Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nutrient Rich Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding

I have been wanting to try this for quite some time but was finally motivated when I saw it featured in the raw food article put out by Whole Living magazine. Boy am I glad I did! It's yummy and guilt free. Why? Because it's made with nutrient rich avocado, raw cocoa powder, honey and coconut oil. It is a super simple way to get some of those "good fats" into your diet and your little and big kids will love it. The cool part is that you can experiment with the flavors. The original recipe to which I referred did not include coconut oil but I was not only did I want the nutritional benefit of the coconut oil, I was hoping for a Mounds candy flavor and I got much more of a Mounds/chocolate cake flavor. Ryan loves peanut butter so next time I am going to add that instead of the coconut oil. I am also going to take advantage of the loads of mint growing in the summer garden and add some cocoa nibs to achieve a Thin Mint flavor.
Guiltless Mound-ish Pudding
(one serving portion, feel free to make some for the whole fam)
1 ripe avocado
Cocoa Powder (raw is best)
A pinch of sea salt
Honey (raw and unfiltered is best)
Coconut butter or oil
Vanilla Extract or Vanilla from the bean
OPTIONS: Chopped raw nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, fruit

Remove the pit from avocado and scoop meat into food processor (I used my mini for this one). Add 2-3 spoonfuls of cocoa powder, 2 spoonfuls if coconut oil, a pinch of salt, 2-3 spoonfuls of honey (to taste) and spoonful of vanilla extract. Pulse until desired texture is achieved. Taste for desired sweetness. Fold in any additional ingredients and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or so (if you can wait that long) then enjoy!
* I do not recommend this as a after dinner dessert or a bed time snack, as the chocolate can tend to hype people up. Make it a weekend treat or after school/work snack.
Benefits of your sweet tooth snack:
Raw Cocoa Powder provides loads of antioxidants and mood boosting phytochemicals. It is said to contain more antioxidants than red wine, coffees, teas and even some fruits and veggies. It is also said to have an effect on reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Chocolate is known to have an extremely high magnesium content, a nutrient in which deficiency tends to be common for Westerners.  Also, a study back in 2004 found consumption of chocolate by rats to inhibit cataract formation. It should be noted that these benefits start to disappear and the negative out ways the positive when the percentage of actual cocoa decreases and the end result is processes milk chocolate. To receive these benefits stick to raw cocoa powder and chocolate containing at least 75% of cocoa.
Coconut Oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid to which the benefits of consumption and use include hair care, skin care, good cholesterol presence, weight loss, high immunity levels, good digestion and metabolism, relief for kidney issues, dental care and bone strength. Coconut oil is also said to help in the absorption of vitamins and minerals and help to heal infection. In the organic skin care world you always see "if you can't consume it, you should not put it on you skin." Well here you go folks. Eat it and put it all over your skin! Again, it should be noted that not all coconut oil is alike and as with any high fatty acid, you should consume this morning, noon and night. That said, look for good quality coconut oils and feel free to use on a daily basis along with a plant based diet full of fruits and veggies.
Avocado used to have a bad rap for causing weight gain, but consumed in the proper quantities alongside a balanced, healthy diet, nothing could be further from the truth. The avocado does contain a large amount of fat but we need fat and especially the kind that this buttery, green fruit provides. This fruit also is extremely low in bad cholesterol and extremely high in good fiber. It is a wonderful source of Vitamins C and K and contains a good amount of folate (listen up ladies with a bun in the oven). Once again you can consume this or use it as a skin and hair mask.
***No waste garden tip:
Save the rinds from your avocados to start seeds in, then plant seedling and avocado skin directly in garden soil.

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