Chocolate Pudding

I have found that family dinner is ALWAYS successful if dessert is involved. Now, I am not advocating serving dessert every night, but…sometimes vegetables go down easier and quicker if my children see a yummy dessert waiting for them! Simple psychology. I love serving whole-food, plant-based desserts to my family and friends. Ok, I really love serving them to myself too!

This pudding recipe was born after several grocery store trips with my boys. They kept eyeing the little chocolate pudding cups in the refrigerator section and begged me to buy them. I knew I could make something much better tasting and better for their bodies. I was right! This chocolate pudding has become an absolute favorite at our house. I always let my boys lick the pan after I make it – they love that tradition!

This pudding is deep, dark, and chocolatey. It is really rich, so I always serve it in small portions. I like to top it with some textural elements to add crunch – shredded coconut, cocao nibs, chopped nuts…whatever you like. I have also served this pudding with berries to break up some of the richness, which is another delicious option. This simple, delicious pudding is wonderful by itself and it is fabulous in other dessert preparations. Stay tuned for more desserts that include this chocolate pudding recipe!

Ingredients
3/4 cup organic sugar of choice
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocao powder
1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot starch
1 can coconut milk
4 ounces Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
unsweetened shredded coconut
cocao nibs

Instructions
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar, cocao powder, and tapioca starch in a saucepan. Whisk in half of the coconut milk to create a smooth paste. Add the remaining coconut milk and whisk to combine. Place over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
3. Strain the pudding mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Immediately set the bowl in the ice bath to cool down the pudding. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pudding surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
4. Divide the pudding among six to eight small bowls. Top with coconut and cocao nibs.

Blueberry Peach Crisp

I AM BACK! What a wonderful summer it has been. I made a conscious decision to set aside this healthy food blog for a few months and simply focus on spending time with my family. I know that it is very important to SLOW down and ENJOY the beauty of living. I try to be mindful and focus on being in the present moment FULLY. This summer I truly enjoyed travelling, savoring deliciously healthy food, lots of snuggling with my boys, standing in awe at the beauties of nature, exercising, sleeping in, and exploring new places. I highly recommend unplugging from the busyness of life.
I love being a wife and mother and cherish the time I spend with my family. Now that we are back in the “routine” of work, school, church, etc. I have recommitted myself to make our family mealtime more meaningful. This requires planning and effort on my part, however, I know how important it is to sit down together as a family at the end of the day. We come together and offer a prayer over our food and then we enjoy a healthy meal together. We talk about the comings and goings of the day, we teach table manners, and we laugh a lot! Research has proven that children benefit from eating together as a family in many ways. I will be sharing more about the logistics of making family mealtime work in future posts…
Now, on to this super yummy dessert! This past month, I have had access to the best peaches at my local farmers market. They are so sweet and juicy. I usually buy organic blueberries in bulk at Costco because we eat them everyday. I wanted to combine these fruits in a light dessert and this is what happened. Because I have an oat allergy, I struggle to find really good crisp recipes – I have thrown out so many yucky, gummy, tasteless crisps over the years! I hit success with this one!
The fruit bakes up perfectly in this recipe and the crisp topping has just the right amount of nutty, coconut flavor. I love the textural element of the coconut and pecans against the softness of the fruit – it’s SO GOOD! I have made this several times over the past months and it has never lasted more than a day. This dessert is easy to make and the perfect end to a family meal. Enjoy!
FRUIT
  • 3 cups sliced peaches, 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp  arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

CRISP

  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal (or almond flour)
  • 1/3 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
 Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add fruit directly to a 9×9-inch or similar size dish. Top with maple syrup, arrowroot, and lemon juice and toss to combine.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add the hazelnut meal, coconut, pecans, coconut sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Then add coconut oil and mix again until evenly distributed. Taste a little and see if it’s sweet enough to your liking. Add either more coconut sugar or a little maple syrup.
  3. Spread the crisp topping evenly over the fruit. Bake uncovered on the center oven rack for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  4. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve as is, or with this Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream! Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days. (Adapted from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)