Italian Style Easy Custard Recipe: Panna Cotta!If you saw my recent blog post about the 6 diet secrets I learned in Italy, then you know we recently returned from a trip to Rome and that I have been obsessed with Italian-style cooking ever since. Along with homemade pumpkin ravioli, Panna Cotta has been at the top of my “to make” list in the weeks since we have been home. An Italian inspired Easy Custard Recipe, Panna Cotta is one of those simple, classic desserts everyone should know how to make. Although I just learned how to make it, I so wish I had discovered the recipe years ago because it really does taste like a decadent dessert but it is also incredibly healthy too. In fact, the custard recipe is so healthy you could easily serve it as a make-ahead breakfast as a replacement for yogurt.
Clean DessertsIf you have our Clean Cuisine book, then you know when it comes to clean eating and dessert we always try to work in as many nutrients as possible in whatever treat we are concocting. When it comes to optimum nutrition, making “whole fruit” (not fruit juice!) the primary sweetening agent for your desserts is one of the best ways to boost the overall nutritional content, which is exactly what I have done with the Custard Recipe below. I do still use a teeny bit of unrefined sweetener in the form of pure maple syrup in the recipe, but the antioxidant-rich mango is definitely the dominant sweetener.
Health Benefits of CardamomI have really been into the spice cardamom lately, I decided to work it into the recipe too. I’ve mostly been sprinkling cardamom in my coffee, but I find it’s exotic, warming flavor really goes very well with the mango. Like cinnamon or nutmeg, cardamom is a “sweet-enhancing” spice, so adding it to any dessert will enhance the natural sweetness of your treat. Although it is not used so much in Italian cooking, cardamom is actually used extensively in desserts in India and the Middle East. And did you know cardamom is also a good source of minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium? In Ayurvedic medicine, cardamom is considered an an excellent digestive, especially beneficial for reducing bloating. If you are not used to cooking with cardamom start of with just 1/4 teaspoon and see how you like it. Feel free to add more to taste. Finally, one quick word about the gelatin in the recipe. Not all gelatin is “clean”, but the grass fed one by Vital Proteins is a very good one. Vital Proteins gelatin is a 100% pure, pasture-raised, grass-fed gelatin powder that will thicken in cold liquids just like any other gelatin. The amino acids contained in gelatin are therapeutic and are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage, and joints. Ok! On with the recipe…
Italian Style Easy Custard Recipe: Panna Cotta with Mango
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 2 cups chopped mango
- 1 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (plus more to taste)
- 2 1/2 cups canned coconut milk (divided)
- 2 teaspoons gelatin (see notes in article above for a “clean” gelatin brand)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Place the mango, coconut palm sugar and cardamom in a medium-sized bowl and gently toss together. Set mango mixture aside.
- Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk to a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to a small saucepan, add the remaining 2 cups of coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup and pinch of unrefined sea salt. Warm the mixture over low heat, whisking occasionally with a fork, until tiny bubbles start to form. Remove the mixture from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the reserved coconut-gelatin mixture slowly into the warm coconut-maple syrup mixture until it is completely smooth and gelatin is dissolved. Divide the mixture evenly among 6 small bowls, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
- Divide the mango sauce on top of the firmed coconut mixture and serve chilled.