Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vegan Chocolate/Carob Pudding

I've never been much of a pudding fan but my girls love it.  Maybe it's a kiddo thing?  I've loved that I've found a whole foods based pudding without the normal additives.  It tastes pretty good, for pudding.  My girls on the other hand go crazy for it.  We've had other little friends over and fed it to them, and they love it too.  So it's tested and tried by several little people who all give it two thumbs up.

The thing I love about this recipe is the avocados.  I love finding ways to get healthy fats into my girls.  They loved avocados plain as little tykes but I may have overdosed them on avocado because they are both in a phase where they just don't want avocados on anything.  I can hardly believe it.  I love avocados.  I could eat them all day long.  They aren't local or seasonal but I enjoy avocados most of the year.  So why not put them in pudding?  Chocolate and avocados seem like a weird pair but really they do go together.  The avocado creates a creamy texture.  For my oldest daughters 1st birthday I made chocolate cupcakes with an avocado chocolate frosting.  All vegan. They were quite tasty.  I say that so you don't rule it out before you try it or at least letting the little ones try it.  This can be made to even be baby friendly.

I have seen several recipes over the last couple years on raw puddings that involve cacao powder and avocados so tonight I played around and created our own version.  There are lots of ways to modify and play with this recipe.  Get creative. Taste as you go.  Or better yet, let the little ones taste as you go!

Chocolate/Carob Pudding

3 avocados 
10 dates
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I've used almond and coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS coconut oil (melted)
Juice of 1 orange
1 TBS shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Banana (optional)
4-6 tbs carob powder or raw cacao or cocoa powder
Orange zest (to taste)
Dash of pink Himalayan salt

Blend all ingredients together.

****could omit the cocoa/carob powder if feeding to a baby 
****Soaking the dates in water for an hour or so helps to soften them for blending.  If you don't plan ahead for that, which I usually forget, add dates to some hot water and let them set while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  This is usually enough to soften them for blending.
**** the banana gives it a bit of a banana taste so that's a positive if your kiddos like banana if not  omit or reduce by half
****I topped the girls with some unsweetened carob chips and they loved it
****Strawberries would be a delicious topping as well.
**** I limit my girls intake of chocolate.  The  Theobromine in dark chocolate is a stimulant and it certainly gives my girls extra energy they aren't in need of.  While I'm not a big fan of the 'malty' taste of carob my girls love it.  That's a win, win situation. They get a tasty treat and they will still go to sleep at bed time. 
****maple syrup or raw honey could be added to give the pudding a little more sweetness

Experiment.  Get creative.  Enjoy watching the kiddos get really messy chocolatey faces.  Have your camera ready! The pics are priceless!

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