Dairy-Free Coconut Pudding


So it would appear that I have been away from Toothless Wahine for quite some time. After a busy fall and a cold winter I am finally back to doing some new experiments in cooking. We also have a new piece of hardware that has been added to our cooking equipment. This fall my husband and I joined the ranks of backyard BBQ enthusiasts when we bought our very own smoker. It has been a struggle to use the smoker when it’s been so cold and snowy but I will certainly have some smoker blogs coming up soon. For now, I want to start sharing my new obsession in life : coconut milk.

As I am allergic to milk substitutes like soy or almond and cashew milk I have always struggled a little bit with the remaining choices: oat, rice and coconut. Oat milk has a very mild flavor and is good in cereal, however, we have never loved it in mashed potatoes or other creamy dishes. My husband is not a huge milk fan but he is vocal about if things like mashed potatoes are creamy enough. On a side note Sprouts and Whole foods stores here have single serving (8oz) cartons of oat milk which is nice when I don’t want to open a whole quart container as I often don’t use the whole container before it goes bad. My go to milk until recently has been rice milk. Again, it has a very neutral flavor and does not tend to leave an after taste likes lots of other milk substitutes can. It can also be found in juice box sized boxes at several health food stores. Rice is incredibly allergy friendly so places that are looking for an extremely allergy friendly milk alternative seem to favor rice milk. FYI most of the Disney parks and the Disney cruise ships carry rice dream products, you just have to ask! So, while rice milk works well, it is very thin and not fatty, so it does not pass my husbands creaminess test.

I don’t know why I have stayed away from coconut milk for so long. I like the flavor of coconut in small amounts but I am certainly not going to drink a glass of coconut milk or eat a handful of coconut flakes. There has also been a concern in the back of my mind that coconut milk would make any savory dish have too much of a sweet coconut flavor. Boy was I wrong. Coconut milk seems to give a mild sweetness to savory dishes, but that’s about it. The fat content helps make things creamy (yes it passes my husbands’ mashed potato test). It also really does not taste like coconut. Most of the other folks I have used coconut milk with can’t even tell I used it. It certainly worked for our Thanksgiving meal this year. The kiddos present all gobbled mashed potatoes with no complaints! So prepare for some more blogs with coconut in them, and maybe even some remakes of some of my older blog recipes. For today I want to share a very simple coconut milk substitution that turned out to be super yummy!

Dairy free pudding dessert tarts
1 box coconut cream cook and serve pudding mix 2 cups coconut milk
2 graham crackers, crushed
1 handful of sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

I made the pudding by following the cooking directions on the box. Then I put the pudding in four ramikens to make four 1/2 cup servings. I then let the pudding chill in the fridge covered to keep it from hardening on top. After dinner I simply crushed the graham crackers and sprinkled them on top of the pudding. Then I sprinkled the toasted coconut on top. (To toast the coconut I just put it in a small skillet over a low flame and tossed it frequently until it smelled toasty and was lightly browned). So simple, so yummy, and so many ways to vary this idea in the future. I have since made the same pudding and spooned it into mini graham cracker dessert crusts and then topped it with the toasted coconut. I’m excited to try other flavors of pudding in the future!

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