syrup or coconut sugar for a refined sugar free version. Maple syrup will give it a slight maple flavor, which isn’t bad, but just be aware of that.
Arrowroot Powder: This is healthier than cornstarch, but does the same thing. (It thickens the milk into pudding).
Vanilla Extract: I love bourbon vanilla extract best, but use whatever kind you prefer. You could even add some vanilla bean for extra vanilla flavor.
Coconut Cream: This is used to make the coconut whipped cream. Make sure to only use the thick cream at the top of the can of coconut milk. If you include the liquidy part, it will not whip up.
Bananas: Be sure to use really nice, ripe bananas so that you get lots of sweetness. (Not overripe, though, or the result will not be very visually appealing.
Plant Based Cookies: I will share a recipe coming soon for plant based cookies, but feel free to make any recipe you like or buy some. Vanilla, sugar cookies, or oatmeal cookies will work best for this recipe.
How To Make This Plant Based Banana Pudding
To make this whole food plant based banana pudding, you will start by mixing the arrowroot powder and salt in a small bowl and combine it with the water, making sure there are no lumps. (Don’t skip this step! If you add the powder directly to the coconut milk you will end up with very lumpy pudding). Next, put the coconut milk and sweetener of choice in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then add the arrowroot powder mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for two minutes, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla. At this point, I recommend tasting it and making sure it is sweet enough for you. As written, this pudding is only lightly sweet. If necessary, add more sweetener to taste. Refrigerate the pudding for at least ten minutes.
While your pudding is cooling, add the plant based cookies to the food processor and pulse until you have 1-2 cups of cookie crumbs (depending on how much cookie you want in your vegan banana pudding).
Next, take the creamy parts from the tops of the cans of full fat coconut milk and add to a stand mixture. Add your sweetener of choice and blend with the whisk attachment until it reaches a whipped cream consistancy. Taste and add more sweetener if you prefer it sweeter.
Before assembling, slice your bananas into rounds.
Finally, assemble your plant based banana pudding by layering pudding, cookie crumbs, and banana slices. I like to make mine in individual glass jars, but you can also use a large bowl. Once assembled, refrigerate the pudding for at least two hours and serve cold from the refrigerator. Round out your summer meal with my Vanilla Bean and Rose Lemonade.
Plant Based Banana Pudding
- sauce pan
- stand mixer
- Food Processor
For the Coconut Vanilla Pudding
- 2 cups light coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or 1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Coconut Whipped Cream
- 2 cans heavy coconut milk (use only the thick cream on top)
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia or 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup or to taste
- 2 ripe bananas sliced
- 1-2 cups plant based cookies, crumbled
- Begin by making the coconut milk vanilla pudding. Mix the arrowroot powder with the salt and the water and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the coconut milk and your sweetener of choice over medium heat until it begins to boil. Add the arrowroot powder mixture.
- Stir contantly for two minutes, turning down the heat if necessary to keep the mixture from burning. When the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and add vanilla. Taste and add more sweetener if you prefer it to be sweeter.
- Refrigerate pudding for at least ten minutes.
- To make the coconut whipped cream, remove just the thick cream from the top of the cans of full fat coconut milk. Add the cream to a stand mixer, along with your sweetener of choice, and use the whisk attachment to beat on a high speed until you achieve a whipped cream texture. Taste and add sweetener if desired.
- Chop two ripe bananas into slices.
- Add your plant based cookies to a food processor and pulse several times until you have a cookie crumble.
- In four small jars or one large bowl, layer sliced bananas on the bottom. cover with a layer of coconut banana pudding, then a layer of coconut whipped cream. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients or room in your bowl or jars. 3 layers is ideal. If necessary, slice additional bananas or crumble additional cookies. Refrigerate and serve when completely cold.
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