I’m on a role with traditional Southern recipes…potato salad…baked okra…and now for something sweet…banana pudding. With a little extra yumminess on top – a nutter butter crumble. Nutter butters might be my favorite packaged cookie and one I definitely miss since omitting gluten. Because peanut butter and bananas go together so perfectly, I decided to try a nutter butter crumble to go with this banana pudding instead of the typical shortbread cookie or vanilla wafer.
I started with some good quality peanuts. Peanuts are actually not a nut but a legume. Legumes are quite similar to a nut in that both are little seeds encased in a pod. But legumes come from a different family of plants and you will find multiple seeds in their pods versus only one with a nut. Nuts also do not break free of their pod on their own as legumes do, and nuts do not adhere to the wall of their pods as legumes do. Even though peanuts so closely resemble a nut, alas, they are different…they are a legume, containing more than one seed per pod. Because peanuts are a legume, many people who are allergic to nuts can still eat peanuts and vice versa. When picking out your peanuts and peanut butter, go for quality – always choosing organic to avoid the fungi Aspergillus that produces aflatoxins, which are known carcinogens for our bodies.
I used my Magic Bullet to process the nutter butter crumble, but a food processor or Vitamix would also work well. I combined a little almond flour, coconut sugar, peanuts, and peanut butter and pulsed until a crumble formed.
Next, I made a very simple vegan and paleo banana pudding by whisking together arrowroot starch (tapioca starch would work well too) and coconut sugar in a medium sauce pan. The coconut sugar is darker in color, like the color of brown sugar, so the pudding has a caramel color to it. I chose coconut sugar over regular white table sugar because its glycemic index is lower than white sugar, and it is less processed and actually contains some nutrients like iron, calcium, and potassium. I slowly added 3 cups of almond milk (coconut milk would work well too), whisking continually over medium heat until it became thick and bubbly.
Time to add a mashed ripe banana. As I smashed this banana with a fork in a small bowl, I couldn’t help but remember making baby food for my each of my kids. They are 11 and 13 now – my 13 year old is now looking me in the eye! When she was an infant, I was definitely the farthest thing from healthy. Those were my cookie dough, yellow cake with frosting, Cool Whip with a spoon eating days. But Kayley wouldn’t eat baby food from a jar. So I quickly learned how to make my own, freezing different pureed combinations in ice cube trays. Her favorites to start with were mashed avocados and mashed bananas. Hence the memory when mashing this banana. Bananas are an easy food to digest, one that’s good for the gut when suffering from any uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. Plus, they provide lots of energizing nutrients, most famous for their hearty dose of potassium. As my pudding was thick and bubbly on the stove, I whisked in the mashed banana. After a minute, I turned off the heat and added the vanilla.
To assemble the puddings, I layered slices of banana and nutter butter crumble on the bottom of 4 (I really could have stretched it to 6) small glasses. I divided the pudding on top of the nutter butter crumble in each of the glasses. The pudding oozed down in the spaces between the banana and crumble, and I refrigerated the glasses for a couple of hours. The last step was to top each with more sliced bananas and nutter butter crumble. I’m not the best at creating pretty presentations, but the taste makes up for it. Enjoy!
vegan banana pudding with nutter butter crumble
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4 – 6
½ cup almond flour
5 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 tablespoons organic peanut butter
½ cup organic peanuts
¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
¾ cup coconut sugar
3 cups almond or coconut milk
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon vanilla
Combine almond flour, coconut sugar, peanut butter, and peanuts in a food processor and process until a crumble forms. Set aside.
Mash one of the bananas. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, whisk together arrowroot starch and coconut sugar.
Over medium heat, slowly whisk in almond milk, stirring continually until thick and bubbly.
Whisk in mashed banana, and cook for 1 more minute.
Turn off heat, and whisk in vanilla.
In 4 – 6 small glasses or bowls, layer slices of banana and then a couple spoonfuls of nutter butter crumble.
Divide pudding over the crumble in each of the glasses.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Top with banana slices and remaining nutter butter crumble. Enjoy!