Low in sugar. High in satisfaction.
Panna cotta, which translates to “cooked cream” in Italian, is a simple, slightly sweet dessert that is somewhere between pudding and Jello. Like both of those desserts, panna cotta can come in many flavors and is often garnished with fruits and sauces.
In this episode of Eating by Heart, chef Colombe Jacobsen makes a heart-healthy coconut panna cotta that is a bit healthier while still tasting like a treat. Using coconut milk not only creates an irresistibly tropical flavor, but it is also better for lowering cholesterol than cow’s milk. In place of refined sugar, this coconut panna cotta uses maple syrup (the real stuff!) or agave for a more natural sweetness.
Another trick to lowering the sugar in this dairy-free panna cotta is using a real vanilla bean. (Learn the trick to deseeding a vanilla bean here.) Opting for a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract is an easy way to amp up the flavor of a dessert, so you can go easier on the sugar and save on calories.
This coconut panna cotta recipe contains two unique ingredients you may be less familiar with: agar-agar and arrowroot starch. Although less common in the United States, agar-agar has long been used in Asian desserts. It’s a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. Arrowroot starch works just like cornstarch, and it’s gluten-free. When used as a thickener, it creates a very silky mixture—perfect for this healthy panna cotta!
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
- 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 dashes of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon agar-agar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
Instructions1. In a large pot, add the coconut milk and agar agar and let sit for 10 minutes. 2. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Add the arrowroot to 2 Tablespoons cold water, whisk until dissolved and reserve. 3. Bring the coconut milk and agar agar to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until all of the flakes are dissolved whisking frequently. 4. Add the Maple syrup, vanilla bean seeds and a pinch of sea salt. 5. Whisking gently, add the arrowroot mixture, bring to a boil and gently simmer. (This will thicken the mixture). 6. Wet 6 ramekins thoroughly and place on a tray. Pour the liquid into the ramekins and allow to cool. Finish cooling process covered in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. 7. Serve chilled with raspberries or raspberry coulis or your favorite chocolate sauce.
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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You're watching Eating By Heart.
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I'm Colon, and today we're making
a coconut milk panna cotta.
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It's just perfectly sweet,
it's not over sweet, but so delicious.
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So first, what we'll need to do is,
we'll use our agar agar flakes,
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which are good for thickening.
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It's also made from seaweed, so
it's got lots of good minerals,
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it's high in iodine,
it's actually really healthy for you.
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And then I put my coconut milk in the pot.
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Coconut milk is a healthy fat,
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and it actually helps to
raise your good cholesterol.
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As long as you eat it sparingly,
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it's really great to eat
on a heart healthy diet.
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And I'll just put a pinch of salt
in the coconut milk mixture.
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I'm gonna just let this sit for
a few moments, maybe about ten minutes.
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Now we're gonna go over to the stove
top with our coconut milk mixture.
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So now on a medium high heat,
I'm just gonna bring this
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coconut milk mixture to
a boil with the agar agar.
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And while that's coming to a boil
I'm gonna get my vanilla bean ready.
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So I split my vanilla bean right
smack dab down the middle.
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Vanilla bean smells so delicious.
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And then, I take the tip of a spoon and
I just scrape it out,
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so I'll just reserve this to the side.
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So once the mixture comes to a boil,
we'll turn it down to a simmer, and
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let it simmer until the agar
flakes are completely dissolved.
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And then once it's all dissolved,
you add your arrow root slurry,
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which is arrow root and water.
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You bring it up to a boil and
then simmer for a few more minutes.
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And this way,
the arrow root can work its magic,
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it can change the texture
of the panna cotta.
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I'm gonna add my maple syrup for
sweetness, now I use natural maple syrup.
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That way you get all the nutrients that
come along with natural sweeteners.
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So here I have my vanilla bean, and
I'll just mix it, and we're just about
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ready to take this off the stove top and
pour it into our parfait glasses.
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Now once our mixture is cooled,
we can go ahead and pour it.
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And this one's so chilled that
it's actually setting as we speak.
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And now we'll pop these into the fridge,
and we can try them once they're cool.
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The coconut milk panna cotta is
beautifully set, so now I have to try it.
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Here we go, mm,
it's just perfectly sweet, so delicious.
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Thanks for watching Eating By Heart.
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See you next time.
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