Tapioca may be one dessert that doesn’t always appeal to your kids. After all, little ones tend to shy away from anything slimy — well, most of the time; there is the occasional slug-lover — and these little balls have quite the interesting texture. But June 28th is National Tapioca Day, so why not try out this new recipe and maybe open their eyes to a unique treat! And, because apparently we’re on the theme of parfaits, we decided to steer clear of the traditional tapioca pudding and try something, well, a little different. These strawberry-blueberry tapioca parfaits are incredibly delicious and take tapioca to a whole new level. [photo via fatfreevegan]
Vital Helping Tip: Stirring often while simmering over low heat is key to keeping the almond milk from scorching.
- 3 cups almond milk, divided
- 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (or 1 tsp. arrowroot)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (agave nectar can be used, but it will make the tapioca slightly darker)*
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 pound strawberries, washed and stemmed
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and drained
- Have ready: A deep metal bowl and a larger bowl, filled halfway with ice and water that the metal bowl fits into with space around the sides.
- Place 2 1/2 cups of almond milk and the tapioca into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir well every few minutes, scraping the bottom and sides to prevent sticking. Cook until the tapioca pearls are mostly translucent, 15-20 minutes.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of the reserved almond milk with the cornstarch and set aside. Add the remaining almond milk to the pan along with the sugar and vanilla bean. Increase heat and return mixture to a slow boil. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and pour pudding into a deep metal bowl. Remove the vanilla bean, scraping it down with a spoon to draw out some of its seeds, and place the bowl in the prepared ice bath. Stir it every few minutes until it cools, about 10 minutes.
- While the pudding is cooling, cut the strawberries in quarters. Put them in a food processor along with the agave nectar and pulse until coarsely pureed. Divide the puree among 6 small glasses (8-oz. juice glasses or wine glasses work best).
- Once the tapioca is cool, divide it equally among the 6 glasses, spooning it gently atop the strawberry layer. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until well chilled. Add a layer of blueberries to each parfait and serve.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
In the food world, tapioca is pretty versatile. You can drink it in a sweet bubble tea, or you can use the tiny tapioca pearls baked inside of a cake. But again, we’re in a parfait mood, so that’s the recipe you’re getting from us today. You’ll enjoy it — we promise!