By: Martianne Stanger
Last month, my husband and I attended a Nourishing Hope mini-conference as a part of our National Autism Month focus. While there, we picked up a copy of “Cooking to Heal,” in which I found one of my new favorite recipes for sweet, healthy indulgence: Chocolate Pudding!“Healthy?!”, you might balk. “How can chocolate pudding be healthy?” (Not to mention gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, cook-free, plus made with some local ingredients!)
Let me explain in nutrition-speak:
- Take two pieces of a food that has 20 essential nutrients (including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid), is anti-inflammatory, promotes heart health and has anti-cancer benefits.
- Add a portion anti-oxidant containing decadence that may help with high blood pressure and heart health.
- Add a mixture of sweetness from an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal gem that contains vitamins B2 and B6, plus iron and manganese and one that contains zinc and anti-oxidants.
- Blend it all until smooth. Chill and enjoy!
And now, in every-day mama-“cooking”-with-the-kids speak:
- Slice two avocados in half, pop out the pits and have your kiddos help you spoon out the “meat” from the skin.
- Plop this “meat” into a blender or food processor and let each child press the burst button for a second or two.
- Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor.
- Then, have the kiddos measure out 1/3 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkling it right atop the partially blended avocado.
- Have the kiddos measure out 1/4 cup of raw honey and 1/2 cup of maple syrup to pour in (or 3/4 to 1 cup of another sweetener of choice, such as agave or dates).
- Take turns hitting the blender or food processing button until smooth.
- Spoon into small bowls, chill and serve.
While you’re waiting for the mixture to chill, enjoy every finger-licking bit of freshly made pudding you can scrape off the sides of your blender or food processing bowl. (It tastes as good at room-temperature as it does chilled, as far as my family is concerned.)
- If you have no nut allergies in your family, serve in fancy dessert bowls, topped with whipped cashew cream and some bright berries for a traditional party favorite.
- For a dessert-as-breakfast feast, serve with variety or sliced fruits and berries as sides.
- For an appetizer, add a bit of water or “milk” to thin into a dip for berries, banana slices, GFCF (but not egg-free) macaroons.