Friday, August 27, 2010

Creamy Almond Pudding (paleo, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, sugar free)

i have been on a bit of a "blogging maternity leave" for the past few months, enjoying the pleasures of being a new parent.  my hands have been quite full allowing much less time in the kitchen, however i have been plotting various recipes and watching tons of cooking shows getting inspiration :)

so right after i had the baby, my husband and i were watching iron chef and saw one of the chefs making an almond pudding.  of course it was based in heavy cream and had no recipe, so he started researching and came up with this recipe.  he made it twice for me while i was recuperating, as he found it is supposed to help with lactation and female reproductive health- especially your "ojas"- sanskrit for vigor- increasing energy, etc...

anyways, the original recipe was pretty watery and used turbinado sugar which was good- it's not overly sweet, but i wanted to try it out with dates and change a few things, and i like a thicker pudding.  of course i would say you can always make it thinner as well with more coconut milk or use the original recipe i linked to, this is just my variation :)

so if your ojas needs revitalizing or if you just enjoy a tasty creamy almond pudding, this recipe is for you!

Creamy Almond Pudding
(gluten/grain free, paleo, casein free, soy free, refined sugar free)

1 cup almonds soaked in 1.5 cups of boiling water
5 dates soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
1 can coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
¼ tsp ground saffron threads dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1-3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (depending on taste)
2 Tbsp toasted slivered almonds for garnishing

Soak your almonds in a bowl with the boiling water for at least 2 hours. Soak your dates in your blender or food processor with boiling water until soft.  Blend until smooth once soft.  Add the almonds and half of the water it soaked in to the dates and blend until smooth.  Slowly add the can of coconut milk and process again until smooth. 

Pour the contents of the blender/food processor into a pot and bring to boil. Melt your arrowroot starch in a little cold water and add to the almond mixture while stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and add the saffron, cardamom and palm sugar. Simmer on low, stirring, until the pudding is reduced and thickened (I think I reduced mine for about half an hour. If you would like it thinner, just add some more of the almond soaking water. Serve warm, at room temperature, or even cold, garnished with toasted almonds.  I even enjoyed this as a cold topping for some apple teff pancakes I made!

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