Healthy & Gluten Free

Author:           Updated July 3, 2018
Categories: Sweets - Pudding    

This scrumptious pudding is quick to make and can be a healthy sweet treat that you don't have to feel bad about. Making nut butters works best in a food processor. If you’re a chocoholic you can add some unsweetened cocoa powder and you’ll have a tasty chocolate banana pudding. You can adjust the dates as desired.

Nut butter and banana pudding in a simple bowl, topped with large grated chocolate chunks
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 5 minutes      Makes: 8 servings      Difficulty: Easy

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Vegan option

The combination of frozen and regular bananas makes the pudding creamier, though you can make this with all regular bananas. You can make the pudding creamier by adding more cashews or bananas.

Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

You want to purchase only organic nuts and seeds.

This greatly reduces the pesticide residues on them. Non organic nuts and seeds are also often treated with radiation, which is not done to organic nuts and seeds.

It is more difficult to find truly raw nuts and seeds in the US, unless you are buying directly from the grower. Several US laws require varying levels of heat treatment for nuts and seeds, both traditionally grown and organic. However, nuts and seeds can still be something good for most people.

To read more about almonds, check out this article on our site:

Check out this article to learn a bit more about nuts and seeds:

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Bananas are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 30th out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Raspberries are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 23rd out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

All dried fruit should be organic, labeled gluten free, unsweetened, unsulfured and contain no other ingredients or additives.

Dates - You want to purchase organic, unsweetened dates, labeled gluten free, without sulfur, and no other additives. If it does not contain sulfur it will actually need to state that, as sulfur is not always required to be on the label. It should only contain the dried fruit. These are readily available in stores that carry organic products.

Grated coconut - You can make your own grated or shredded coconut from a fresh organic coconut.

Alternatively, you want to look for organic, unsweetened shredded or grated coconut, labeled gluten free, without sulfur, and no other additives. If it does not contain sulfur it will actually need to state that, as sulfur is not always required to be on the label. It should only contain coconut. It's readily available in stores that carry organic products. There are even some labeled as gluten free.

Buying organic reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

Check out this article on the benefits of organic:

You want to find raw, unfiltered honey. It has many nutritional benefits over pasteurized and filtered honey.

The best place to buy it is directly from the bee farmers, either at their farm or at a farmer’s market. Sometimes smaller health food stores may carry it. There's limited regulations on the word raw, so often store bought raw honey won't actually be raw. You can hunt for a farmer who is located next to organic land or wild land, and it will be the least contaminated.

Raw unfiltered honey will not be crystal clear. It should be crystal like, and have small or tiny "floaties." These floaties are bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Some farmers will have some light filtering, which will be simply a course sieve. This will remove the wings, but leave in the smaller bits of pollen and propolis.

Over time, raw honey will solidify. You don't want it filtered, or heated, or treated, which completely removes any benefits of honey.

For additional reading on raw and unfiltered honey, check out these 3 articles:

Almond milk should be homemade from organic almonds and water.

Alternatively, you can purchase organic unsweetened almond milk that does not contain additional ingredients. It should only contain almonds and water. The many additives in many brands of almond milk are simply used to make water look and taste like almond milk, with a little bit of almonds thrown in for good measure.

Fresh cream, and other dairy products - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk or cream; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

The issue of what type of milk is best is far too broad of a topic to cover in depth here. Whether you want cows milk, nut milk, coconut milk, or some other type of milk will be a personal choice.

However, here are some general guidelines to help you when choosing your milk. You can research further if it's an area of interest to you.

Non-dairy milk - Most of these are really just fake food. Most only exist because people are used to white stuff to put on cereal and in coffee, etc.

Very few things in nature look and behave like dairy milk. They have to create unnatural compounds that look and behave like milk.

This category of products is quite challenging to find products that are made out of real ingredients. You will need to really read a lot of labels to find something that is not loaded with food additives, flavorings, binders, fillers, etc.

Many of these additives are very tough on anyone with any sort of digestive problems, which those who must eat gluten free do have.

Nut milk should only contain nuts and water.

Coconut milk should only have coconut milk, coconut cream, ground coconut and water or coconut water, or some combination of these ingredients.

Soy milk is not even remotely natural, or normal. White liquid does not come out of a green soy bean in any natural way. Large amounts of additives are added to it to make it resemble milk.

Rice milk should only have rice and water.

If you really want these, many of them can be made fresh at home, and you can completely control the ingredients that go into them. Check out You Tube for tons of videos.

Check out the following 4 articles to help you find the best type of milk for your personal taste:

You want to find organic plain yogurt, made with full fat milk, and bacteria culture, and nothing else.

You want to avoid yogurt made with skim milk, as it's been shown to be unhealthy.

You want to avoid all other common food additives that are found in most Greek Yogurt. Many of these really are ingredients that make white jello, instead of a true cultured dairy product. Many common yogurt additives are very rough on the digestive system.

If you can find raw, that is the best, though that may be much harder to find. Avoid any dairy product that is Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized.

Check out the following 2 articles to learn a bit more about dairy:

You want to buy organic stevia. It comes in a variety of suitable forms, and a variety of non suitable forms.

This is a plant that has a natural sweetness about 100 to 300 times as sweet as sugar. The chemical make up of this plant is actually different, so the sweetness does not actually come from a sugar type of molecule, thus it has none of the effects of sugar, such as being a load on the insulin system in your body.

Fresh leaf - The best form to use would be to use the fresh leaf, and chop it very fine, and add to your dishes. Since it's green, it can take a bit getting used to. A trick I used when I first started using fresh stevia was to just think of it like mint.

Dried leaf - You can also buy it as a dried herb. This also can be used chopped fine and added to food. You can place it in the liquid part of your dish for a couple hours, and the sweetness will enter into the dish.

You can also brew it like coffee, and make "sweet" water, that you can then add to dishes.

Concentrated liquid or powder - NO FILLERS - You can also buy it as an extremely concentrated pure liquid or superfine powder. You need to be VERY careful when you buy this, as you want pure liquid or powder extract. You DO NOT want to buy the new versions that have recently hit the market that are loaded with all kinds of fillers, additives and sugars.

Since stevia in it's natural form takes up a ton less space than sugar, you will need to adjust how you cook. The "cup for cup" new products out there are a toxic mess. Don't buy those, as most of the fillers and additives will cause varying degrees of stomach upset. And the ones with sugar as fillers are just plain stupid. The point of using stevia is to stop using sugar.

Give yourself at least a couple weeks to get used to it if you don't like the taste. For those who are new to stevia, lemon (and other citrus fruits) are a good mask to the slightly different flavor of stevia. This is such a great sugar replacement, that it really will be worth the effort to get used to it.

To get your family and kids used to it, if they whine about it, then mix it 25% of the recommended amount of stevia, with 75% of the amount you would normally use of sugar or honey, and then transition over a couple weeks to fully using stevia. They also will get used to the taste. 1/32 of a teaspoon of powdered stevia (no fillers!) is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey.

Check out this list of articles about stevia:

You want to purchase organic, non Dutch processed, not processed with alkali, and labeled gluten free. It should only contain cocoa / cacao, and no other ingredients.

This is sometimes called baking cocoa. Do not confuse this for hot chocolate, or hot cocoa, as those are sweet, sugary drinks, and is not suitable.

The addition of alkali (also often called Dutch processed) removes the flavanoids from cocoa. That removes one of the best reasons to eat cocoa (beyond it's yummy taste).

Both cocoa and raw cacao are suitable. Both have similar health benefits. If you prefer raw, then by all means, get that kind. Note that raw cocoa / cacao contains a number of substances that make it harder to digest, so if you still have a damaged gut from Celiac, then it's best to either use non-raw cocoa / cacao, or better yet, skip it completely.

Since cocoa / cacao is sometimes processed in facilities that also process gluten containing items, you want to look for the gluten free label.

Some dishes may be able to use some cacao that is available that is less processed, in the sense that it is not ground into powder. For many recipes this is completely suitable.

Check out these articles about chocolate, from very different perspectives:

Ingredients:
2 cups Raw cashews, or other nuts of your choice
2 Frozen bananas
2 Regular bananas
4 Medjool dates
OR    
8 Deglet Nour dates
OR    
1/4 cup Honey, raw and unfiltered
3/4 cup Fresh almond milk
OR    
3/4 cup Unsweetened yogurt
OR    
3/4 cup Fresh cream
 
Toppings (optional):
  Raspberries
  Chopped cashews, or other nuts
  Fresh grated coconut
 

For a smoother consistency, soak the cashews overnight. Or you can simply grind the cashews to make a fresh nut butter. If you want a traditional peanut butter texture, grind the nuts before blending with the other ingredients.

Directions:
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve topped with your favorite toppings.
Notes:
You can use pure stevia instead of dates or honey if you prefer. Add it a small amount at a time, to get the sweetness that you like. Be sure to get stevia that has no additives or fillers, or you can even use fresh or dried stevia leaves (* see Shopping Tips section above to find out the right form to use).
You can also use 2 tablespoons Homemade Date Sugar as the sweetener instead.
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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.