Pure and Simple Vegan Tapioca Pudding

I've been messing around with this recipe for about 15 years, so I was bound to get it right one of these decades! The thing that I was missing for far too long was the importance of simplicity in this dish. Previously, I was cluttering it up with things like maple syrup, raisins, and cinnamon. All fine ingredients otherwise, but they simply muddied the pure, delicate flavor that you're looking for in a vanilla tapioca pudding.

That said, it's really important to use high quality ingredients, as there are so few ingredients in this dish. First of all, start with your tapioca. Personally, I prefer whole tapioca simply for the fun texture - but you can also use instant. (Instant is often easier to find as well)

So, what you'll want to do is place 1/4 cup of either whole tapioca (shown above) or instant in 3 cups nondairy milk. Now, this... THIS...is a crucial step, my friends! If you use sub-par milk, your pudding will not taste fabulous. Personally, I like to use homemade almond milk. If you're so inclined, you could also use coconut milk or another high quality nondairy milk - the fresher the better!

If you're using whole tapioca, let it sit in the milk for about 2 hours. If you're using instant, proceed with the next step.

Next, place the tapioca and milk mixture in a medium pot. Add your vanilla. You can either use one tablespoon vanilla extract or a luscious vanilla bean (or two if you're really a vanilla lover!). Obviously, using the whole vanilla bean will elevate this to another level. To use, simply score it down one side (lengthwise) with a sharp knife and then scrape out all the innards with the back of a spoon. Heaven.

Next, add 1/2 cup of organic sugar (basically, the healthier version of white sugar) and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Stir well with a whisk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for about ten minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool, then refrigerate. Before serving, stir again. Enjoy!

Serves 4
GF/SF/Blue (according to the health guidelines in my books)

Contest Winner Announced!

Hey friends! I just picked the winner of my latest contest. The winning entry will receive a free coaching session with me ($100 value!) via skype or phone to empower them with their ultimate wellness goals. (It's funner than I made it sound... I have zero creativity today, apparently)

And the winner is.... Selina!! Congrats, Selina! Can't wait to assist you in achieving YOUR highest level of wellness! : )

Thanks so much, all! These contests are SO fun and I appreciate all of your wonderful comments! Best wishes to each and every one of you for YOUR ultimate wellness.

A Sexy and Delicious Vegan Valentine's Day

photo of Rosemary Sea Salt Caramels (via Lagusta's Luscious)

Whether you're spending this Valentine's Day with your sweetie or by yourself (singles, represent!), you can't go wrong with a little self-indulgent deliciousness now and then, right? Especially when it's plant-based and high quality, it's all about the love. Here are ten of my favorite dishes that are sure to be a hit this Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

1. I'm not sure why (OK, I could make a few guesses), but asparagus is just plain sexy. Here are some ideas on how to use it. Oh, and these asparagus wraps are insane. You'll literally go crazy for them. LITERALLY.

2. Chocolate truffles made healthy, vegan, and insanely, addictively delish? Why yes! Your valentine will never, ever forsake you if you make them these. Or, purchase some of my latest addiction (pictured above) - "Rosemary Sea Salt Caramels" from the vegan artisan small business, Lagusta's Luscious. Pure freaking heaven.

3. Oh, and since we're on the subject of chocolate, these homemade chocolate peanut butter cups are a really fun project to do with your sweetie!

photo by Olga Vasiljeva

4. This delish, healthy, and light Ginger Lime Carrot Soup will knock your socks off. So, that's a start, right? ; ) Recipe from Radiance 4 Life and also here.

5. Watching a movie? This "Everything Nice" popcorn from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth is the perfect treat!

6. Doing the raw foods thang? This cold yummy guacamole wrap is a light, fresh meal that's sure to heat things up. Wink.

7. These gourmet mini-pizzas will win you love, admiration, and yummy noises.

8. Want to make a knockout non-chocolate dessert? Yes, I do realize there are a few of you out there. ; ) Caramelized Banana Bliss Bombs is the way to rock this party.

9. What better way to say "I love you" this Valentine's Day morning than these uber-healthy, delicious superfood pancakes?

10. Here's the ultimate chocolate cake for chocolate lovers, vegans, health foodies, or basically anyone you know with taste buds.