Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Finally, the temperature soared into the low 80’s this weekend. New York City was bursting with people who seemed to come out of an extended wintry hibernation. Every last remaining patch of grass was reserved for picnic blankets and strollers, bubble blowers and panting canines.

Every year, it’s like clock work.  With he warm weather comes my quest to create  cool treats that are as refreshing as they are healthy. We’re trying to avoid the weekend multi-visits to the ice cream cart that always overcharges and under delivers.  An argument always ensues when my kids plead with me to buy the artificial Dora the Explorer ice cream with bubble gum eyes.

That’s why I was thrilled to find [Read more...]

Secret Recipe Club- Chocolate Pudding Pops

 

I’m having a blast as a member of the Secret Recipe Club.  It’s a unique opportunity for me to gain exposure to other food blogs, their authors, and the plethora of recipes specific to each site.  Reveal day is exciting.  Today I finally get to showcase the secret recipe I’ve chosen to cook from my April food blog assignment:  Chocolates and Dreams.

Starting my SRC assignments, I always read about the author prior to perusing the recipe section of the blog. It’s important to get an understanding of the mission and passion fueling so many of the recipes. I find I immediately create a virtual connection with the author.  This time, my connection felt out of my tiny world, literally!  Chocolates and Dreams hails all the way from Delhi, India. I immediately thought of Mom and how different her early culinary journeys would have been with access to the internet.  Forget index cards with handwritten recipes. To have the ability to virtually trade recipes and notes with someone halfway across the world in real time is (still) unfathomable.

The recipe selection in Chocolates and Dreams is quite vast.  From celebrated Indian dishes like: Achari Murgh (Chicken in Pickled Spices) and Magur Mach (Indian Catfish Curry) to traditional American faves like Carrot Cake and Cinnamon Buns, each selection boasts step-by-step photos and personal commentary along the way.

I earmarked many of the flavor-rich Indian recipes on the blog I‘m curious to try but, I know my audience. With picky kid eaters, sticking to some of the more “basic” recipes is definitely a safer, more predictable route (for now).   I found a recipe for pudding pops that peaked my interest but I knew I would to tweak it to make it kid-friendly (in place of coffee and rum I added in some pure vanilla). Jello Pudding Pops were my childhood fave so, why not try to create something similar from scratch at home? Plus, the recipe is quick and easy (all the ingredients can be found in your well-stocked pantry)—another seamless opportunity to involve the kids.

We spent a rainy afternoon dedicated to our “Pudding Pop Experiment “ where the pudding base (cocoa and sugar and milk ) was mixed and whipped by my mad scientists. The recipe is simple (requiring no real culinary skill) so both kids were able to make their own “pop potions” with very little guidance (except for the microwave — I was the designated “heat helper” here).

Mixing the milk and cocoa and sugar

Pudding mixture post microwave

Preparing the pudding molds for the freezer

 We poured the chocolate pudding into ice pop molds, placed them in the freezer, and waited for our molds to transform into frozen pudding pops.

My kids had been waiting an hour to test out their product so they were beyond eager to start taste testing their pops. Unfortunately, we had a little trouble wrangling the frozen pops out of their molds.  Lesson learned- make sure to place your popsicle sticks into your molds before you pour in your liquid prior to freezing.  We eventually realized we could loosen the pops by running warm water around the outside of the molds.  Success!

These pops are frozen chocolate pudding on a stick.  Their coolness is refreshing  yet. their taste and consistency are more substantial than any fruit or ice pop.  Your head will crave another pop but your stomach will tell you otherwise–these are completely filling.

Our “Pudding Pop Experiment” was a success.  We’ll be making these again….and again…and again…

I will be visiting Chocolates and Dreams again very soon and hope you do too!

 



Raw Chocolate Pudding

The type of pudding I remember eating as a child came directly from those square plastic containers that probably sat on the shelves of the supermarket for weeks.  This same pudding was endorsed ad nauseum in the 1980′s by Bill Cosby in those iconic commercial’s where he’s featured licking the chocolate Jello “puddin’” off his spoon while surrounded by dozens of salivating kids.  It’s probably safe to say every brown bag school lunch packed by Mom contained a jello pudding accompaniment for dessert.

My go to chocolate pudding as a kid….and a new mom

Continuing the tradition, up until very recently, my kids were beneficiaries of these ready-made dessert packs too.  However, much like my recent discoveries with the pre-made Nutella spread, outside of its convenience, I was desperate to find a healthier, less sugar-laden version.  It was also equally important for me to attempt to recreate this dessert using ingredients I could actually recognize!

You can imagine how thrilled I was to literally stumble upon a recipe for Raw Chocolate Pudding over at the Nourishing Gourmet!  My prayers were immediately answered.  The use of avocados as the base for the pudding is highly appealing to me, not to mention that it’s full of healthy fats.

Avocados are used as the base for the pudding

And, I love the natural sweeteners from the ripe banana and the raw honey as well as the antioxident benefits from the raw cocoa.

Ah, raw honey– a natural sweetener

Bottom line, all the ingredients can easily be found at your local market.  You might not have Coconut Oil in your pantry but, you should be able to find it in anywhere. Plus, the recipe couldn’t be simpler– much like the Pomegranate Smoothie.  You can’t argue with a recipe that only requires you to dump all ingredients into a mixer and push “blend” to finish the job.  After just 30 minutes of refrigeration, I had a light and creamy pudding snack….perfect to satiate an afternoon sweet craving.  Plus, I ate it the next morning for breakfast with some granola sprinkled on top.

Before I served some to my kids, I added in a teaspoon of agave nectar sweetener and mixed it throughout.  I knew it needed another dose of sweetness  to help seal the deal (for them).  While I did get one thumb up on the tough rating scale, I know it’ll take a couple more “raw pudding samplings” to help fade their years of memories eating those sugary puddings to which they’d become addicted.

Either way, I will be making this again and again, each time with little tweaks.

Now it’s your turn!  Enjoy.

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