I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You will never walk into my kitchen and not find some type of dessert. Gluten free chocolate chip cookies on the counter, brown rice crisps in the fridge, and dark chocolate covered almonds…right out in the open for everyone to see – this nutritionist has nothing to hide! While I am an anti-sugar crusader I still believe desserts don’t have to be your “dirty” little secret.
I don’t want to live deprived and I wouldn’t ask that of you – the key is to bring the nutrient level of your dessert up while simultaneously minimizing the overall craving for sweets and decreasing amounts of processed and added sugars. Afterall, studies show that eating dessert can help with weight management. In recognizing and having control over dessert, you are more apt to make healthier eating choices.
For my own dessert loving family, recipes like this chocolate pudding are always available. I make with ingredients like raw cacao (rich in magnesium, improves the mood), raw zucchini (folate, beta carotene, vitamin C), walnuts (omega 3’s, anti-oxidant, cancer fighting food), and avocado (monounsaturated fat, fiber). Using dates and bananas as the sweetener, you get to enjoy dessert with just about 7 grams of sugar per serving – a far cry from the standard 20 grams found in the average pudding….
Secret Ingredient Chocolate Pudding
1/2 cup zucchini squash, diced
1 medium banana
1/2 Hass avocado
1/2 cup organic cashew, almond, or coconut milk (or nut milk of your choice)
1/2 cup organic walnuts, chopped
2 T. cacao powder or 3 T. cacao nibs
1 date, soaked, peeled, and pitted
1 pinch organic vanilla powder
Add ingredients to high powered blender or Vitamin, blend until smooth. Texture should be silky and light. If additional sweetness desired, add 2-3 drops of stevia. Refrigerate and enjoy chilled. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of cacao nibs as a garnish.