Are you a fan of creamy, delicious pudding but looking for a healthier alternative to traditional dairy milk?
Almond milk is a popular choice, but it can be tricky to get the right texture when thickening pudding. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll explore the best methods for thickening pudding with almond milk and share some helpful tips to ensure your pudding turns out perfectly every time.
So grab your whisk and let’s get started!
How To Thicken Pudding With Almond Milk?
When it comes to thickening pudding with almond milk, there are a few different approaches you can take depending on the type of pudding you’re making.
For instant pudding, simply whisk together the almond milk and instant pudding mix according to the package instructions. If the pudding is too thin for your liking, add a tablespoon of almond milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Then, refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
If you’re making from-scratch pudding, combine cornstarch with water before adding it to your ingredients. Pour half a cup of almond milk into a bowl, add one packet of instant pudding mix, and stir for two minutes until thickened. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving and enjoy. You may also top it with whipped cream before serving.
It’s important to note that puddings made with almond milk or other plant-based milks will have a different set, mouthfeel, and flavor compared to pudding prepared with dairy milk. The set will be soft to very soft and more of a spoonable texture—it will not have the same texture as pudding made with milk.
Based on culinary experts’ test results, soy, almond, and coconut milks are recommended as milk replacements. Most other plant-based milks do not allow the pudding to set. Use 1-1/2 cups of either soy, almond or coconut in place of 2 cups of milk in instant pudding.
If using in a dessert recipe, it is only suitable for desserts that are spoonable such as trifles, parfaits, and other desserts with a similar texture. Plant-based milks will not work in desserts where a firm texture is needed such as pudding pies, eclair cakes or striped delight (square layered desserts). We do not recommend using plant-based milks for these types of desserts.
Why Use Almond Milk For Pudding?
Almond milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk in many recipes, including pudding. There are several reasons why you might choose to use almond milk instead of dairy milk for your pudding.
Firstly, almond milk is a plant-based milk, making it a suitable option for those who follow a vegan or dairy-free diet. Additionally, almond milk is lower in calories and fat than dairy milk, making it a healthier option for those who are watching their weight or trying to reduce their intake of saturated fats.
Another benefit of using almond milk for pudding is that it adds a subtle nutty flavor to the dessert. This can be especially delicious when paired with chocolate or caramel flavors.
However, it’s important to note that using almond milk will result in a softer set and different mouthfeel compared to pudding made with dairy milk. It’s also important to choose the right type of almond milk – refrigerated unsweetened almond milk is recommended for the best results.
Common Challenges When Thickening Pudding With Almond Milk
While using almond milk to thicken pudding can be a great option for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, it can also present some challenges. One of the most common challenges is achieving the right texture. Pudding made with almond milk may not set as firmly as pudding made with dairy milk, resulting in a softer, more spoonable texture. This can be an issue if you’re making a dessert that requires a firmer texture, such as a pudding pie or layered dessert.
Another challenge is getting the flavor right. Almond milk has a distinct nutty flavor that can alter the taste of the pudding. Some people may find this flavor enjoyable, while others may not. To counteract this, you can try using vanilla-flavored almond milk or adding additional flavorings such as vanilla extract or cocoa powder.
Finally, it’s important to note that some brands of almond milk may contain additives or thickeners that can affect the texture of the pudding. It’s best to use a high-quality, refrigerated almond milk that doesn’t have these additives.
Cornstarch Method For Thickening Pudding With Almond Milk
Cornstarch is a popular thickening agent used to bump up the viscosity of liquids because it can stand up to high heat and longer cooking times. However, when it comes to thickening pudding with almond milk, it’s important to use cornstarch sparingly as it can thicken liquids like almond milk quickly. This is because cornstarch has twice the ability to thicken liquid as flour.
To thicken pudding with almond milk using cornstarch, begin by heating your almond milk over low heat. Mix a small amount of cornstarch, starting with a tablespoon, with one tablespoon of water in a separate container to make a slurry. Drizzle the cornstarch mixture over the heated almond milk and whisk until smooth.
It’s important to note that you’ll need more cornstarch to thicken almond milk than you would regular milk since almond milk has no saturated fat to bind to. If the pudding is still too thin after adding the cornstarch mixture, add more cornstarch slurry a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
When making cooked pudding from scratch, you can also use the cornstarch method. Simply mix the cornstarch with cold almond milk before heating it over low heat, stirring constantly until the desired texture is achieved.
Arrowroot Powder Method For Thickening Pudding With Almond Milk
If you want to thicken your almond milk pudding using arrowroot powder, there are a few steps to follow. First, create a slurry by mixing equal parts of arrowroot powder and water. Use one tablespoon of each for every cup of almond milk you plan to use. Whisk the mixture until it becomes smooth.
Next, heat your desired amount of almond milk over low to medium heat until it warms up. Once warmed, slowly drizzle the arrowroot slurry into the almond milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches your desired level of viscosity. Arrowroot powder works similarly to cornstarch but is a good alternative for those who want to avoid corn-based products or do not need the heat resistance found in cornstarch. Arrowroot is mostly flavorless and will not alter the taste of your pudding.
It’s important to note that arrowroot powder thickens at a lower temperature than cornstarch, so be sure to keep the heat low and stir constantly to prevent clumping or burning. Once the pudding has reached your desired thickness, remove it from the heat and let it cool before refrigerating.
Arrowroot powder is a healthy substitute for cornstarch and is naturally gluten-free. It’s best used for thickening sauces, soups, stews, or puddings. If you’re looking for a basic pudding recipe using arrowroot powder, try combining 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder with 1.5 cups of cold almond milk in a stainless steel bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir regularly for 10 minutes, then continuously scrape and stir for another 5 minutes. Add vanilla, maple syrup, and salt before continuing to scrape and stir until the mixture thickens. Pour into a custard cup or dish and refrigerate until serving.
Tapioca Starch Method For Thickening Pudding With Almond Milk
If you want to use tapioca starch to thicken your almond milk pudding, it’s important to note that tapioca starch works differently than cornstarch. Tapioca starch gels at a lower temperature and can create a more translucent and smooth texture than cornstarch.
To use tapioca starch to thicken your pudding, start by mixing 1/4 cup of tapioca starch with 1/2 cup of almond milk in a small bowl until fully combined. In a separate saucepan, heat 2 cups of almond milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Once simmering, slowly pour in the tapioca starch mixture while continuously whisking the almond milk. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
Once the pudding has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in any additional flavorings or sweeteners you desire. Pour the pudding into individual serving dishes and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 30 minutes. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems too thin at first.
Tips For Perfectly Thickened Almond Milk Pudding
If you’re looking to make perfectly thickened almond milk pudding, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Use cornstarch: Cornstarch is a great thickener for almond milk pudding. When adding cornstarch, mix it with water before adding it to the pudding mixture. This helps prevent clumps from forming and ensures that the cornstarch is evenly distributed.
2. Heat the almond milk: When making pudding from scratch, heat the almond milk in a saucepan before adding it to the other ingredients. This helps the cornstarch thicken properly and ensures that the pudding sets correctly.
3. Whisk constantly: When cooking the pudding mixture, whisk constantly to prevent lumps from forming. This is especially important when adding the cornstarch mixture to the almond milk.
4. Refrigerate: After cooking the pudding mixture, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to allow it to set properly. This will also help thicken the pudding and give it a creamy texture.
5. Adjust consistency: If your chilled pudding is too thick for your liking, you can add a little more almond milk and whisk until it reaches your desired consistency.
6. Avoid overcooking: Be careful not to overcook the pudding mixture as this can result in a grainy texture. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and continue stirring for 30 seconds before transferring it to individual serving bowls.
By following these tips, you can make perfectly thickened almond milk pudding that is smooth, creamy, and delicious!