Dairy Free Banana and Cashew Pudding

I am not a vegan, and I am no longer even a vegetarian - I eat little red meat, and have a lot of milk and cheese.

However, now, as I have often said, my lovelies, I have had to cut down on the amount of sugar I eat, so am always trying new low fat, no added sugar desserts and snacks.

This is actually a vegan recipe, I believe, however that was co-incidence.  Often these raw desserts are vegan, and nearly always they are delicious.

It is another recipe that needed to be made several times to get the consistency correct, but hey, I love creating and experimenting.  This one I had tasted a similar one at a friend's place, however she had bought it and did not quite know what was in it!

This recipe does have some maple syrup in it, and I always buy the pure maple syrup as the cheaper one is more processed.  Even though "sugar is sugar" regardless of how it is presented, I really believe that using a natural sugar like maple syrup, or coconut sugar, is far healthier.  These products are not  highly processed like ordinary sugar is.

I often make a recipe twice to see if I can cut down on the sweetening product, and I NEVER use a synthetic sugar which is put in many low calorie foods today (e.g. no sugar, or diet coca cola).

This recipe turned out delicious and for those who eat dairy, you could also serve it with a few dobs of thickened, double cream or if you are lucky enough to be able to buy it, clotted cream....oh, the thought of clotted cream is so enticing - almost has me thinking if I could make it myself!  but NO, that sounds like too much work.

This is actually two recipes in the one, and the cashew cream can be used by vegans instead of ordinary cream, on any dessert, or it can be used instead of sour cream.

This is an uncooked dessert that is not very sweet. If you like your puddings sweeter, just add a bit more maple syrup.

It is dairy free, made with natural, healthy ingredients, and best of all, tastes good.

It is made in two steps.  The cashew cream is made first and then the banana pudding is made,  and the cream added to it.

You could make double the recipe for the cashew cream, as this lasts for about a week in the fridge.

This is quick and easy to make, and is very unusual - try it with visitors - they are sure to be impressed!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus soaking)
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Makes: 2-3 servings

Ingredients
CASHEW CREAM
1 cup raw cashew pieces
4 cups boiling water

Instructions
Cover the cashews with the boiling water, and cover with a towel, and let stand 6 to 8 hours.

Drain the cashews, then blend them in a blender. with about ¼ cup cold water for up to 5 minutes.

Blend them until they are smooth and thick, like sour cream. This will make about 1 ½ cups.

BANANA MAPLE CASHEW PUDDING
Ingredients
2 bananas, cut up
1½ cups cashew cream (see above)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp orange juice
A pinch salt

Instructions
Put the bananas, maple syrup, orange juice, and the salt in a blender or food processor.

Add the cashew cream to this mixture, and blend it all together.

Blend this mixture until it is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into dishes, or you could put it into just one dish to serve at the table.

Decorate with extra cashews, a dob, or dobs of cashew cream, and a few bananas, if desired.

The banana flavour was stronger after keeping it in the fridge for a day or two.  This is a very yummy dessert anyway, no matter when it was eaten!

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