Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding: Lunchbox Makeover

Fluffy, creamy tapioca pudding with half the sugar and all the sweet fun – perfect for the lunchboxes of kids of any age.

Lunchtime fun: Tapioca pudding | TeaspoonOfSpice.com

My kids have recently been clamoring for Kozy Shack in their lunch boxes. You know, those cute little tapioca pudding snacks. Not in the habit of purchasing pre-packaged pudding packs, I took a look at bumping up the nutrition of homemade tapioca.

Growing up, my mom often made tapioca pudding from the little red box of tapioca. She’d cook up a batch and pour the hot pudding into small blue-flowered Corelle cups and top with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and banana slices. My sisters and I loved spooning up the creamy, warm dessert with melty chocolate chips.

Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding | TeaspoonOfSpice.com

I haven’t made tapioca from the red ‘Minute’ brand box in years. So, I was surprised when I reread the package directions: The recipe includes a full 2 cups of protein-rich milk, an antioxidant-rich egg and only 1/3 cup sugar for 6 servings.

And despite the look of a ‘packaged food,’ the stuff in the small red box is simply tapioca pearls from the cassava plant – that have pre-cooked with water to quicken the cooking time and then dehydrated.

Fluffy, creamy: Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding | TeaspoonOfSpice.com

Easy Homemade Tapioca: For the lunchboxes of kids of any age - via @tspcurry Click To Tweet
And the box recipe could be improved. Here’s what I did to make quick-cooking tapioca a dietitian approved dessert – AND a new addition to my kids’ lunch box:

  • Decreased the sugar from 1/3 cup to just 3 tablespoons. You could also use honey or maple syrup.
  • Added another egg for more of the antioxidant lutein which is good for eye-health
  • Whipped up 2 protein-rich egg whites for more fluffy fun!
  • Added the goodness of fruit for additional sweetness: Bananas and strawberries are yummy; and mango + lime zest + unsweetened coconut would be too.

How to Make Homemade Tapioca Pudding

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Quick-Cook Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding | TeaspoonOfSpice.com

Fluffy creamy tapioca pudding with half the sugar and all the sweet fun – for kids or anyone.

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (I used Minute brand)
  • 2 cups 1%-fat milk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • Strawberries and banana slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric beater until just starting to form soft peaks. Slowly add in 1 tablespoon sugar and continue beating until sugar is incorporated.
  2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, tapioca, milk and eggs in a medium saucepan and let set (without heating) for 5 minutes. Heat saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Turn heat down to low; quickly and gently stir in egg whites and fold gently for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and banana.
  3. Pour into individual glass dessert dishes; or to serve in plastic lunch box resealable containers, allow to cool slightly before spooning into dishes. Garnish with strawberries and bananas.

Recipe note: You could also use whole small-pearl tapioca vs quick-cooking — just cook about 15 minutes longer. 

Who grew up eating tapioca? Ever make tapioca pudding now – do you flavor it or just make it with milk and vanilla?

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