I first discovered the blog world this summer and the very first blog someone told me about was Choosing Raw. I love how Gena uses whole food ingredients in her recipes which are easy to prepare and always taste outstanding. One of the first recipes I tried of hers was her Chocomole or Chocolate pudding.
I had never in my life heard of making a dessert with avocado and to my pleasant surprise it was deee-licious! I make it for friends and have them guess the ingredients…no one ever gets it. They are always taken aback when I tell them the base is avocado.
I adore this recipe for its smooth, velvety texture; deep chocolatey flavour and rich taste. It is decadent. You don’t need a huge portion to be satisfied. Plus, using flavanol-rich cocoa powder (or dark chocolate 74%; cacao nibs) offers health benefits for the heart, brain, blood sugar and skin. I love everything about this dreamy pudding!
I think I will make a parfait next using fruit and nuts OR since its Halloween I may make it into a mud pie with worms coming out of it.
8 Tbsp cocoa powder
12 dates (may need less depending on size and desired sweetness, soak if necessary)
¾ cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut (or fruit and/or nuts).
1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and begin blending, then drizzle in the water from the top. Process until it’s smooth and creamy. Serves 4. This dish is incredibly decadent with a rich, deep chocolate flavour (I used raw cocoa).
Note: You can adjust the amount of cocoa, dates and maple syrup you use to suite your taste.
You can also add more water or almond milk (up to another ¼ cup or more) if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Top with strawberries, raspberries, oranges, bananas, nuts – pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or add both and make into a beautiful parfait.
Cocoa is derived from beans in fruit pods produced by the cacao tree. Once revered by the Aztecs as “the food of the gods.” Cocoa beans are extremely bitter. I’ve learned that people can wean off coffee by eating one or two cacao beans as it gives them a burst of caffeine and a lot of other nutrients!
Is chocolate good for you? It is not the chocolate, per se, that is good for you but the cocoa, the spicy powder that makes chocolate taste like chocolate. Cocoa (the spice) is one of the richest sources of flavanols, plant compounds that help protect the heart in a variety of ways and it does this in a pleasing vehicle. Countless studies shows that coca flavanols (antioxidants) can disarm cell-damaging free radicals, preserve cell membranes, protect DNA, improve blood flow to the heart, lower high blood pressure, prevent the formation of artery clogging plaque and prevent blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. Dozens of studies show that people who consume flavanol-rich cocoa (as powder mixed with water or eaten as dark chocolate) are in much better cardiovascular shape than those who don’t.
There is also evidence that cocoa helps with diabetes (improves insulin sensitivity), wrinkles, softer skin, endurance and preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Dark chocolate has been shown in studies to contain up to 4x the antioxidants found in tea.
Choose flavanol-rich cocoa powder or dark chocolate – the most healthful dark chocolate contains 74% (no less) or more cocoa solids. It can take some getting used to, but you can start by choosing chocolate with 60% cocoa, which will still have a lot of health benefits, but don’t go under that.
When milk and sugar get added to chocolate the healthy flavanols get diluted. Avoid chocolate, white chocolate candies and treats made with hydrogenated fats (aka trans fats), refined flour, none of which promotes health. Also pass on products labeled “artificial chocolate” or “chocolate –flavoured,” these are imitations that are not even close the real thing in flavour, texture or health benefits.
Stay tuned for a yummy no-bake, healthy brownie you can feel good eating!!