Vegan, Gluten Free, and Refined Sugar Free
It’s been a wild couple days in Sydney if you haven’t heard. Yesterday a cloud of thick red smoke settled over the entire city. At first some of the city kids at uni were saying it was just another dust storm, but it was clear to most of us who’d lived or spent time in the country what it must mean. Bush fire. The crazy winds and high temperatures sparked fires all over NSW and ran out of control through most of the day yesterday, and the cloud of smoke spread over thirty kilometres right across the harbour.
Hearing of friends who have had to return home to absolutely nothing left, of families who had to leave their pets inside to escape in time, it’s just so sad. Thank goodness no lives have been lost so far, although the razed houses haven’t been searched until today. The smell of smoke in the air has only just seemed to fade in the last few hours. I always feel intensely the fire season of Australia because my aunt is a fire fighter, and my boyfriend and his family live in the Blue Mountains, which was one the places badly affected yesterday. This summer is predicted to be the hottest summer in over two decades, and it’s only the beginning of spring!
I made this pudding this morning while the air outside still smelled of smoke and charred wood. It’s very creamy and comforting, so it seemed like a good fit. You may think it sounds gross, but the creaminess comes from the avocado and blended up banana. Don’t hate before you try it though! I was very wary when I first made chocolate avocado mousse, but it actually tastes really good. And I don’t mean it tastes edible with the bonus of being slightly sweet and ‘naughty’ tasting. It really does have a creamy, mild and perfectly sweet flavour.
So many puddings and mousses made of health ingredients like coconut and banana can taste kind of strange…sometimes a bit bitter from the raw cocoa, or watery from the fruit. This pudding doesn’t have any of that. It’s a decadent and creamy version of this strawberry chia pudding with a delicious addition of peanut butter. I rave about peanut butter too much. I know. I’ve already mentioned it this week in these cookies for goodness sake! But it’s so creamy and goooood I eat it every day, so talking about it twice a week is actually showing real restraint.
You don’t have to follow this recipe exactly, you can mix and match it up depending on your tastes. There are some ground rules though. You have to use avocado! Don’t try and substitute more bananas or coconut cream or anything, unless you want a completely different mousse experience. Use a perfectly ripe and squishy avocado with not a hint of overripeness, but DEFINITELY not a hint of under-ripeness. If you don’t know if your avocado is ripe yet, leave it another day. Better to err on the side of squishy than watery and stiff. Believe me. I discovered this the hard way.
The chia seeds make the pudding set thick and gooey like real mousse. If you want a softer, more spoonable mousse, leave them out. If you have a powerful blender, don’t let the lumpy photos scare you. Your mousse will turn out way smoother than mine. If you’re allergic to nuts, leave out the peanut butter completely. The pudding is still delicious without it. You could add almond butter, some coconut milk in place of the soy or almond milk, some chocolate chips, anything you feel like!
Here are some other delicious looking healthy puddings I’ve been reading recently:
Foodie Fiasco’s Yogurt Chocolate Mousse looks amaaaze-baalls
Such an interesting looking Tofu Chocolate Mousse from Chocolate Covered Katie
Choosing Raw’s simple Vanilla Chia Pudding looks so delicious!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding: Adapted from Treehugger’s recipe
1 large avocado
1-2 medium bananas depending on taste (if frozen, don’t defrost)
30ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup or agave nectar
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
50ml (1/4 cup) soy, coconut, rice or almond milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp chia seeds
Blend everything together in a powerful blender until smooth and completely combined. Spoon into serving bowls and chill for at least a few hours before serving, to give the chia a chance to thicken the mixture.
Optional additions: you could stir in some chocolate chips, berries, desiccated coconut or nuts to the mix as well. You could add some vanilla extract or a pinch of cinnamon, or even some melted chocolate to be really fancy!
Makes 3-4 servings depending on how generous you are.