Have your chocolate pudding and eat it too
The first time I experienced avocado as a desert was back in 1999 in Indonesia. I had a very different relationship to food back then, so although the thick smoothies were delicious, because I mistakenly associated all treats with gaining weight, I didn’t make an effort to collect those recipes.
Many years passed and while I was studying at IIN and becoming familiar with the Raw Food philosophy, the sweet avocado treat resurfaced. But because I was living on the east coast and eating roughly 90% seasonally, yet again, it didn’t become a mainstay for me.
Now, 17 years later, I’m living in Los Angeles–and you guessed it! Avocados abound! I am fearless when it come to healthy fats. And this beautiful dish has finally become a regular part of my rotation.
Until moving to L.A. this year, I had no idea there were so many varieties of avocado. Each week I buy a bag full at the Farmer’s Market and most days I get to enjoy some variation of this nourishing pudding. What bliss!
Play around with the ingredients
This is a very flexible recipe when it comes to the fruit and cacao components. Some days I prefer the pudding without the addition of cacao, allowing just the flavor of berries and a hint of honey to shine through. Try swapping out raspberries for strawberries or mango. Add a package of Acai into the mix. You get the picture!
Whatever you do, don’t add nuts to this recipe. I tried several variations and every time the nuts ruined the mixture.
Sweeten it up
If you’d like to try my recommended toppings, be sure to get Aunt Patty’s Organic Tamarind Paste. This tasty sauce has no added sugar, is packed with plant based iron and has a beautifully complex tart flavor that helps to emphasize the sweetness of the pudding. It’s also excellent on chia pudding, ice cream and of course a prefect compliment to Indian inspired dishes or in BBQ type sauces. You can find it at Whole Foods, but it’s a few bucks cheaper on the Glory Bee website, plus you’ll get a chance to try their other unusual and ethically produced products, like Maguey Syrup!
If you’re using honey to sweeten the pudding, be sure to set aside the frozen berries and blend all the other ingredients together first. I’ve found that when the honey hits the frozen berries it turns into hard candy, and even my monster of a blender won’t completely brake-up the solid pieces.
Keep in mind that this is a lightly sweet pudding, similar to dark chocolate. The tamarind paste spikes the sweet factor, but you can also drizzle some honey on top. Don’t add much more sweetener to the pudding itself because the mixture will just suck it up and you’ll add way more sugar than necessary. Even when it comes to natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup it’s best to be moderate.
If you don’t have a professional blender
You can use most any blender, just keep in mind that you may not achieve as smooth of a texture. If you’re considering investing in a pro grade blender, I’d recommend the Vitamix. Having owned a Blendtec for the last 5 years and getting to play with Vitamix in other kitchens, I’ve come to prefer the it. Vitamix affords greater control with slow speeds (necessary for many applications, including emulsifying oils) and the tamper proves priceless when working with drier mixtures. My Blendtec has served me well, but my next upgrade will be a Vitamix.