This non-dairy version of panna cotta is light and creamy and perfect for summer when strawberries are in season!
1/4 cup raw or roasted cashews, soaked in water for 3 hours or overnight
2 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
3/4 teaspoon agar powder (NOW brand recommended)*
1 rounded tablespoon kuzu powder**
1–2 tablespoons cool water
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
pinch Himalayan salt or sea salt
a few strawberries, for garnish
a few fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
shaved chocolate, for garnish (optional)
Drain cashews and set aside.
Pour about 1 cup of the almond milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with agar powder. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat, whisking frequently to combine.
Meanwhile, dissolve kuzu in a small bowl or cup with 1-2 tablespoons water. Using a spoon or tiny whisk, stir until kudzu has dissolved. Whisk dissolved kuzu to agar mixture and simmer for a few minutes. This will thicken the milk slightly. Turn off heat.
Put remaining cup of almond milk in a blender with cashews, strawberries, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt. Blend until smooth, then add mixture from the stove and blend on low until just combined.
Pour mixture into dessert cups or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or until set. Garnish with sliced strawberries and mint leaves or shaved chocolate.
* Agar is a natural, pure vegetable quality gelatin and a much healthier alternative to commercial animal, chemical gelatins.
** Kuzu powder is chunky and will become smooth when combined with a cool liquid. There’s no need to try to make it into a powder when measuring. Just use a slightly rounded tablespoon and you’ll have the right amount. Arrowroot can be substituted, but it has a stickier texture. Kudzu is more velvety smooth.