This traditional Indian pudding is an old favourite of mine that I make vegan. Indian pudding is not the most beautiful of desserts but it is for sure tasty. Some people like to call it Native Indian but it seems like Indian pudding is the name for it still all over the internet.
It is celebrated in November as a New England Thanksgiving dessert. November 13 is National Indian Pudding Day.
“Indian pudding might not be pretty, but few New England desserts can rival its claim to fame as the most comprehensive of our regional sweet dishes. It evolved out of an initial British culinary tradition, which was then enhanced by Native American influenced necessity, and finally, flavored with the fruits of New England commerce.” ~ New England Today
It is interesting to note that New England settlers didn’t get this recipe from native Americans. What ‘Indian’ refers to is the ‘Indian meal’ which what they called cornmeal. It was used, as there was no wheat flour.
“Corn saved us, this is where America’s love affair with corn began.” says culinary historian Michael Twitty, who was a 2017 Revolutionary in Residence at Colonial Williamsburg.
When the Indian pudding was first made there were no eggs or sugar in it because they were not available. Often even milk was not used. Of course, I am happy not to use eggs, sugar or milk so my recipe is close to traditional except that I use coconut or almond or oat milk which I am sure they didn’t have.
Being in a slow oven for hours on cold-weather was a wonderful thing as I know living in northern Canada. When this recipe was first developed they did not have furnaces!
“The longer it cooks, the more liquid the gritty cornmeal absorbs, and the more it absorbs, the smoother the texture of your pudding.” says Kathleen Wall, Plimoth Plantation’s expert on colonial cooking.
It was put into American cookbooks in the late 1700s and was made with water, not milk.
In this recipe I use gluten-free, vegan ingredients that are filled with health benefits:
Cornmeal is the main ingredient in this pudding. It is a delicious gluten-free grain that has been around for centuries. There are so many recipes from grits and polenta to porridge and tortillas. A common superfood breakfast in Louisiana always includes a dish of grits. When I was down there I have to say I enjoyed my grits for lunch. It is made from ground dried corn; when it’s finely ground it is corn flour. The coarser ground corn is cornmeal; it has a little of the husk and germ of the corn kernel.
Blackstrap molasses is the second most used ingredient in this recipe. Thick, dark, syrupy, sweet blackstrap molasses is more than something to make candy or cookies with; it has many benefits, from helping prevent cancer from getting rid of grey hair. It contains the highest amount of antioxidants as compared to other sugars (refined sugar, agave nectar, corn syrup, raw cane sugar, and other sweeteners.
Maple Syrup Yummy maple syrup is a thick gooey syrup poured lavishly on pancakes. Even though it is a superfood, it is sugar and that means it is not good to eat too much of it. There are many Reasons to Avoid Sugar. When researching this tasty sweetener, I was happily surprised that it has some interesting health benefits. This means we can include small amounts in our food.
Ginger is a wonderful herb superfood full of health benefits. Spicy aromatic ginger adds a unique flavour to meals and beverages. The many wonderful health benefits of ginger also cause the cells of my body to glow with gratitude. Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have used ginger to help cure and prevent health problems for thousands of years. In the west, we are just learning how valuable it is.
Coconut oil is a favourite oil for me to cook with. Coconut oil once thought as a heart disease-causing saturated fat is now been proclaimed ‘the healthiest oil on earth.’ Discover how this transformation came about and the top 12 benefits of this newly declared Amazing SuperFood.
Cinnamon usually conjures images of delicious pastries or a hot drink but cinnamon is also full of health benefits. These benefits are backed by valid scientific research. It is helpful from lowering “bad” HDL cholesterol levels to lowering blood sugar levels. This is for sure a valuable superfood to be included in our diet.
Himalayan Salt is actually healthy for you.
So you can see that this Indian pudding recipe is filled with very healthy ingredients. Now time to make it.
- 3 cups coconut milk or whatever milk you would like
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ginger ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, put in the milk, molasses, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cornmeal
- Stir frequently.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil; remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
- Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish, and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until pudding is firm but still wiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken.
- Let it cool for 30 to 60 minutes; serve the pudding warm or at room temperature, with vegan coconut cream (which is what I put as you see in the photo), if desired. I often use coconut yogurt or if I am being really fancy I get some vegan ice cream.
Now that you have enjoyed making the Indian pudding time to check out some more delicious and healthy recipes.
Here Are a Few Delicious Cornmeal Recipes
Enjoy Tasty Gluten-Free Vegan Cornmeal Pancakes -These gluten-free vegan cornmeal pancakes are still delicious without the milk or eggs. The good news is that if you are honoring Lent you can still eat them. Whenever I make these pancakes no one seems to notice the lack of those two ingredients even those who are not following a dairy-free diet or not needing to be gluten-free or vegan.
Cornmeal Muffins are Delicious and Gluten-Free –Cornmeal muffins are yummy and full of healthy ingredients and also gluten and egg-free. You will be amazed at how sweet they are since there is no added sugar! This recipe uses a chickpea flour, one of the many egg substitutes you could choose from. I started making these muffins many many years ago and still look forward to a batch of them.
Tasty Cornmeal Porridge – Cornmeal porridge is my favourite porridge. Some call it grits, others polenta or mush or I call it cornmeal porridge. Here is the basic version which can be dressed up however you please.
Dandelion Flower Cornmeal Pancakes –This recipe really is my version of pancakes as you will notice that it has no milk or eggs in it. I developed it when I was unable to eat eggs or milk at all due to food sensitivities. Interestingly whenever I make these pancakes no one seems to notice the lack of these two ingredients. This is perhaps one of the only recipes that have wheat flour in it at this moment. I heard that this type of wheat is healthy for those of us who are not able to eat gluten. It didn’t seem to cause any problems in me. I apologize if this doesn’t work with you. I am working on a wheatless version. Here is a link to a gluten-free pancake recipe
Here are Some Favourite Molasses Recipes
Delicious Turkish Tahini and Molasses Dessert – This tahini and molasses dessert is from Turkey which they call ‘Tahin Pekmez’. It is so easy and fast to make as it requires no cooking or no baking. All you do is mix it up and that only takes a few minutes and voila it is done! It can be eaten with a spoon, but it is a very very sweet dessert. Traditionally it is eaten with fresh crunchy bread dipped in or mixed in it.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cake Recipe – This gingerbread cake is gluten-free, vegan and simply delicious! The heat of the ginger balances off the sweeter elements so it doesn’t feel heavy. Being a big fan of ginger, I put lots in this cake but you can see from the ingredient list that you can put in less.
Yummy Molasses/Tahini Cookies Are Good for You– These molasses/tahini cookies are Middle Eastern-inspired, delicious, and easy to make! They are a very healthy cookie full of nutrients from the molasses and tahini. Also, they are vegan, and gluten-free too! And they are yummy.
- Learn to Bake Healthy Sweets
- Gluten-Free Healthy Baking that is Soy-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-Free, & Wheat-free
- Sinfully Delicious and Healthy Too!
- Wouldn’t it be great to eat cookies and tarts as you did as a child, innocently enjoying the sweetness and textures without worrying about the downside?