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I miss tapioca. Tapioca isn’t exactly health food, though, so it’s something I haven’t had much of in a long time. I’ve been wanting to recreate it but had no idea how to do so…until I got this brainstorm. OK, so you guys know how I like weird foods, right? I make cake with cauliflower and ice cream with cottage cheese. Are you going to be surprised that I make tapioca with barley?
Let me set things straight here: this does not taste exactly like tapioca. You do get some earthy flavor from the barley. However, this dessert reminds me a lot of tapioca, and I’m perfectly happy with eating this as a healthy substitute for one of my old favorites. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, and if you don’t like it, I won’t be offended. Maybe you will be, but I guess that’s a risk you’re going to have to take.
One of my lovely readers said that she used Trim Healthy Mama’s Not-Naughty Rice in this recipe and it was almost a dead ringer for tapioca. What a great idea! The Not-Naughty Rice can be purchased at the Trim Healthy Mama online store. And guess what? Using not-naughty rice in this recipe would make it a Fuel Pull (no significant sources of either carbs or fats)!
The recipe below is for vanilla “tapioca”, but if you’re concerned about eating barley in dessert and want to really mask the flavor, add some pureed fruit (I made a strawberry version the other day, which you can see in the picture below). Chunks of fruit would be great in this as well. I’ve eaten the vanilla version with some sugar-free maple-flavored syrup, and the vanilla and maple went together like peanut butter and jelly.
Barley is indeed on plan for Trim Healthy Mamas. Hulled barley is preferred over pearled barley. To be honest, I don’t know what kind I used; the box didn’t say. This “tapioca” is an E(nergizing) dessert, which means that it contains healthy, slow-burning carbs and only a small amount of fat. On the Trim Healthy Mama plan you can have up to 3/4 cup of barley as your fuel for an E meal. If the barley in this dessert is your only carbs for your meal, you’ll need at least a half cup (or a little over, because there’s stuff in this recipe other than barley as well) to get you over your 20 carb minimum threshold to get you into E territory. If you’re eating this along with another carb source in an E meal, make sure that you keep your portions moderate so you don’t exceed your 45 gram net carb limit.
You can find this recipe in my cookbook, Necessary Food.
- 1¾ cups cooked barley, not hot (cook the barley al dente, tender but not mushy)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, divided
- ½ tsp. plain gelatin (such as Knox brand - if using beef gelatin such as Great Lakes brand or THM Just Gelatin, add an extra ⅛ tsp.)
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ tsp. glucomannan
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3-4 doonks THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder (to taste)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Boil a half cup of the almond milk, then stir in the gelatin. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, blend the other half cup of almond milk, cottage cheese, and glucomannan until completely smooth (I like to use my Ninja single-serve blender cup).
- Add the almond milk/gelatin mixture as well as the blended mixture to the barley. Add the salt, sweetener, and vanilla as well. Stir until completely mixed, then refrigerate for several hours until chilled through and thickened. This lets the flavors develop as well. Serve.
- I like this tapioca best the first day, but it will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
- This recipe makes approximately 2½ cups.
Feel free to add some pureed fruit to this "tapioca". Chunks of fruit would be great in this as well. I've eaten the vanilla version with some sugar-free maple-flavored syrup, which was great.
- Ninja blender
- Unflavored gelatin
- THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder and Not-Naughty Rice can be purchased at the Trim Healthy Mama online store.