Recipe Redux – June, 2014: Foods in Bloom
How nice to have summer upon us once again! The new season blooms with new life. With so many beautiful, fresh flowers everywhere, they inspire their usage in cuisine.
One of my favorite blooms to play with in the kitchen is lavender. The scent is wonderful, and it can add a great depth to many dishes, both sweet and savory. The trick : do not add to much of this fragrant floral, or your dish may turn out tasting soapy.
Instead of the usual whole milk, I substituted with almond milk in this pudding, which lightens up both the fat and calories for this dessert, plus the nuttiness makes for a lovely complement to the lavender. Fragrant vanilla enhances the flavor profile even more.
When shopping for almond milk, I suggest reading the ingredients label to make sure your product does not contains phosphorous additives. While phosphorous is a necessary nutrient, we do get plenty naturally in our foods and do not generally need supplementation. Too much phosphorous intake can be lead to bad news for our bone health, and can also spell out trouble for anyone with kidney issues.
To check for phosphorous additives, look for any ingredient with “phos” in the name (examples: calcium phosphate, orthophosphoric acid, trisodium diphospate). Fortunately, there are still companies that produce almond milk without phosphorous additives (although other types of alternative milks, including hemp and oat, can be harder to find without this troublesome ingredient added).
Serve pudding with an almond tuile cookie to add some crunch.
4 tablespoons Corn starch
2 1/4 cups Almond milk*
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan Pink salt)
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Lavender
Add the cornstarch to a medium saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the almond milk, and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and there are no clumps. Add the sugar, salt and lavender to pan and stir over medium high heat. Slowly pour in the remainder of the almond milk while stirring. Bring to a boil and gently boil for one minute while stirring constantly. Take pudding off heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into small ramekins and chill.
Makes 6-8 servings.
*Note: If preparing gluten-free, make sure your almond milk has no added gluten.