Deliciously Creamy Avocado Chocolate Pudding

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start thinking about what type of dessert you’ll be making for yourself and your sweetheart. There will always be a place for fancy cakes and confections during this holiday, but what if you want something special to cap off your meal that also happens to be ridiculously easy to prepare?

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The simple make-ahead chocolate pudding below tastes deceptively rich, but doesn’t contain most of the in-moderation-only ingredients of a traditional recipe.

Typically, milk, egg yolks, butter, and cornstarch are simmered together to provide the requisite thick-yet-silky consistency, while cocoa powder acts as the backbone of flavor. The problem with this classic approach is that there’s a risk of curdling if the eggs overcook. Plus, the saturated fat and cholesterol can make things difficult for those following a more restricted diet. Why not try a shortcut chocolate pudding that also happens to be better for you as well? This no-cook version utilizes just one ingredient to attain its smooth and creamy texture: avocado.

Avocado and Whipped Cream?

avacado cut on display

Yes, avocadoes are high in fat. But, unlike the dairy and eggs used in a regular chocolate pudding, the buttery green fruit is made up of predominantly heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. When blended together with cocoa powder, along with soaked dates and honey for sweetness, the result is a luscious dessert that is amazingly similar in flavor to a conventional chocolate pudding and slightly thicker in texture. A small amount of instant espresso powder boosts the cocoa flavor without making the dessert actually taste like coffee. After portioning out individual servings into small bowls, drinking glasses, or teacups, all that’s left to do is covering and refrigerating the puddings overnight. Cleaning the blender might be the hardest part of this senior friendly recipe.

If you wanted to, you could stop here and still be perfectly happy with the results. But to make this dessert truly worthy of the occasion, add the whipped (coconut) cream and raspberry garnishes. Coconut cream does contain quite a bit of saturated fat (just as heavy whipping cream does), but a small amount goes a long way. It’s a nice alternative for dairy-sensitive stomachs and provides a hint of complementary coconut flavor. Plus, because it comes canned, it’s a great pantry item to keep in the refrigerator: you’ll be ready anytime a last-minute need for whipped cream strikes!

Dairy-Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding

If you cannot find canned coconut cream, refrigerate a can of regular coconut milk overnight and use the thick cream portion only, reserving the liquid for another use. Do not use sweetened canned cream of coconut. Any leftover whipped coconut cream should be kept refrigerated and will remain stable for several days.

Ingredients

raspberries in mug

1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates 

2 avocados, pitted and peeled, about 1 lb. 

1/3 cup cocoa powder

4 Tbs. honey

1 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional)

1 cup canned coconut cream, refrigerated until firm

1 cup raspberries

Cooking Instructions

melted chcolate in pot

1. Place the dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak 30 minutes, then drain.

2. Place the dates, avocado, cocoa powder, 3 Tbs. of the honey and espresso powder in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the blender jar.

3. Divide among 4 small dessert bowls, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4. Place the coconut cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, place the coconut cream in a large bowl and whisk with a hand mixer. Whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks are formed, about 2 minutes, adding the remaining 1 Tbs. honey halfway through whisking.

5. Top the chilled chocolate puddings with a dollop of whipped coconut cream (there will be leftovers) and garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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