When I was a little girl my Mother made the most wonderful puddings, custards, and flans, from scratch, and my absolute favorite treat was Tapioca Pudding, oh, tiny bubbles of joy! For those of us on a gluten or grain free diet, tapioca starch (also referred to as Tapioca Flour or Manioc) is a staple in our pantry. We use this light white powder to make breads, thicken sauces or replace corn starch in recipes. We often forget or simply pass by the spherical form of tapioca in our grocery store, typically found in the baking needs aisle. Last week while the D-Man and I were at the grocery store he pointed to a box of Tapioca on the shelf. Seeing that box of tiny white spherical pearls brought back warm memories of my Mother methodically stirring a heavy bottomed pot filled with this ecru mixture in our kitchen. I explained to the D-Man what these little pearls were used for, and he had the box in the shopping cart in an instant.
While Tapioca may not be nutrient dense, it does contain Folates, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium. I decided to see if I could replicate my Mother’s recipe, with a healthy twist, free from casein and refined sugars. One note, Tapioca does need to be soaked. I followed the old fashioned method of soaking the Tapioca Pearls in Water overnight, however, if you are in a hurry you can soak the tapioca in 2 cups of milk and refrigerate for at least one hour.
½ Cup of Tapioca (soaked)
3 Cups of Coconut Milk (Raw Milk, Almond Milk, or Half & Half also work beautifully)
½ Cup of Coconut Sugar (Mom’s recipe used 1 Cup of Table Sugar)
¼ teaspoon of Sea Salt
2 Pastured Eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
After soaking the tapioca:
In a 2 quart heavy bottom saucepan beat the eggs.
Drain the water (or Milk) from the tapioca.
Add fresh milk, salt, and coconut sugar to the saucepan containing the beaten eggs.
Mix well and cook over a medium low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until it begins to thicken. Stir the tapioca constantly to prevent it from scorching (I use a whisk for this task).
Remove from heat and add Vanilla Extract, stirring to combine.
Tapioca can be enjoyed warm or chilled, served plain, with a dollop of whipped cream or layered like a parfait with macerated fresh organic fruit.