Banana Tapioca Pudding

by Jenn on June 26, 2009

in Desserts,Gluten Free


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.


michelle June 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm

My grandmother always used to make a big batch of tapioca when I was growing up. Who would have thought to add banana to a classic, looks good!

Joelen June 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

What a great dish and I love your use of banana in this!

Michele June 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Looks great! My husband would go crazy for this.

littlebluehen June 27, 2009 at 6:27 am

My grandma actually got in an argument with one of her sons about tapioca pudding. She insists that the only proper way to prepare it is the “fluffy” method where the egg whites are whipped separately and folded in at the end.

I’m not a banana fan, but I wonder if mango or peach would work instead…

Kate June 28, 2009 at 2:53 am

Yum, will try this for sure! I have bags of peeled, halved frozen bananas in my freezer, so great in many recipes – mostly my morning porridge to which I add a half and for making frozen banana yoghurt (ie whizzed up frozen banana and yoghurt with a bit of honey, mmmmm…). So funny how you describe making whipped cream! In NZ it would be more strange to go buy a can of pre-whipped stuff than to get out the beaters!

thepinkpeppercorn June 28, 2009 at 4:45 am

Thanks for stopping by my blog Jenn! Glad to find yours!! This tapioca looks AWESOME – I really want to make this…. now I just have to wait for the stores to open tomorrow to get the tapioca part! (the ONLY way to make it, from scratch – LOVE that!)

lisamichele June 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Tapioca pudding has always been so comforting, but add coconut and/or banana, and it’s comfort plus major flavor! Yours look so delicious, that I need to try it, so I’ll be making it sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks for posting the recipe, and your photo of it is lovely!

brannyboilsover June 29, 2009 at 11:16 am

Oh my. I know I would love this recipe. I wish I could get the husband to indulge in anything non-chocolatey!

Marta June 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Sugarless pudding?! i LOVE this recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You’re right, throwing away food is irresponsible and terrible. I’m the biggest fan of freezing bananas, I think I’ve got like 10 in my freezer right now (since the kids theatened to kills me if I made one more banana loaf!) and I was thinking of ways to use them. I found you on Tastespotting and I’m glad I did because your blog rocks :)

gfe-gluten free easily June 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

That looks yummy! I’ve been using my bananas lately with coconut milk to make CoconutGal’s banilla nut “ice cream.” Otherwise, they often get used for my banana chocolate chip cookies, but those are not sugar free for sure.

Thanks, Jen!

Mia May 12, 2010 at 3:49 am

I made this tonight, and it’s great! I wanted a pure banana flavor, however, so I left the cinnamon and nutmeg out, and added a dash of vanilla at the end instead. I used two large bananas and sliced them, then microwaved them for about a minute. Microwaving the bananas first really, really brings out their sweetness and gives them a delectable, creamy consistency when you mash them with a fork. The rest of the pudding went together without a hitch, and I even used the generic, small pearl, “instant” tapioca. The pudding is light and frothy, and tastes rich without the added fat and sugar. Great job Jenn!

Sasa October 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the recipe. I’m just recently experimenting with tapioca. I made this one without sugar, but with stevia, and also with oat milk. At the end added cocoa on top. It’s great one!

Jenn October 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Oh thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

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