Many people often skip dessert, afraid that they might not only add inches to their waist but also trigger a sugar overload. But if you carefully select the right ingredients and exercise your creativity, any recipe, even sweet treats, can become healthy and wholesome.
Our featured recipe today is a delicious and guilt-free variation of a dessert favorite: pudding. Traditional pudding recipes often use dairy milk and sugar, and are cooked and thickened with cornstarch, but this one doesn’t need all those items. You don’t even have to turn on your stove.
Plus, this mint chocolate pudding is made with one of my favorite foods: avocado. You can be sure that this recipe is not only scrumptious and creamy, but chockfull of nutrients as well — a delightful treat that every member of your household, whether kids or adults, will love.
4 ripe avocados
3/4 cup raw organic cacao powder
1 tsp. Dr. Mercola’s organic vanilla extract
3/4 cup homemade almond or coconut milk
3 Tbsp. monk fruit
3 drops organic peppermint oil
- Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.
- Can serve immediately or refrigerate for a couple of hours to serve chilled.
Take Your Dessert Game to the Next Level With This Wholesome Pudding Recipe
This pudding recipe doesn’t have any added sugar or fructose, which can wreak havoc on your health. Rather, the sweetness naturally comes from two fruits, namely avocados and monk fruit.
Avocado: One of the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat
Avocado is becoming well-known in the cooking world because of its versatility, mildly sweet flavor and the creamy texture it adds to dishes. It’s loaded with close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including B vitamins, fiber, vitamin E, potassium and folate. I personally eat an avocado every day, and I believe that this has made great strides in improving my wellbeing.
But that’s not what makes it stand out from other fruits. Rather, avocado is a rich source of monounsaturated fat that the body can easily burn for energy. It also allows your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other foods you eat it with. For more on the health benefits that you can get from avocados, check out the infographic below.
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The Sweet Benefits of Monk Fruit
Also called Luo Han Guo, monk fruit was named after Buddhist monks who first used it during the 13th century. This small, green gourd (each fruit is approximately 5 centimeters — about 2 inches— in diameter) is native to Southeast Asia, and its juice or extract is said to be 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar.[i]
Monk fruit sweetener is made by peeling off the skin and removing the seeds, and then crushing the fruit and collecting the juice, which is then dried and transformed into a concentrated powder. The intensely sweet flavor doesn’t come from fructose or glucose, but rather from unique antioxidants called mogrosides, which make up 30 percent of the fruit.[ii]
Aside from not having any impact on your blood sugar levels, therefore being safe to consume for diabetics,[iii] monk fruit is packed with organic compounds and antioxidants that provide many health benefits.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, mogrosides in monk fruit have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and prevent DNA damage.[iv]
These Other Ingredients Make This a Must-Try Dessert
While most pudding recipes out there make use of unhealthy foods like processed chocolate, pasteurized milk and artificial flavorings, I made sure that the ingredients in my version are all wholesome, so you can indulge in it without the guilt.
- Raw cacao powder. When making this recipe, make sure that you use real cacao powder, and not the milk chocolate candy that’s loaded with sugar but has very little cacao. Raw cacao is actually bitter (hence the need for monk fruit sweetener) because of the nearly 400 polyphenols that are present in it.
Raw cacao’s benefits are said to come from the beans’ naturally occurring compounds, which include resveratrol and the flavonoid epicatechin. Epicatechin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can shield your nerve cells from damage. To learn more I recommend reading my article about the many health benefits of raw cacao.
- Homemade almond milk or coconut milk. Take note that most almond milk today is nothing more than a combination of water, sweetener, carrageenan (as a thickening agent), fortified vitamins A, E, and D and very little amounts of almonds. So if you want to reap the benefits of almond milk, I suggest making your own homemade blend instead. Here’s a simple guide from Whole Foods Market:[v]
- Soak a cup of organic, raw almonds in cold water overnight or about 10 to 12 hours. This will eliminate their phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which can interfere with your digestive function and metabolic enzymes (It increases the nuts’ nutritional content and makes them easier to digest as well).
- Blend the almonds with about three cups of water. Add more or less to get your desired consistency.
- Strain the frothy mixture through a cheesecloth, a fine-mesh strainer or a nut-milk bag. This will keep in the fridge for about three days. Stir it prior to using.
If you have coconut meat available, though, you can make coconut milk as an alternative. Made by squeezing out the juice of grated coconut meat and blending it with water, coconut milk is loaded with lauric acid (making up at least 50 percent of it), which converts to monolaurin in your body. This monoglyceride can destroy lipid-coated viruses such as influenza, measles, HIV, herpes, gram-negative bacteria and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.
- Organic peppermint oil. Fresh peppermint leaves and peppermint essential oil have been valued ever since ancient times because of their therapeutic effects and the refreshing flavor they add to foods. This herb offers benefits to the respiratory system, and inhaling its aroma offers memory enhancement and stress relief.
You can use peppermint extract too, but you may need to increase the amount, as it has a slightly milder flavor than the essential oil.
Source: mercola rss