There is a time and a place for desserts to be fussy and time consuming. I like to reserve those desserts for special occasions and birthdays. However, if I'm making regular weekday treats, I want them to be fast, easy, and completely delicious.
Enter these vegan pudding cups. I made these in a blender with a short list of ingredients that pack it full of good fats, and make it a healthy take on a classic.
When I was a kid, it was always a treat to get one of those chocolate and vanilla pudding cups in my lunchbox. I remember pulling off the foil and licking the top. I'd then swirl together the layers and create the perfect little dessert to complement my schoolyard lunch.
I wanted to create a grown-up version of this childhood snack that was easy to make, and full of healthy ingredients. The use of avocado and coconut milk make it deliciously creamy and full of healthy fats. If you're skeptical of the avocado-in-chocolate-pudding situation, I get it. I was too. But with the other ingredients, you can't detect the avocado at all; it's simply a way to get an awesome pudding-like texture without a lot of fuss. I've also sweetened the pudding with dates to make it free of refined sugar and used coconut cream to give it the same sort of layered feel as my pudding cups of yore.
I hope you enjoy this deliciously easy pudding throwback as much as I did!
Vegan Chocolate Pudding Cups with Coconut Cream
For the pudding cups:
15 pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for an hour
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/4 cup raw cacao or semisweet cocoa powder
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Pinch of sea salt
For the coconut cream:
1 (14-ounce) can of chilled coconut cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Soak the dates in warm water for an hour or so before use. This will help make them really soft and easier to blend. Drain the dates after they have soaked, and add them to a high-speed blender with the avocado, raw cacao, coconut milk, and sea salt.
Blend the mixture together until smooth, scraping down the sides in between processing. It might take longer to achieve a pudding-like texture if you're not using a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix, but it's not impossible.
After you've reached a pudding-like consistency, divide the pudding up into three half-pint Mason jars, leaving at least an inch at the top of each jar for the coconut cream. Put lids on the jars, and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes, or until chilled.
For the coconut cream, whip together the cold coconut cream and the maple syrup with a hand mixer. It should reach the consistency of whipped cream rather quickly. Once you're ready to enjoy your pudding cups, open the jars and add in the whipped coconut cream on top. Serve and enjoy!
- The consistency of the pudding will become thicker the colder it gets. For the thickest pudding, let it chill overnight.
(Image credits: Gina Eykemans)