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pudding

Brown Sugar Vanilla Pudding

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Brown Sugar Vanilla Pudding

While my babes and I gobbled up some Sunday afternoon pudding, I started off on a mini-rant of curiosity about why more people don't make their own pudding from scratch. I understand the reasoning of convenience behind a lot of processed food items, but I'm sorry - instant pudding and pudding cups are not included. 

Pudding is SO EASY to make from scratch, friends! 

It takes less than 20 minutes, and involves little more than a bit of measuring and some stirring. You got this, believe me! 

Brown Sugar Vanilla Pudding 

adapted from Mark Bittman's Vanilla Pudding 

2 1/2 cups whole milk 

2/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar 

pinch salt 

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract 

3 Tbsp cornstarch 

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, but into cubes 

  • Combine 2 cups of the milk, sugar, salt, and scraped vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the milk starts to steam. 
  • While the pudding is heating, stir cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup milk until no clumps remain. 
  • Once the pudding is steaming, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. 
  • Continue cooking the pudding, stirring constantly, until it has thickened. About 10 minutes. 
  • Place pudding in a tightly sealing container, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If you don't like a skin on your pudding, place some plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent the skin from forming. 
  • Pudding will keep for about a week in the fridge, but it will seep a little liquid after a few days. Just stir it back together before serving! 

 

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Hazelnut Chia Pudding - two ways!

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Hazelnut Chia Pudding - two ways!

Today I'm excited to share a few of the magical secrets (sort of) of chia seeds! Of all the "superfood" "health craze" foods out there, chia seeds are by far the one I can get behind in the biggest way. They are SO much fun to create dishes with, and packed with omega 3's, which just about everyone could use more of. 

While I love to toss chia seeds into all sorts of dishes, their ability to make this crazy easy pudding is what truly classifies them as magic in my world. I'll include some more notes about how many things you can do with this basic recipe, but for the sake of simplicity today I'm sharing a straight up hazelnut chia pudding as well as one packed with some dark chocolate powder for a nutella-esque yet totally healthy treat. 

Chia seeds' magic comes in the way they interact with liquid when soaked. The outer shell absorbs some of the liquid to create a gel-like texture. So when you mix together enough chia seeds with any liquid, you end up with a pudding-like texture of delicious. All it requires is a minute or two of whisking, and a few hours in the fridge. MAGIC! 

I'll be honest, the first time I stumbled across a reference to chia pudding, I didn't waste much time at all whipping up my first batch... and I was immediately hooked. If chia seeds weren't so darn expensive, I'd probably still be eating chia pudding every morning of the week for breakfast. It's not only totally delicious, but it's so packed with nutrients that it's a great start to the day and keeps you full for hours! 

The best part? This pudding is incredibly flexible, and easy to experiment with. The constant you need to keep an eye on is your balance of chia seeds to liquid, but as long as you maintain that balance - the options are endless! Use any type of dairy/nut-milk you want, or coconut milk! Mix in some pureed fruit to make a fruity version, change up the sweetener or sweetness level, add whatever flavor you like! Or... pack that pudding full of chocolate for a totally healthy dessert : ) 

For the sake of these photos, I kept things simple... but this pudding can also be topped with anything you like. I love having it for breakfast with a little granola and fruit sprinkled on top! 

This chia pudding will be on the thick side, and can easily be made thinner by decreasing the amount of chia seeds added to the mixture! 

Hazelnut Chia Pudding

2 cups hazelnut milk 

2/3 cup chia seeds 

4 tsp vanilla 

1/4 cup maple syrup 

1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional, for chocolate version) 

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl or jar, and whisk together for about a minute until the chia seeds remain suspended in the liquid. 
  • Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, until a pudding texture has formed. 
  • Enjoy! 

Hazelnut Milk 

1 cup hazelnuts 

2 cups water 

  • Optionally soak hazelnuts over night or for a few hours in water. This allows for a better extraction of all that hazelnutty goodness, but the milk can be made just as easily without this step! 
  • In a blender, blend the nuts and water together (use the soaking water if you soaked the nuts!) on high power for about a minute. You want the nuts to be very broken down and the liquid to look super milky! 
  • Using a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or a fine mesh sieve, strain the milk into a container. Be sure to squeeze all the liquid you can out of the nuts! 
  • Store any extra nut milk in the fridge for later use! 

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