Chocolate (diary free) pudding to get healthy with

I faced the fact a few months ago that me and dairy need to part ways. It’s a rough break up. I miss mozzarella, ice cream, yogurt and have recently discovered that even Salt & Pepper potato chips need to go on their way as some brands add dairy to them. Still pondering the why’s on the last item.

At first it was an all out avoiding anything dairy. Then I would try it and get the familiar symptoms. Kick myself as my face broke out and promise to never let dairy back into my life no matter how sexy it looked to my taste buds. I am a weak woman. Yet, I was finally able to kick dairy out. It took some careful reading of lables of the few processed foods I do eat. But I was able to kick the habit. Oh yes, dairy is a habit. The casein in it has been shown to have an opid effect once in the blood stream. This sets off the receptors in your nervous system and GI tract much like morphine. Hence why people have a hard time giving up dairy and might even be addicted to cheese.

I was able to replace milk with things like coconut milk, rice milk, organic soy milk and the one my kids love to tease me about, hemp milk. I am not into soy cheese though. Just can’t do it. Thankfully goat cheese doesn’t bother me and leaves me symptom free so I can enjoy that fix now and then and personally I like goat products much more than cow.

I miss certain foods and so I am finally breaking down and trying recipes that are dairy free. What better thing to start with than dessert. Pudding to be exact. Chocolate pudding even. Oh yes, ever ounce of my being screamed “let’s do this!!” when I came across the recipe at Plant Powered Kitchen.

Just would it be good was the thought in the back of my mind. Would my boys like it? The second thought that ran through my mind.

I got brave, stuck on our menu for Father’s Day dessert and went for it. Yeah I know, experimenting on dad’s day. Horrible idea. It was a gamble for sure.

So how did it go? It was really good. I am shocked how instant this sets too. The trick being chia seeds. I mean I know what they do to my smoothies and other things so it makes perfect sense. I am debating adding the suckers to my kombucha but need to figure out how much so I don’t have kombucha jello.

Making this pudding couldn’t be easier. I mean really. If your use the kind of person who makes pudding from a box, believe me you can do this and feel like a super champion for making something totally from scratch in minutes. Unlike other chia pudding recipes I have seen this sets up instantly, or close to it. No waiting hours because you are grinding up the seeds in the blender. Oh and that’s the other plus, you can do this all in the blender. Sorry kids no beaters to lick.

Chocolate coconut chia pudding with fresh local strawberries

Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding
What you need:
1 cup chocolate coconut milk

1/2 cup (packed) pitted dates

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract

2 – 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (I used Bob Red Mill brand)

2 tbsp mini non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips which are gluten & dairy free)

Sliced fresh fruit of your choice for a garnish, totally optional

What you do:

Simply put all the ingredients, except coconut, chocolate chips and strawberries, in a blender.

It doesn’t get much easier than just blending

Start out on a low setting and work your way up to high. Blend untill the chia seeds are completely ground up. If you want thinner pudding add a little more chocolate coconut milk. Want it sweeter? Add another date or two and blend away.

Blended up and already thick

Put into serving bowls and sprinkle with coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Right before serving top with sliced fruit or berries.

I plan on playing around with this recipe idea and trying to make other pudding flavors for the family.

Chia seeds are high in Omega 3’s, rich with antioxidants, fiber, calcium and other vitamins. So see you can make a dessert and actually feel good about it. Not bad, especially when it tastes so good.

Till next time,
Blessings and happy pudding eating!
Shelly

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