When I’m going through tough times, I have a tendency to look for the answers in a bowl of pudding. I’m not advocating for emotional eating, but sometimes you just need a little something, you know? And pudding, at least the way I make it, makes for a fine little something any day of the week. Any time of day, for that matter. I long ago perfected the formula for vanilla pudding, a honey-sweetened version of which I posted here some time ago. Back in February, when I was going through a little rough patch, I turned my attention to chocolate pudding.
Folks, let me tell you, the perfect chocolate pudding is an elusive thing. I’ve tried countless stove-top cornstarch-thickened versions. Some relied on melted chocolate swirled in at the end of cooking. Others on a good dose of cocoa powder. Others still employed both techniques, but none of them were exactly what I wanted. Sometimes the issue was texture (not thick enough! too thick!) and other times it was taste (not chocolately enough! too sweet!). I spent time – a lot of it – reading pudding forums (pudding forums! how I love the internet!) to try and crack the code for the perfect chocolate pudding. This evades me still, so if you have a recipe for silky-smooth-perfectly-thick-but-not-too-thick-intensely-chocolatety-chocolate-pudding, please, PLEASE, send it my way.
Somewhere in the middle of my pudding trials I decided to throw caution to the wind and do something I practically never do and have always been decidedly against – blur the lines between treat food and healthy food. My friend Karen emailed me this recipe for raw chocolate pudding which she tried a sample of at a Whole Foods a while ago. My first instinct was along the lines of, thanks, but that’s not the kind of food I’m in to. But after many trials of sub-par chocolate pudding I figured I had nothing to lose and gave it a go.
So, I made this whacky chocolate pudding. Pudding made from nothing but avocados (what?!), banana, dates, and cocoa powder. And, after skeptically scooping a few fingerfulls directly from the food processor into my mouth, I wasn’t convinced. It tasted weird. It tasted like avocados. But, then I chilled it. And then later that same evening I sat with not one but two bowls of chocolate pudding in front of me. One, stove-top cornstarch-thickened with a bit of cocoa and a bit of melted chocolate swirled in. The other, this recipe.
I liked this one better.
I don’t even know who I am.
You should try this pudding.
Raw Chocolate Pudding Recipe:
Let me say a few things here. First, pudding is kind of a stretch. This dessert is thick – much thicker than the pudding I’m after. But it is also intensely chocoately and really amazing. Can you taste the avocado? Yes, but only at first. If you eat it immediately, the avocado is definitely there. Once you chill it, however, the avocado flavour disappears. Make sure your avocados and banana are nice and ripe, otherwise you’ll have a hint of that unripeness. But otherwise, seriously, go for it.
Recipe inspired by Whole Foods
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup soft pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down a few times. Once the mixture is smooth, cover and chill for at least an hour. Serve cold.
Avocados are an extremely fatty fruit! Around 80% of the calories in an avocado come from fat, which is about 20 x higher than most fruit. However, about 65% of this fat is healthy monounsaturated fat, in particular oleic acid. Avocados also contain an incredible range of phytonutrients, and many vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, and potassium – more potassium than a banana even!
Bananas are a great source of concentrated energy and potassium. They are also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese.
Dates are a great source of natural sweetness, are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, dietary fiber, potassium, and manganese.
Raw Cocoa is antioxidant rich, and the flavanoid content appears to be helpful in protecting blood vessel linings and thus preventing high blood pressure.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013