Deceptively Sinless Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Deceptively Sinless Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado PuddingI’ve always liked sweets, but pregnancy really amplifies this wicked taste of mine and I have been shamefully shoving junk food into my face like it’s the only thing that will keep me alive.

My lack of willpower and the attitude of “you deserve it, you’re pregnant!” have been a horrible combination. It has totally enabled me to satisfy this craving with whatever crap is handy (including but not limited to lots of chocolate bars) but I’ve started feeling guilty. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging in moderation, but I guess I should probably be making sure I’m getting the right nutrients and all that blah blah blah.

My flawless logic also tells me that if I eat sweets that are more wholesome and nutritious, I can eat MORE of them.

I’m sticking to that theory, so don’t even try to talk me out of it. 

The easiest way to be healthier when in the clutches of a sugar jones is to stay away from packaged, processed sweets and eat things like fruit and yogurt, of course. When that doesn’t do the trick (i.e. most of the time, in my case), I can move on to sweets that are cut with nutritious ingredients, like a honey sweetened apple crisp, say, or chocolate quinoa brownies. Controlling these kinds of ingredients means making my own treats as much as I can, and now that I don’t feel like a hangover on a roadtrip in a stuffy car, I’m much more likely to do this.

However, I could have all the extra energy I’m capable of possessing and still not feel like putting in the effort to bake, so my credo (as always) is that simple is best. I want as few ingredients as possible with as few dishes as possible with as few steps as possible. That’s really not so much to ask, is it?

My ultimate go-to simple and healthy dessert, then, is chocolate avocado pudding.  It’s a bit of a no-brainer, really: avocados are really good for everyone, but as it turns out, they are extra good for us pregnant lassies. Avocados are high in potassium (which helps keep all that extra fluid in your swollen self at the right chemical balance), high in fibre (lowers blood pressure thereby reducing the risk of preeclampsia and also keeps you… you know, moving), and they are also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. They are sometimes thought to be very fattening but the fat content we are looking at is unsaturated. The good kind. Unsaturated fat is crucial in brain and nervous system development, giving you another good reason to dig in while you’re growing a whole human (and also a good reason to feed avocados to your kids).

Chocolate, of course, has gotten a lot of positive attention in recent years as it is now thought to be a healthy choice when you are looking for something to file the edge off your sweet tooth. If you select a good quality dark chocolate (meaning at least 70% cocoa content, but the higher the better), you are enjoying a treat that is a source of antioxidant flavonoids which will not only help your body repair cell damage but can also help protect your cardiovascular system. It does have to be dark chocolate, though: milk chocolate and Dutch processed cocoa are both processed to remove some of the bitterness that raw cacao holds which strips them of much of their flavonoids. 

This being noted, I’m sure you’ve realized that this chocolate avocado pudding is on the dark side. If you’re not a huge dark chocolate fan, you can serve this dessert with whipped cream which cuts some of the bitterness. It may not keep the fat content down, but lemme tell ya, it definitely jacks up the delicious factor.

I have to give Tracy full credit for this chocolate avocado pudding recipe — she practically lived off the stuff when she was pregnant and introduced it to me then. I will give you two versions of this pudding: one uses mainly whole ingredients and is a little bit healthier than the second which uses chocolate chips. Both versions are smooth and silky beyond what you would have possibly imagined, and both are rich and chocolatey and decadent. The major difference between these two recipes is that the chocolate chip version sets into a ganache-like texture while the cocoa version stays a little softer and more like pudding. I usually make the chocolate chip version because it has less ingredients (see credo above) and because I like the firmer texture, but if you want to go guilt-free, you can make the cocoa version — which incidentally fits in with vegan and raw food diets, if that’s something you’re observing.

So now that I have you convinced that you should make it (and I do, don’t I??), here are the two recipes for…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

 ~Angelic Version~

 Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to large avocado, ripe
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey, agave syrup OR maple syrup (this depends entirely on your tastes. You can even go for raw sugar, if you want.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp milk (coconut, almond, cow… whatever you have. This is only used as needed to thin the pudding should it be too thick to blend nicely)  

 Directions

  1. Peel avocado and remove pit. Place in food processor and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until completely incorporated, again scraping sides as necessary. 
  3. Divide pudding into individual dishes and chill for at least an hour. 

 ~Slightly More Devilish Version~

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to large avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk (or cream if you want to amp up the indulgence)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Directions

  1. Combine chocolate chips and milk over medium heat and stir until chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat and continue stir until smooth. Set aside. (Alternatively you can microwave the chocolate chips and milk together for 1 minute at a medium high power setting. I use 7 on my microwave if I’m using it for this purpose.)
  2. Peel avocado and remove pit. Place in food processor and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. 
  3. Add vanilla, salt and chocolate mixture to food processor and blend until fully incorporated. 
  4. Divide pudding into individual dishes and chill for at least an hour.

When chilling is complete, you can serve either version with fresh fruit and whipped cream or you can top it with a sprinkling of your favorite kind of nuts. I like it best with bananas or strawberries and whipped cream. 

This is an enormous hit at our house –to the point that if Toby sees the food processor and an avocado on the counter at the same time, he does a little dance — and it’s also a great way to use up that avocado you forgot about in the fridge which needs to get eaten NOW. All things considered, this is definitely a dish you can eat time and again and enjoy without tarnishing your conscience at all.

Have you tried this before? What is your favorite wholesome (or, as I like to call them, sneaky) dessert? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and field any questions! 

– Joc