Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Avocado Chocolate Pudding

I'm no stranger to a Vegan Chocolate Mousse/Pudding. I've made no less than four versions over the past three years as a blogger. My previous experiences have involved using maple syrup or sugar (in the form of Vegan chocolate chips) as the sweetener for the pudding. And all of those puddings/mousses have been excellent.

But as we have all come to understand in the world of "good, better and best" plant based nutrition, maple syrup and whatever is in chocolate chips does not qualify as "best."

There's only one man standing in that role these days, and it's dates. Dates are a whole food, with the fiber intact. According to Dr. Greger (Are Dates Good For You?), they've got lots of goodness packed into their funny looking little forms.

So I was pretty excited to discover that Dr. Fuhrman had a recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding in the Eat to Live Cookbook using dates as the sole sweetener.

When I first tasted the Fuhrman pudding, I didn't think it was as delectable as those other Vegan chocolate mousses and puddings that I had sampled in the past. But just wait one day, and all is different. Suddenly, it tastes perfect! I'm never going back to maple syrup sweetened Vegan Chocolate Mousse again.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding
from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 296

Did I like it? Yes. On day one, I didn't like it as much as some of the other Vegan chocolate puddings/mousses that I have made. But it wasn't bad. On day two, I had forgotten all about those other mousses.

If you plan on serving this to folks that aren't familiar with the plant based palette, I can recommend the following three recipes:

Easy Choco Pumpkin Mousse
Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Ann Esselstyn's Chocolate Mousse, p. 272-3 from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, made with silken tofu instead of avocados, and maple syrup, is excellent.

If it's just for you and your close family, who are used to Nutritarian foods, by all means, go ahead and make the Dr. Fuhrman version.

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? Yes.

What specifically did I like about the recipe? The fact that dates were the only sweetener.

What specifically didn't I like about the recipe? The slightly odd taste that it had on it's first day, but then again, maybe I feel that way because of the memory of Ann Esselstyn's Chocolate Mousse which was divine, and was sweetened with maple syrup. I'm not even sure that Essy and Ann even recommend maple syrup these days. The book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease was published in 2007.

Did my husband like it? I'll let you know after dinner tonight, but I'm pretty sure he's gonna love it.

Did my teenage daughter like it? Yes

Did my eight or five year old try it? My eight year old daughter tried it and said she liked it, but only ate a few small bites, which probably means she didn't like it that much. She actually said that it had a strange aftertaste.

Would I make it again? Yes!

Is there anything I would do to improve on it if I made it again? Honestly, I think that as desserts go, it's a really great recipe full of the only ingredients that we are really left to indulge in: dates, cocoa, and avocado. And it tastes pretty darned good. I can't think of a single way to improve upon it that wouldn't take away from it's nutritional value.

Edited to add: If you are at all concerned that your dates are not soft enough to blend easily, I recommend soaking your dates in the almond milk (or other milk alternative) for one hour before putting everything into your blender. That should take care of any grainy texture that might result from dry or hard dates.

Overall Grade (completely unscientific, I admit): A

Have you made Dr. Fuhrman's Avocado Chocolate Pudding? What were your impressions? Leave a comment below.

Still don't have the book? What are you waiting for? These recipes are amazing.

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