This Gingerbread tapioca pudding topped up with walnuts and salted caramel sauce have all the flavours of Christmas without the sugar rush (or a guilt!). It’s the perfect recipe to make when you still want to have a pudding, but don’t want to have all the heaviness or sugar that goes with it. To make it extra festive you can also add a dash of eggnog or Irish cream on the top.
Why make this recipe
- Festive style pudding without the guilt!
- Low sugar recipe
- Suitable for low FODMAP diet (omit the salted caramel topping if you want even less sugar)
- Plant based and suitable for vegan diet
- Budget friendly
Ingredients & substitutions
I’ve used medium sized tapioca pearls, that I bought in our local Turkish shop. I’ve not seen tapioca pearls in normal supermarkets or shop, but I’ve seen them in specialist online shops, so you might need to do a bit of research to find your local source.
I’ve used coconut milk, but any milk will do (plant based or not). Depending on what milk you use, the flavour of your tapioca pudding might vary.
Water for soaking the tapioca pearls
I’ve used water to save on milk and to make the pudding lighter (and suitable for low FODMAP diet), but you are welcome to swap the water for milk. If you do that, make sure that you place your bowl in the fridge overnight as the milk might go sour if you leave it in the room temperature.
I initially wanted to make this recipe without any sugar or sweetener, but the tapioca pudding didn’t have much of a taste on it’s own. I felt like I need to add some sugar after all. It’s still only about 1 1/2 teaspoon per portion which is much less than most other recipes have. I’ve seen anything up to 1/3 cup of sugar for the same quantities of tapioca pudding. You can of course add even less sugar or swap it for honey, agave or maple syrup or any other sweetener of your choice.
Add a pinch to make the pudding flavours come together nicely. Only a tiny pinch is needed.
- Gingerbread spice, walnuts and salted caramel
- Gingerbread spice and chocolate sauce (or drizzled melted chocolate)
- Gingerbread spice & Eggnog (or Irish Cream)
- Cinnamon Spice & Puree Apple (or Apple pie Spice mix)
How to make the tapioca pudding
- Soak the tapioca pearls in water or milk overnight or at least for several hours. This cuts down the time you need to cook the tapioca pudding and by a significant time!
- If you don’t pre-soak your tapioca pearls, you are looking at 45 min boiling (cooking) time instead of 15 minutes when they are pre-soaked for 12-20 hrs. I’d say that’s worth the planning!
- Don’t add the sugar and vanilla essence until the tapioca pearls are soft. This makes it easier to cook the tapioca (and not to burn it) and you can adjust the flavour right at the end with extra spice, salt or sugar.
- The tapioca pearls are done (cooked) when they go from white to translucent colour.
- The whole mixture goes a little bit gelatinous at the end and sets like other milk puddings (with starch or gelatine in). I’m guessing that’s the starch in tapioca (since it’s all just carbs).
- Leave the tapioca pudding to set in the fridge for few hours and top with the choice of your toppings.
This recipe and me
For the last few years I’ve been trying to change the way I eat because of my IBS and for a while I thought I had it under control. No more flair ups, no pain (unless I accidently ate something I shouldn’t) and a lot more energy.
But last month I’ve decided to open my online chocolate shop again, which whilst a great business decision, it wasn’t too good for my health. I’ve been up working on orders until 3 am most days and ate pretty much anything I wanted. To keep up my energy I knew I needed to eat a lot of protein, but it’s a bit difficult to cook anything protein wise if you can’t have access to the hob, oven or a microwave and one can’t really live on peanut butter for six weeks, can one?
I’ve started to graze on sugary snacks and drink more coffee just to keep me going. The results? I’ve gained pounds not just in my bank account! And I felt totally exhausted too.
Anyway, I’ve decided that instead of baking the traditional Christmas sweets, cakes and puddings, I’m going to try to recreate some of the flavour in a bakes and puddings that will be much more kinder to my digestive system, than the traditional sweets.
So, that’s basically why I decided to make this tapioca pudding and make with very little sugar, but all the Christmas flavours.
P.S It’s about 7 days after I’ve posted and delivered the last chocolate order and stopped eating sugary sweets. I’m gaining my energy back and thankfully 5 pounds have disappeared already too. I think that’s goodbye to sugar for the foreseeable …
More pudding ideas
Gingerbread Tapioca Pudding with Walnuts and Salted Caramel
- 1/2 cup tapioca pearls medium
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon gingerbread spice 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (to taste) or use cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or essence
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 30 grams walnuts chopped roughtly (to use as a topping)
- 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce optional (to use as a topping)
Prepare the tapioca pearls
- In a large bowl measure out the water and tapioca pearls. Cover and leave to soak for 12 hrs or even 24 (mine were soaked for about 20 hrs).
Cook the pudding
- Place the water and the tapioca pearls in the medium size sauce pan.
- Add the coconut milk, salt and the gingerbread spice.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring gently (but continuously) until the tapioca pearls become translucent and soft. This takes about 15 minutes.
- Once the tapioca pearls are soft, add the sugar and vanilla essence. Stir in and taste to check if you need to add more gingerbread spice or any other ingredients.
- Separate between two glasses (or four if you are making smaller portions).
- Leave to cool down and then place in the fridge to chill overnight.
- Top your tapioca pudding with chopped walnuts and caramel sauce or leave as it is if you prefer less sugar.