Because I hate to waste food, one trick that I have learned to adapt is that when I have bananas that have ripened too far for me to want to eat, I throw them in the freezer to use for later (in cupcakes, banana bread, or things like this pudding). Throwing away good usable food makes me want to cry, one because of the dollars wasted that I see going in the trash, and two because it’s not very socially responsible to throw away what could have been perfectly good food. If I can freeze bananas and save them for later, then great! I’ve just found a quick and easy way around this problem
I’d never added bananas into pudding before, and this turned out to be the perfect use! You’ll notice that there really isn’t that much sugar in this recipe. In fact, looking back, I think I could have made it without the sugar at all. The bananas add so much sweetness and richness to the flavor that they really didn’t need any help. If you like bananas, and if you like pudding, this is the perfect dessert hot or cold – though after a couple taste tests – ok so I totally ate banana pudding for dinner tonight, I guess that’s more than a mere taste test haha – I think I prefer it chilled for sure.
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tbs. brown sugar
3 tbs. tapioca
1/4 tsp salt (just a small pinch)
1 egg, beaten well
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1.5 cups of very ripe bananas
1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 tsp vanilla for making whipped cream
1. Peel bananas, (thaw them 1st if you used frozen ones like me) and puree in a food processor until smooth. If you still have lumps, strain the banana mixture through a sieve to get a perfectly smooth consistency.
2. Add milk, brown sugar, tapioca, salt, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a medium pot and let stand 5 min (this is the suggestion on the back of the tapioca box – not really sure why you do this, but I’ve never done anything differently – it might have to do with helping the tapioca absorb the milk)
3. Turn heat on medium (or just past), and stir nearly constantly with a whisk until the mixture starts to steam.
4. Add in the banana puree. Keep stirring with the whisk, and bring the pudding to a full boil.
5. Take off the heat, stir for a couple more minutes, and then let cool for a few minutes before serving. Alternatively, you can chill the pudding in the fridge and eat the pudding cold. Just make sure to cover it. This pudding is definitely yummy both ways.
I then garnished with some homemade vanilla whipped cream. Yum! Whipped cream is SO easy to make by hand, and once you start doing this, you’ll never go back to that fake stuff ever again. Making whipped cream goes like this – pour cream into a bowl. Take mixer (I use a hand mixer, you can also use a stand one) and place in bowl. Turn onto highest setting, keep going until magically it looks like whipped cream, with stiff peaks -meaning that when you stop beating, the peaks stay in place. Gently fold in the vanilla, and voila, fantastic whipped cream. This process seriously takes less than 5 minutes, and is LEAGUES better than the store bought fake stuff. So go spend the $1.67 on some heavy cream, and make the real stuff. Please. You’ll thank me, I promise.
Oh and please forgive the terrible piping job I did with the whipped cream, I took this picture when I first made the pudding, so it was still warm, and I wanted to get the whipped cream in and the picture taken all before it melted….Melty whipped cream still tastes super yummy, but tends not to look as pretty, as evident in my French toast.