Chocolate & Coconut Pudding Cups [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Yields: 12 cups
Serves: 12
Prep & Cooking: 20-30 mins
Cooling:10 mins
Assembly: 5mins
Setting Time: 4hrs
Type: Dessert
Tools: Food processor, silicone spatula, standard muffin tin,12 muffin casings, measuring jug, small non-stick pot, whisk, dessert spoon

Notes

With no baking and minimal cooking, this little dessert can be enjoyed during the summer months without heating up your kitchen; it’s also a cheeky indulgence for those chocolate and coconut lovers alike!

If you’re like us and do not own an ice cream maker and cannot be bothered with the D.I.Y method, nor do you want to pay for overpriced dairy free desserts with high sugar contents, than look no further. This is a really simple recipe that produces a lovely (cold, yes from the fridge or freezer!) chocolate dessert with a moderate quantity of sugar and saturated fat per serving. 

Continuing from a working idea we shared with you all last December, our Vegan ‘Condensed Milk’ (which uses aquafaba!), we used this to make our lovely DF dessert we are presenting to you today. We noticed that when our ‘condensed milk’ set in the fridge it took on a pudding/custard like texture… and that was a light bulb moment that was not forgotten!

This March an opportunity arose through Foodies100Vita Coco was challenging UK Bloggers to create a recipe using their coconut oil.

Well, some of you might know that although we are not coconut mad, we are still known to use a little coconut oil in some of our baking, on our hair and skin (well, me at least!) and anecdotally for localised gingiva inflammation. However, if you are in any way concerned about your oral health, you should always contact your dental practitioner! 

Vita Coco’s Coconut Oil is 100% Raw and Organic; perfect for beauty and baking needs, including transforming dairy free desserts? Yes! Challenge accepted! So with that in mind, we knew exactly how we could expand on our ‘condensed milk’ recipe and make a delicious dessert. #vitacocoinspiration

 

 

This recipe is a little more indulgent than something we would normally make, but we are not condoning this as an everyday food item. Eating2Health means learning to moderate the frequency and portion sizes of healthy and indulgent foods that we eat, although sometimes it’s nice to have something a little rich and not too sweet to indulge in, like this chocolate dessert.

These chocolate pudding cups are dairy and gluten free, have a light coconut taste, delicious chocolate flavour and a great combination of textures. The pudding is creamy, light and smooth; the ‘raw’ base isn’t overly sweet and has a great texture from the combo of nuts and oat bran (not to mention a lovely dose of fibre!).

Some other good things to note include:

  • As recipe testing is a process, getting the right quantities of ingredients first time around sometimes just doesn’t happen; initially we did not make enough ‘base’ for our pudding, so we had to double the batch. The recipe was amended but our pictures will show half the amount of ‘raw base’ in our food processor. 
  • If twelve puddings cups are too many, simply halve the recipe for both the base and pudding! 
  • If you do not fancy using maple syrup in the pudding, you could substitute it with agave, coconut sugar, unrefined golden caster sugar or some Stevia (to taste).
  • If you do not have oat bran, just use some porridge oats instead. Just process the oats in a food processor until a rough flour consistency is achieved. 
  • The chocolate extract is optional (because it can be a bit pricey) but if you are in the market for trying it, it really amps up the overall chocolate flavour!
  • If you have an allergy or prefer not to use walnuts and almonds, you can substitute them for your favourite types of nuts! If preferred, you can also process 200g of almonds instead of buying already processed ground almonds.
  • We used some aquafaba from white beans, but feel free to use some chickpea liquid instead! 
  • If you want to enjoy this dessert frozen, you’ll have to freeze these lovelies overnight!

 

 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

‘Raw’ Cacao & Coconut Pudding Base

100g     Walnut pieces
200g    Ground Almond
30g       Cacao powder
80g       Oat bran
50g       Coconut oil
1 tsp      Chocolate extract (*optional)
7 tbsp    Maple syrup

Chocolate Pudding Filling

20g          Corn flour
3g            Arrowroot powder
60ml       Oat cream
80ml       Almond milk*
++++++++ (*unsweetened & fortified)
15g           Coconut oil
125ml       Aquafaba
3 tbsp      Maple Syrup
1 tsp         Chocolate extract (*optional)
15g           Cacao powder

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the ‘raw’ pudding base.

 

Place 120g walnuts into a food processor. Tip: If you are using whole almonds, add those too! Blend until a meal is achieved. If using, add 200g ground almonds, then 30g cacao powder, 80g oat bran, 50g coconut oil and 1 tsp chocolate extract (if using). Process the mixture, pouring in 7 tbsp maple syrup through the pouring spout as the machine is still running. Process until combined and the mixture forms a tacky and raw dough.

 

Line a twelve-hole muffin tin with twelve paper casings. Carefully remover the blade from the food processor. Use a silicone spatula to remove any dough stuck to the sides of the container. Roughly divide the raw dough into twelve pieces. Place one piece into each muffin casing. Press the dough (evenly) down into the base and outwards to form a little cup/saucer shape (don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect!). Tip: It won’t cover the entire muffin casing. Place the muffin tin into the fridge until you are ready to fill the casings with the pudding.

 

Prepare the pudding.

 

Place 20g corn flour, 3g arrowroot, 60ml oat cream and 40ml DF milk into a measuring jug. Using a fork, whisk together until combined and no lumps of flour are present. Tip: This liquid will be used to thicken the pudding!

 

  • Place 15g  coconut oil into a medium, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Pour in ½ cup aquafaba and the remaining 40ml DF milk. Whisk together.
  • When the coconut oil has melted, add 3 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp chocolate extract (if using). Whisk to combine.
  • Add 15g cacao powder. Whisk and keep whisking until it has combined with the liquid. Once the cacao is combined, keep whisking and pour in the flour and milk mixture. Keep whisking until combined and the mixture has thickened. This will take a few minutes, so be patient. Tip: The liquid should never come to a boil but will get quite hot. 
  • Once thickened remove from the heat. Use a silicone spatula to wipe around the sides of the pot, bringing all the pudding back down into the base.  Allow to cool for 10 mins before adding it into the muffin casings. Tip: The mixture will start to set and might form a skin, so whisk the pudding periodically to prevent this from happening; otherwise your pudding might get lumps! 

 

Remove the muffin tin from the fridge. Add the pudding evenly among the casings; about 1 dessert spoon of pudding into each muffin casing. Tip: Use a small spoon to help spread and push the mixture evenly into the casings. Repeat until all of the casings have all been filled. Place the muffin tin into the fridge for about 4hrs. Tip: This will allow the pudding to become cold and completely set into a thick, pudding texture.  **For an additional texture, appeal or flavour variation, try topping yours with: toasted coconut, dried fruits, toasted and chopped hazelnuts or peanuts or a slice of raw or roasted banana!

Tip: Refrigerate any spare puddings cups in an air tight and resealable container; consume within 5 days. Alternatively, insulate and store in an air tight and resealable container; freeze, defrost and consume within 2-4 wks (flavours may alter after this). 

 

 

Enjoy cold from the fridge….

 

 

…or straight from the freezer (well, once defrosted for 30mins first!).

#SwearByIt Recipe Challenge by VitaCoco and Foodies100
 This recipe is also an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.comDisclaimer: This recipe uses a product we were sent for free.  All opinions (and this recipe) are our own.

 

What’s the best dessert or meal you’ve made using coconut oil? 

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Cacao, Avocado & Nut Butter Pudding w/ a ‘Caramel’ Topping (and some ‘Free Sugars’ Talk!)

Healthy Recipes

Pudding Serves: 4
Prep: 30 mins
Chilling Time: 20-180 mins (*Depending on how cold you like your pudding!)
‘Caramel’ Serves: a minimum of 12 (2 tsp/serving based on 12 servings)
Type: Dessert
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, small pot, food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container(s) and/or serving dishes

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamins E, carbohydrates, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, is low in salt and (per serving) has a moderate amount of sugars and fats!

There is something nostalgic about eating pudding…or maybe not?! I did grow up in North America after all, so it does explain some (but not all!) of my food choices. #recoveringpeanutbutteraddict  #exkoolaidkid  #cheddarisntreallyorange #whatdidijusteat !!!

We made this recipe last week because sometimes we all just crave something ‘sweet’, but it’s just about being responsible. Moderation and fibre are key, but so is informing yourself regarding food labels, portion sizes, healthy foods and enabling yourself to follow a healthy lifestyle (more days than none)… such as avoiding excessive amounts of ‘free sugars’* and kick starting a realistic exercise regime. Click here for some other ideas and healthy eating advice.

Luckily I kicked the ‘what’s for dessert’ phase a while ago! In about a week’s time I will have resided in the UK for sixteen years; mostly spent in London.This cultural journey has contributed to my ever-changing palate/sweet tooth, as did being exposed to various ailments, experimenting with loads of foods and recipes and of course pursuing a degree in human nutrition.

Anyways, switching this conversation back to the recipe….

This pudding goes down all too well, so I’m really glad that we only made a small portion! Unlike ‘old school instant puddings’, there is no ‘chill/setting’ time; you can eat this pudding faster than you can say “asafoetida”! Personally we prefer this type of dessert cold; we refrigerated ours for three hours before serving, but you could also try popping it in the fridge or freezer for 30 mins instead.

The elements are fab! The avocado and peanut butter give this pudding a great texture (without having to add dairy products, emulsifiers, gelling agents or oils) and more importantly for me- integrity. The problem with some plant-based desserts is that the texture is questionable and they can fall apart all too easily… which is why some recipes love using coconut oil or vegetable-based shortenings (were not a big fan of either).  

The ‘caramel’ topping makes eight heaped tablespoons, so you have plenty for the foreseeable future (next time we won’t be making so much)! Just stir a little into your pudding once its cooled or just before serving- it’s delicious and very rich! We added one heaped teaspoon/each into our desserts. It’s currently in our fridge and I am hoping it keeps for 2-3 wks (minimum) but we’ll let you know how we get on! Oh, if you want a thinner consistency, add add more water when you purée the dates. 

We hope that you enjoy this gem as much as we did (in moderation of course)!  

 

Ingredients

NB: Try using your favourite unsweetened DF milk if preferred.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nutritional Info

C’mon, were not going to give you a dessert recipe like this without a disclaimer- it’s all about helping you to make informed choices about your health!!

NB: 3.8g of ‘free sugars’*/serving.

NB: 0.2g of ‘free sugars’*/serving.

 

*Free Sugars:
A few months ago The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) released a report in the UK on Carbohydrates where they gave new recommendations in line with WHO that ‘free sugar’ intake should account for no more than 5% of daily energy intake.

 

The SACN official definition of ‘free sugars’ stated that:

‘Free sugars’ comprises all monosaccharides* and disaccharides* added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices. Under this definition lactose (the sugar in milk) when naturally present in milk and milk products and the sugars contained within the cellular structure of foods (particularly fruits and vegetables) are excluded.

*Monosaccharides are single sugar units (glucose and fructose) and disaccharides are two single units joined together ( sucrose).

 

…But we’re sure most of you’re wondering what does 5 % of ‘free sugars’ actually mean?

 

…So how does your ‘free sugar’ intake currently weigh up?? 

 

If you have a sweet tooth and/or eat a lot of processed or packaged foods (e.g. fruit drinks, soups and cereals), it can quickly add up!

‘Free sugars’ can be added into our foods by manufacturers and unfortunately at the moment, the UK’s food labels do not account for ‘free sugars’ (just total sugars), making it hard for anyone to distinguish between the ‘natural occurring sugars’ from those that have been added.

Free sugars include but are not limited to: unsweetened fruit juice, coconut or table sugars, hydrolysed starch, molasses or treacle, honey, or any sort of syrup that contains sugar in its food label, e.g. agave syrup/nectar, corn syrup, rice malt syrup, natural date syrup, maple syrup etc. Sugars naturally occurring in fruit, vegetables, grains, cereals or dairy products (lactose!) do not count.

 

…Until things change some things you could try include:
  • Familiarising yourself with the ‘names of sugar’ and limiting them on a daily basis, e.g. sucrose, maltose, glucose syrup etc. 

***Check out one of our previous sugar posts for info on names of ‘sugars’ found in everyday foods.

  • Looking at food labels more frequently. Remember that ingredients are listed in order of quantity, e.g. having sugar listed as the first, second or third ingredient in a list of ten ingredients shows that it will make a bigger proportion of the food item in question.
  • Comparing similar food products for sugar info. Your favourite brand might not all of the information you are looking for, but a similar product might give a full nutritional breakdown; you can use this for an educated guess.
  • Cooking from scratch. Homemade meals always taste better and this will allow yourself to have full control over what goes into them; no one really wants or needs 10g of sugar and 2.7g of salt /serving in their pasta sauce!
  • Swapping sugary drinks (including juices) for plain water, particularly if you drink a lot of them. NB: Some tins of soda can contain at much as 52 grams of sugar!
  • Opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juices/smoothies; that way our bodies benefit from its fibre and the fruit sugars are absorbed more slowly into our bodies.

That’s enough talking for now… on with the recipe!

NB: The pudding might be a little ‘tart’ at first, but once you add the caramel its absolutely perfect!  Also, try using a vanilla paste (or a pure vanilla extract) if you have access to it because it really amps up the flavour in the ‘caramel’!

 

Directions

1. Destone the dates. Place them into a small pot with 200ml of cold water. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Allow them to soak for 20 mins.

2. In the meantime, chop the avocado into two halves; peel and destone. Place 12g cacao powder, the avocado, 50g peanut butter, 16g agave syrup,1.5 tsp of vanilla paste and 170ml almond milk into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, creamy and thoroughly combined. Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the pudding off the sides of the food processor back into the base as you go.

3. Transfer the mixture into a resealable and air tight container (or some ramekins/small serving dishes) and refrigerate it in the coldest part of your fridge for about 3 hrs or until you’re ready to partake in an ultimate dairy free chocolate experience!

4. Meanwhile, add a pinch of cinnamon and sea salt and 1/4 tsp vanilla paste into the pot with the date mixture. Blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. If you do not have a stick blender, quickly wash your food processor and transfer the date mixture into it. Add the cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla paste. Blend until smooth; adding extra water if a thinner consistency is preferred. Transfer the ‘caramel’ into a clean, air tight and resealable container. Keep refrigerated until you serve the pudding.

5. Serve the pudding in a small dish. Add and stir through a little of the ‘caramel’. Top with some fresh/whole fruits (banana or berries would work well), nuts or a dollop of plain/unsweetened almond-based yoghurt!

Enjoy!

 

We added a bunch of fresh fruit after I took some pictures. NB: This glass represents 2 servings.

If preferred…

  • Try using almond or hazelnut butter instead of PB (it will help to reduce the s/fat content)!
  • It would also be fun to experiment with fruits  or maybe even cooked vegetables (instead of nuts!); try adding banana, strawberries, or some purred sweet potato or pumpkin into the pudding mixture for a unique flavour experience!
  • Omit the agave and just use the ‘caramel’ to sweeten the pudding instead!
  • Try transferring this pudding mixture into a small/medium-sized popsicle mold for a great homemade, vegan popsicle experience; freeze overnight. #latesummerdessert 

 

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