Strawberry tapioca pudding

A while ago I decided to go sugar-free. I wasn’t big on sugar to start with, but I did see an interesting documentary about how the world has focused so much on blaming fat for all the health problems of the world that it forgot about another silent killer. That, and a comparative brain scan between the brain of a cocaine addict and that of a normal sugar eater, showing how sugar addiction is stronger than drug addiction, and there I was: no more sugar for me, thank you. I didn’t think too much about this decision, nor did I ban sugar from my life forever, but I did say I’d experiment a little with it, see where it i takes me. Will my palate sensitivity be altered? Will I discover new tastes? Will I lose weight? Will I feel healthier? Will my mind be calmer, will I feel lighter? It’s been almost a month now and I can’t feel too much of a difference: it could be that sugar wasn’t a big part of my life anyway or that the addiction runs so deep that the detox period simply lasts longer, I don’t know…

What I did notice is that I did start to crave more fruit; not necessarily sweet fruit (high on fructose), but fresh, juicy fruit. I still eat honey as a principle, but during this period I didn’t feel any need for that either. Still, a month through my test diet and I’ve started to think about the type of sweets that I’d be able to eat if this continued for a longer period. Of course, there are always the raw vegan sweets, but those are so high on nuts that I simply can’t see myself diving in too deep. There are the fresh fruit salads, the wonderful juices and smoothies … and what else? I don’t want to replace sugar with xylitol, I heard that although natural in principle, it’s usually messed with by the industry too. Honey seems to be the only option, but it is also high in sugar (albeit more natural, not processed). I’m going to start experimenting with date syrup (which I looove!), maple syrup and natural fruit syrups from high-fructose fruit, such as plums or apples. I’ll keep you posted.

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In the meantime, I decided to adapt my favourite tapioca pudding and replace the sugar with some honey. It turned out perfect: light, fluffy, not too sweet, fresh from the strawberries, in short: a sugar-free dream! Honey can be substituted with your preferred sweetener, regular milk can be substituted with coconut milk (and there you have it, a vegan dessert!), strawberries with any berry or fruit you have around the house and the vanilla extract with any other flavour you prefer. I love this dessert, it’s so versatile. 

Strawberry tapioca pudding


  • 150 g/ 5.3oz small tapioca pearls
  • 600 ml/ 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 600 ml/ 2 1/2 cups milk (regular, coconut)
  • 2 heaping tbs honey (or other sweetener of choice), to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 350 g/ 12oz fresh strawberries, sliced


  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until it starts to thicken and look like thick gelatine. Remove from stovetop, pour into sieve and rinse under cold water until all the gelatine is removed and only the clear tapioca pearls remain.
  2. In the meantime, simmer the milk. Add the drained tapioca pearls, the vanilla extract and salt and simmer on low heat until the pudding starts to thicken, stirring constantly. Add the honey and continue to stir until for a couple of minutes. The pudding should be thick, but not too thick as the tapioca pearls will continue to absorb a significant amount of liquid in the cooling process.
  3. Place sliced strawberries in jars and pour the tapioca pudding over. Let cool and then serve.

DSC_0048-copy strawberry-tapioca2This pudding has a delicacy about it, something so gentle, so soothing, so elegant. It’s hard to resist the light refinement of the tapioca pearls, they’re like white, sweet caviar :) I think it’s the perfect spring/summer scoop, and it’s also sugar and gluten free, with the option to make it vegan. One more love affair on my list.

Love and tapioca!

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