Friday, October 15, 2010

Delightful, Delicious, and Dairy-Free

When my daughter was about 3, she had a bumpy rash on her arms and legs that wouldn't go away. I decided to cut dairy from her diet to see if that would help and it was really difficult. Dairy is in everything!

I became obsessive about reading labels. Obviously pouring milk on the cereal was out, but a lot of products have milk lurking inside as an ingredient. Finding dairy-free products was my grocery store challenge.

We substituted soy and rice milk for liquid milk, but the hardest to find replacements for were cheese and ice cream. Sorry, but tofu cheese is just nasty. She got to the point of telling friends' parents, "I'm allergic to milk, but I can have pizza!" And dairy-free desserts weren't any easier.

After about 6 months of cutting out (most of the) dairy products her rash was much better, and when we gradually reintroduced dairy into her diet, she was fine. Although I no longer have to do the dairy-swap-tango, I learned that people with special needs diets have a tough time and whenever we can bring some joy into their life with a treat that's "allowed," it's a huge blessing to them.

If you know someone who's got issues with eggs or dairy, but loves chocolate, I've got just the thing. This pudding is so rich and creamy, you'd swear it was stuffed full of extra heavy whipping cream and egg yolks and that it took a long time over a hot stove and lots of stirring.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It goes together in a matter of minutes and is blended in a food processor. The secret ingredients? Cocoa, dates, and…..avocados! Really, avocados. The pudding tastes nothing like avocado, but the avocado gives it a rich, smooth, satisfying mouth feel. And I love that it has zero fake food ingredients in it. It's all 100% good and good for you. Finally, a dessert everyone can enjoy! Unless you hate chocolate, in which case I really can't do anything for you.

Delightfully Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding
- adapted from Raw Foods Made Easy

1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups peeled, pitted and mashed avocado (about three avocados)
3/4th cup cocoa powder

1- Place the dates in a small bowl and add the hot water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes. Drain the dates, reserving the liquid.

2- Place the soaked dates, maple syrup and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the avocados and cocoa powder and process until creamy. Stop and scrap down sides of bowl with rubber spatula.

3- Add the water (from soaked dates) and process briefly. Add more water if needed. Serve chilled or at room temp.


natalia said...

I can't wait to try this recipe it's very useful and interesting !

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

If that pudding ships well.... let me know ;)

Unknown said...

This is very cool, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is awesome! I love it. Thanks for the share.
dining room table

Jacy said...

I have a recipe similar to this and I love it. Nothing like having something super delicious and sort of healthy too! :)

Abby said...

My dad is allergic to milk - severely - so it's HARD to bake for him sometimes! I wonder if he'd give this a shot. He's ... picky, but chocolate is magical, right?

Homemade Heaven said...

This is a great recipe. We are not big into dairy in our home, only buy milk for guests and baking. Can't wait to try this. Yummy!

Unknown said...

This is such an interesting recipe. The pudding looks wonderful.. Bookmarked :)

Aimée said...

What a cool recipe, Lynn. Love how you always expand my horizons.

Myrnie said...

Looks delicious! I love making avocado smoothies (avocado, milk, sugar, lime juice) and I'm sure this will be delicious!

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana said...

have you tried silken tofu as a secret ingredient? Google tofu mousse and you should find a recipe. I tried it on my family, and they loved it. I didnt tell them what was in it until afterwords of course! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. My baby girl has the same issue. She's allergic to dairy and eggs. So for now, she's vegan. I pray that she will outgrow it soon. :0)

Melinda said...

Lynn, I've copied this. I think i will try this out on the allergic boyfriend coming to dinner. Do you think the pudding would be good put into a prepared cheesecake shell (small individual ones) and a small amount of a cherry compote over the top?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Melinda- I think that would be fabulous!