BananoNut Pudding

The agar in this recipe is a thickening agent made from seaweed, so it makes the pudding thick with the superfood benefits of seaweed.

4 Medjool dates, pitted, or 8 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp agar flakes
6 ripe medium bananas, mashed
2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-sodium canned cannellini beans, drained

Soak dates in 1/4 cup of the water or enough to cover. Soak coconut in the remaining water. 
After 20 minutes, drain dates and coconut and reserve soaking water.

Chop 1/4 cup of the almonds and put aside for topping.

Transfer coconut and date soaking liquid to a saucepan, add agar flakes and cook over medium heat, whisking until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add mashed bananas and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat and add vanilla. In a high-powered blender, blend banana mixture with remaining almonds, dates and beans until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in coconut flakes and mix. Transfer to a large serving dish or individual dishes. Top with reserved chopped almonds and chill for at least one hour before serving.

Note: Agar is a stabilizing and thickening agent made from seaweed. It is sold in health-food stores and some supermarkets in both flake and powder forms. If using agar powder instead of flakes, reduce the amount to 1 tablespoon.

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