It’s about time for a sweet recipe. Because, if an indulgence is called for, it should be decadent, and delicious, and healthful. Who says a treat can’t be nutrient dense and tasty? It’s about enjoy every morsel, with no guilt!
My sweet tooth and I have been doing battle ever since I can remember. I do my very best to ignore its constant nagging for sugar. But the pull is always there. I used to give in and indulge whenever my sweet tooth made the tiniest bit of a fuss. Then came the fateful day when I made the connection that sugar was my Achilles heel, that for me to be my healthiest self I needed to eliminate sugar in all it’s forms.
Life, however, cries out for balance. I have tried abstaining completely from even the slightest bit of sweet, it was miserable; I would get totally cranky, then eventually my will-power would give out, and I’d eat something I felt shouldn’t, and I’d feel totally crappy about myself; not good. So rather than fight my sweet tooth, and deny myself even the tiniest drop of sweet, I’m going deliciously inventive.
Rich, creamy, and oh so decadent, sweet, but not too sweet and with a nice hit of spice – chai spice coconut milk pannacotta. Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert traditionally made with cream and thickened with gelatin. My version is made with gelatin, then I use coconut and almond milks, and chai spices. Using half-pint mason jars makes for a fun single serving dessert. And they are a hit when brought to parties.
2 cans Coconut Milk (I like this brand)
1 cup Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Gelatin (I like this one)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp powdered Ginger
1 tsp Cardamon
½ tsp Cloves
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Black Pepper
⅛ tsp Sea Salt
⅛ tsp Stevia (or, 3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup, or coconut sugar)
6 half pint Mason Jars (or ramekins or whatever you want your panna cotta “set” in)
Pour your Almond Milk into a shallow bowl, sprinkle your Gelatin in an even layer over the top of your Almond Milk, and let the Gelatin “bloom” for 10 minutes (this just gives it time to soak up some moisture from the almond milk, it will help the gelatin to incorporate into the coconut milk more easily.)
Add all your spices – Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg, Pepper, Salt, and sweetener – to a pan large enough to hold your pannacotta mix (3 quarts or larger). Open up your cans of Coconut Milk and pour over your spices into your pan. Begin to heat over medium heat while mixing everything together. When your mix starts to let off some steam (don’t let it boil, just get the coconut milk hot), stir it and turn the heat to low.
Now, slowly add your Almond Milk and Gelatin mix, whisking vigorously to make sure you don’t get lumps of gelatin. You will continue to whisk for 1 minute. Then turn off your stove, and pour your pannacotta mix into your waiting jars.
Cover your jars with their lids, and let your Panna Cottas cool on the counter for 30 minutes or so, then pop into the fridge and let them “set” for 4 hours or overnight. I think they are good in the fridge for up to a week, but, full disclosure, they have never lasted more than a couple days without being eaten up.
As with all the recipes we put out here at Green Leaf Kitchen, we love to get your feedback: Do you have any questions about the dish? How do you like the recipe? Did you make any alterations that made the recipe easier or tastier? Is there anything we missed or didn’t seem right?