Attempt #1 at Healthy Vegan Banana Pudding

When a recipe fails and falls flat on it’s cakey face, it’s okay to feel a little bit shitty inside.

Sometimes cookies don’t spread out like they’re supposed to and cakes cave in and the wafer cookies accompanying your highly anticipated banana pudding taste like squishy nothing.

I bought a bunch of bananas on sale the other day; they were covered in spots and perfect for baking, but instead of hopping down the banana bread hole I thought I’d do something different with them. Maybe I’d make banana muffins or cake or… a simple, healthy banana pudding. Ah yes, something uber easy to whip together, please!! It was almost 10 pm, but I was able to dump a few ingredients in a saucepan, whisk, whisk, whisk, and pour them into serving glasses to set in the fridge overnight.

Going into this, I wanted the banana pudding to be as close to the consistency of the usual stuff as possible, while also being entirely plant based and healthier. That didn’t seem like too much to ask at the time, but I was one overly giddy whisk-wielder, so I jumped right in without much second guessing or research.

Much to my dismay, the banana pudding turned out to be a distant cousin of the heavy cream, egg, and sugar laden dessert. It was airy, almost foamy, rather than creamy. Perhaps if I had replaced the soy milk with coconut cream or even tried silken tofu, I would have achieved a thicker consistency. It is vegan after all, lacking the tried and tested ingredients that usually give this pudding weight, so maybe I was in a little over my head?

In an effort to continue keeping things healthier, I made my own banana wafer cookies. This is when science decided to remind me that it plays a big role in baking and because I’m not baking in a vacuum, I ought to pay attention to it’s rules. Uhhh, science.

My cookies turned out cakey and gooey, the antichrist to the crisp and crumbly wafers usually accompanying banana pudding. I’m pretty certain that my obsession with making every dish a little bit healthier got the best of me, because I cut way back on the fats, thinking the mashed banana would save the day and make the cookies moist and chewy. Instead, the banana mash paired up with the all purpose flour and made a gross mess. Cookies are supposed to be layered into the pudding and left to sit for a while, allowing them to slightly soften and marry the flavors in the pudding. Since my cookies weren’t able to do their job, I ended up having to ditch them and enjoy the pudding by itself. Some freshly whipped cream would have been a lovely addition, but in Tokyo it’s not very budget friendly.

There will definitely be a round two of this banana pudding; the lack of vanilla wafer goodness has left vast room for improvement. I’d like to experiment with the new buckwheat and rice flour I received in the mail, so perhaps I’ll find a way to incorporate one or both into a vanilla cookie. Also, the pudding needs some touching up; it was yummy but lacked creamy oompf. I’ll report back when I have an all around tastier banana pudding in my belly!!


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