Chocolate Pudding – Sneaking Your Veggies

You have seen the controversy at one time or another over hiding vegetables in other foods to get children to eat more vegetables. Some argue that you cannot teach real appreciation of vegetables if they are always disguised as something else.

I vote for vegetables any way you can get them. The greater the variety of ways there are to serve them the better is my belief. Prepare delicious veggies and they will be eaten.

Pumpkin is one of our all time favorite veggies. My Pumpkin Pudding, also here is in my family’s hall-of-fame. Daughter Teresa (our dietician) has used it in food demonstrations and blogged about it on numerous occasions. I also love savory pumpkin in a casserole with lots of onion, garlic, and sage. Pumpkin is a year-round staple at my house.

When my children were young they would eat nearly any vegetable covered in cheese sauce. After developing my gluten-free, vegan Creamy Sauce I think it would have worked just as well – I know it does for me. Is a tasty sauce being sneaky? I think not.

Avocados seem to be this season’s veggie superstar. I love to take a half of an avocado, sprinkle it liberally with salt and garlic powder, mash it up using the peeling as a small bowl, and eat it with a spoon for a snack. Rita and I also enjoy our Avocado Aioli as a dip or salad dressing.

Inspired by recent articles on the internet treating this rich, oily vegetable as a base for sweets I had to give it a try. This is so rich and decadent that a tiny amount satisfies cravings for sweet and chocolate at the same time. And I smile happily to myself thinking of the health benefits of the three major ingredients: avocado, cocoa, and nut or seed butter. Cinnamon is a plus and I threw in unrefined coconut oil to take it over the top. It is so rich and thick it could be used for a truffle or cookie sandwich filling.

Advance warning: this might process in a blender if you have a blender with super powers. Mine does not and it bogged down on adding the cocoa which then required the mixture to be transferred to a mixing bowl and then finished with a hand-held electric mixer. Initially I did not try the food processor for this simple recipe because washing up two beaters seems much quicker than dealing with the processor assembly. But maybe next time I will just get over it and use the food processor.

Chocolate Pudding - Six Servings

Chocolate Pudding - Six Servings


Chocolate Avocado Pudding/Dessert
(Adapted from Paleo Diet Lifestyle)
Ingredients for 6 servings:
3 medium avocados, washed (about 170g each)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tablespoons almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter
Additional sweetener – your choice of nutritive or non-nutritive
(I used 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia from Sprout’s)
Flavor variations*
1 tablespoon liquid, unrefined coconut oil

Preparation:
Cut the avocados in half, dispose of the seed, and scrape the pulp into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the agave, cocoa powder, and the nut or seed butter. Add your chosen liquid flavorings such as vanilla, orange, or coffee. Mash the ingredients together with a fork as best you can so the cocoa powder will not blow out of the bowl when you turn on the mixer. Then use your hand-held electric mixer blades like a potato masher to pull it together.

Turn your mixer on low-speed and gently move it up and down to blend the ingredients and pulverize/liquefy the avocados. Blend in your remaining flavor* variations and your additional sweetener of choice. When the mixture comes together you can gradually increase the speed to medium. Continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Add in the liquid coconut oil and finish mixing.

Divide into 6 small containers about 3-3.5 ounces each. Store the pudding in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Variations:
1) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract

2) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee mixed with 1 teaspoon water or
1 teaspoon Kahlua coffee liquor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground chili powder

*the ground spices contain phyto-nutrients but if mint, raspberry or something other is your craving then go for it! Plus this is really yum topped with fresh raspberries.

Gretchen @gfedge

Chocolate + Raspberry = Awesome Combination

Chocolate + Raspberry = Awesome Combination

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend May 10-14, 2012
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.

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