Creamy banana pudding served over a walnut-pretzel crust makes for a perfect light dessert. Both gluten free and vegan, this dessert is guilt free and absolutely delicious!
“I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
I love cream pies! Who’s with me? There is something about a cream pie that is just irresistible. Creamy pudding filling topped with whipped cream, SO good. Last summer, we stopped on a road trip at a little diner in Kansas that had 20+ cream pies on the menu. Talk about a dilemma!!! Choosing just one was impossible, so Luke and I chose 4 (eek!) and shared them. I still remember the banana cream pie there, and so I set out to make it myself. While I love cream pies, I’m not a fan of using a traditional pie crust. I love a crust that is crunchy and sweet, and I created a version here that I love using California walnuts!
Walnuts are packed full of nutrients, just an ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of the essential plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full. Omega-3’s are important in helping keep our hearts and brains healthy, and walnuts are a great (and tasty!) source. I always have walnuts on hand, they are great for snacking on, but I also love throwing them on top of salads, adding them to cookies and breads, and grinding them up to use as part of a crust or topping. I love how versatile they are!
For this recipe, I used a food processor to blend walnuts, pretzels, and dates to form the crust. Then I topped it with sliced bananas, vegan banana pudding, and coconut whipped cream, sprinkled on some more walnuts and it was ready to devour! The pudding for this recipe does need to be made in advance so it has time to cool and set, so just make sure you give yourself time for that. It could be made the day before you need it and then all you have to do is layer all the ingredients together when you’re ready to eat! I hope you enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to eat walnuts?
- 1 cup California walnuts
- 1 cup gluten free pretzels
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (in the carton)
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 vanilla bean, caviar scraped out
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 2–3 bananas, sliced
- 1 container dairy free coconut frozen whipped topping (I used So Delicious)
- 1/2 cup California walnuts
- To make the crust, process walnuts and pretzels until they are finely ground. Add dates and process until mixture sticks together when pressed. If mixture is too crumbly add more dates until it holds together. To make the pudding, take 1/2 cup coconut milk and whisk with cornstarch. Mix it well, and set it aside. Then, add 2 cups of coconut milk to a saucepan and whisk in sugar, mashed banana, and vanilla bean caviar and bean, and cook over medium-low heat. When the mixture is warm and steaming hot, add coconut milk/cornstarch mixture and whisk well. Cook, stirring the mixture occasionally, allowing the mixture to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, continue whisking until the pudding is glossy and thick, about 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat, remove the vanilla bean, and stir in the butter until it is melted. Pour the pudding into a heat proof dish, and refrigerate for 4 hours or more until it is fully cooled and set. When you’re ready to make your pie, press the walnut crust into a greased pie dish. Top with sliced bananas, then the pudding, and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle remaining walnuts on top and enjoy!
*You can substitute vanilla extract for vanilla bean if you don’t have a vanilla bean handy. Just add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the pudding after you remove it from the heat.