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Easy Soy-Free Pudding

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Hello Chocolate Pudding Pies!

Speaking of chocolate pudding… Last week I fixed the voluminous oatmeal post, so this week, I tackled another post in dire need of fixing: the soy-free pudding tutorial post. It was awfully confusing and convoluted.

I’m re-posting the updated post so you don’t have to bother clicking on links to find it; I don’t mean to make you click so many links all the time! It’s just, when you’ve been blogging as long as I have, linking back is sometimes is much easier due to the sheer number of posts.

Awhile back, I wrote an agar tutorial post.

But after receiving questions on my Vegan Peppermint Cream post, I figured it was time for another tutorial—with more specific instructions and photos of every step. ‘Cause working with agar is NOT hard once you get the hang of it. Seriously, I can make an agar pudding with only three ingredients and very little mess to clean.

Oh, and a note on finding agar flakes: Look for Eden agar flakes (pictured below) in the Asian section of Whole Foods. Or, if your WF has none, make a trip to a local Asian market, where the agar flakes might also be cheaper..

But why would you want to use agar?

Four teensy little words for you: Soy-Free Banana Yogurt.

Not to mention peach pudding, chocolate pudding, chocolate cream pie, vegan alfredo sauce… See? You need agar in your life! You can make up a big batch of the “base” ahead of time, then portion it out to make different-flavored desserts, sauces, soups, or whatever else you’re craving, all at once.

“Working with Agar” Tutorial

agar

(Above, Vegan Strawberry Pudding)

Basic Agar Pudding
(makes about 2 cups pudding, or 2 large servings)

  • 2 and 2/3 cups nondairy milk
  • 2T  agar flakes

Follow the directions below.
Then refer to the “add in ideas” section to make puddings, mousses, sauces, and more!
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Step One: Measure the agar and non-dairy milk into a pot. Before turning on the heat, let the two sit for 5 minutes to help the gelling process.

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Step Two: Slowly bring to a boil. After it starts to boil, lower to a simmer until the agar flakes pretty much dissolve, about 5-8 minutes. (They won’t dissolve completely. It should look something like the above photo.)

Step Three: Turn off heat and leave for a few minutes (5ish) to cool, then put in the fridge (covered or not).

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Step Four: When it’s cooled and gelled, the fun part begins.

Now you get to make pudding, or even vegan “3-Ingredient” Alfredo Sauce. 🙂

Anything your mind thinks up; be creative! And, as I said before, nothing’s stopping you from making extra, dividing the recipe, and adding different mix-ins to each serving! Put your mix-ins into the pot, and use your hand blender to blend it all together (or, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Lately, I’ve been loving my Magic Bullet).

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Below are some add-in ideas I’ve brainstormed (not all of which I’ve tried)… maybe after you experiment, you can come back and leave me comments telling me what YOU did with the basic mix. I’d love to know! (Seriously.)
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Add-In Ideas:
(I’ve tried #s 1, 3, 5, and 6, with great results)

  • Add pureed pumpkin, winter squash, or sweet potato, and add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add pureed fruit, or even a jar of baby food!
  • Add a fruit cup or applesauce, such as in the Apple Pie Pudding.
  • Decrease the amount of milk, and add some coffee, for a coffee-flavored pudding.
  • Use, as your non-dairy milk, a flavored beverage such as Silk Coffee, Silk Eggnog or Pumpkin Spice, Chai Latte, etc. and don’t add any other fruit… or do!
  • Mix in some protein powder.
  • Add veggies to make a thick, creamy soup.
  • Use coconut milk as the non-dairy milk, and add coconut shavings (and maybe even chocolate chips!).
  • Mix in some nut butter, and jelly, fruit, or chocolate chips(!) for PB&J, PB-Banana, or Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cup Pudding.

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Anyone have other flavor ideas???

Final note: you can use Meg’s probiotic trick for a soy-free, dairy-free yogurt!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I’ve made the yogurt version of this with probiotics a few times and my parent’s yogurt maker! It works so well! I can’t wait to try it with protein powder and pb and banana:)

  2. Lisa C. says:

    I love your soy free puddings! I think the peppermint one is my favorite. No, maybe chocolate. Or coconut. Or coffee. Oh I just love them all!

    Next on the list is definitely your Three-Ingredient Alfredo! 🙂

  3. Valerie says:

    I like the plain vanilla version best. We use it as whipped cream and serve it over vegan fruit cobbler. SO delicious!

  4. Gen says:

    Great tutorial! thanks for posting!!!!

  5. greenbean says:

    yes, sometimes it’s like a maze here. thanks for posting this!

  6. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for showing the steps girl!!! Now I need to go get me some agar agar flakes. Are they relatively easy to find?

    1. Here’s a link: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2008/12/14/harry-potter-and-the-elusive-agar/
      (Sorry in advance for its ugliness; it’s a very old post lol)

  7. I love your agar puddings! The maple vanilla version I made a while back is one of my favorites. Other flavors I’d like to try are carrot cake or brownie batter.

    1. I remember that version! I remember writing it down to try, but then I forgot. I’ll have to go back and look it up again!

  8. Freya says:

    I am so glad you’ve explained this better – and now I can’t wait to try!! It’s all about the banana and peanut flour for me (if it works…we’ll see), maybe with some chopped dates stirred in at the end…oh boy.

  9. i wonder what agar would taste like.. just plain? probably not so good…….
    hmmm i would def make something sweet cuz thats how i roll.. im thinking i would make a PHISH food flavor.. like ben an djerrys… so.. vegan marshmellows, choc chips (or choc fishes if you wna b all legit)… cocoa powder and a FUDGIE chopped up..

    1. It tastes… like nothing. But that’s the awesomeness of it. You can make an easy chocolate pudding simply with agar and chocolate milk!

  10. Leslie says:

    I’m doing a coconut cream version as soon as I get my hands on some agar flakes!

  11. Jen S. says:

    Have I mentioned that you are my food hero? I looooove your work on this blog! Thank you a million times over for your beautiful photos and wonderful recipes. Every post makes me rush to the kitchen and cook! 🙂

  12. Note to self: GET AGAR FLAKES ASAP!! I think I chocolate coconut butter one is called for 🙂

  13. Thanks for this, Katie! I appreciated it. 🙂 Does agar taste funny at all? You know how tofu has that subtle taste? I guess I was just wondering if agar has anything like that. Thanks. 🙂

    Also, what is the flake to powder ratio? I saw agar powder the other day, but wondered how to substitute it for the flakes.

    1. I don’t really notice any taste. It’s supposedly seaweed, but I swear there is absolutely NO seaweed-y taste (I hate the seaweed taste, so I’d pick up on it if there was). And I’ve never used the powder, but Tatiana left a great comment below about the powder!

  14. melissa @ the delicate place says:

    wow food science is so fun! i’ll have to try out the agar agar sometime since i don’t eat gelatin

  15. Sabine @ thefruitpursuit says:

    i’m also noticing some posts that are in dire need of updating! especially recipe type posts bc when I started out with my blog, I was also 100% new to cooking AND baking, haha.

    1. Sabine @ thefruitpursuit says:

      FYI I was talking about my OWN posts of course, haha

  16. Little Bookworm says:

    Great tutorial – thanks for this Katie!

  17. So glad you posted this step-by-step process as I never knew exactly how long to let the agar agar + milk simmer. The only info I ever found online was “wait until it dissolves”, but I was never sure. I think once I let it go for over 20 minutes and almost all the liquid evaporated. Oops. So, thank you! 🙂

  18. That pudding looks so good!!! I need to put that agar in my cupboard to some use 😉
    I want to add some lime zest and lime juice for key lime pie pudding! Or cinnamon and chopped dates!
    And your muffins from your last post look AMAZING!!!! 🙂

  19. Namaste Gurl says:

    I still have some agar in my cupboards, back last summer I bought it when you convinced me by your amazing photos and recipes 🙂

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