Colonial Indian Pudding ~ Gluten Free and Vegan

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It’s fun to try some of the foods eaten during the time periods we study.  In altering a recipe, I never really know whether it tastes even remotely like it should.  However, this was interesting and edible, though we may not serve it at Thanksgiving dinner (it was a bit gritty for our taste).  Still, it was fun to make something that may have appeared at the first Thanksgiving – hosted by the remaining Plymouth colonists for their friends Squanto, Hobomok, Massasoit and his tribe.

The Plymouth colonists ate corn – lots and lots of corn.  They had beans, squash, eel and fish as well as turkey, venison, berries and nuts.  However, when times got tough, they ate corn every meal of the day.  The Native Americans taught them how to make a variety of recipes, including this cornmeal pudding sweetened with molasses.  The pilgrims called it “Indian Pudding”.


2 tablespoons vegan margarine (we like Nucoa)

3 cups coconut milk (Ok, this is totallynotauthentic colonial fare… but it cooks well.)

1/2 cup molasses

1/3 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons of ground flax (we like golden organic flax) whisked with 4 tablespoons of steaming water and set aside to gel

1/4 teaspoon (heaping) ginger

1/4 teaspoon (heaping) cinnamon

Optional: serve with a scoop of vanilla rice milk or coconut ice cream (again… not authentic)


Grease the bottom and sides of a smaller baking dish with 1 T margarine.

In a pot, heat the coconut milk and molasses, stirring constantly.  Stir in the cornmeal and continue to stir over medium heat about 10 – 15 minutes until the mixtures appears thicker.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of margarine, then whisk in the flax gel.  Whisk in the cinnamon and ginger before pouring the mixture into the baking dish.

Bake uncovered for an hour and a half at 300°.  The pudding will not be solid… it will have a skin.  Coconut/flax pudding never really solidifies until it cools.  Allow your pudding to cool, then serve with a small scoop of other milk ice cream, if you wish.


Does your family have a favorite colonial dish?

~Danika Cooley



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