I have a not-so-secret obsession with sweets. Matt thinks it stems from the long line of dessert-loving relatives in my family. My lineage includes a grandmother whose family owned a bakery, another grandma who was a pie baking expert, and a grandfather who isn’t afraid to reprimand anyone who is “shy” with his ice cream servings.
My dessert cravings will hit immediately after the last bite of a meal. A towering piece of gooey chocolate cake always sounds best, but a tiny morsel broken from a dark chocolate candy bar will satisfy just fine. (Are you picking up on a chocolate theme?)
I’m always looking for new sweet treats to satisfy cravings. It can really be a challenge finding sweets that aren’t full of sugar. Thankfully, we have the most amazing website community. One of our generous readers sent a handful of recipes a few months ago – things like pancakes flavored homemade butter – the recipes were making me weak in the knees. As I scanned the wonderful ideas she urged us to share with the diyNatural community, one caught my eye immediately – a “pudding” that is actually healthy!
My obsession with chocolate pudding is a topic for another day. I’ll spare you all the gooey chocolate details and skip to this “pudding” that will knock your socks off. (You’ll understand the quotes once you see the recipe for this dreamy, creamy chocolate pudding knock-off.)
Healthy Homemade Chocolate “Pudding”
- 3 ripe avocados, diced
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup (find unrefined natural sweeteners here)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup filtered water (find water purification systems here)
- ½ cup pitted dates
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (how to make your own vanilla extract)
- 1 pinch sea salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
- Heat water just until warm and add dates to water. Allow dates to soften in water for about 20 minutes. Strain dates from water and reserve water for step 3.
- Combine avocado, dates, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a food processor.
- Process all ingredients on low, gradually adding 1 tablespoon of the water at a time. Blend until creamy.
Makes about 5 cups. Lasts in the refrigerator for several days or freezes well for later.
The proof’s in the pudding
Pudding mixes on store shelves contain sugar, artificial flavors, thickening agents, preservatives, and even artificial colors! (It baffles me, doesn’t cocoa give enough color on its own?) You’ll find no such ingredients in this smooth, delicious alternative.
Not only will it easily fill the dessert role, but there’s also no arguing that some of the ingredients provide beneficial nutrients for your diet. The main ingredient, avocado, is a nutrient dense food, containing nearly 20 essential nutrients and healthy fats your body needs. Cocoa powder contains antioxidants, and dates are full of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener containing antioxidants, and is a wonderful alternative to processed sugars.
Another great perk of this “pudding” is that it you can still eat it if you have dairy allergies. You’ll be getting a nice helping of healthy fats with none of the effects of the typical dairy-based puddings.
I’m so in love with this new chocolate “pudding.” I have enjoyed small bowls as a stand-alone dessert, and have even used it to dip fruit pieces into. Bananas and strawberries are delicious with this thick pudding, but feel free to experiment with others such as grapes or apples.
This chocolate “pudding” also makes the most DIVINE pudding pops! Simply fill your reusable popsicle molds and freeze for a rich snack or dessert. (Far better than store-bought!)
Are you a dessert fiend like me? Forgo the sugary desserts and enjoy this maple syrup-sweetened “pudding” after your next meal!
As I run to the freezer for one of my pudding pops, I’m sending out big screaming bunches of thanks to our reader, Danielle B! I’m forever indebted to you for this new healthy dessert that easily quells my chocolate cravings!!!
References and Recommended Reading