If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you would know that those 'ingredients' (and I use that term loosely) above are not the ingredients of my chocolate pudding. Once upon a time my pantry had stacks of boxes of different flavored pudding mixes with that same ingredient list. Not a single one to be found in my current pantry.
So how did I end up with this delicious bowl of creamy chocolate pudding?
It could have been one of the many homemade cooked pudding recipes out there. But it wasn't. I go to great lengths to obtain fresh raw milk and I wanted to keep it raw. Cooking it to death wasn't what I was after.
Actually, I was inspired by this probiotic chocolate ice cream recipe from GNOWFGLINS. I've made it a couple times and really enjoy the flavor. I brew a quart jar of raw milk kefir everyday. I keep a half gallon jar in my fridge for the finished brew. A half gallon is all I allow myself to keep. If I start getting more than a half gallon then I know I'd better start using kefir in something. This way I know we are always consuming kefir in some sort of food.
It was starting to build up so I decided to strain some until it was the consistency of thick greek yogurt. I was planning on making a fruit yogurt with it but then decided to try out an experimental chocolate pudding.
1 cup of whole dates roughly chopped
3/4 cup of raw cream
1 whole avocado
1 1/4 cup kefir (that's been strained to thick yogurt consistency)
3 locally sourced pastured egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder - I use this one.
*** A note about the ingredients - these are my ultimate healthy ingredients. I understand that not everyone has access to these foods or would rather use substitutions. Here is my best guess on good substitutions:***
dates - easy to find in the store, I don't think you'd need a sub.
raw cream - organic store bought heavy cream (not ultra pasturized) or whole canned organic coconut milk
avocado - don't skip!
kefir - strain full fat organic store bought yogurt or use thick high quality greek yogurt
local eggs - if you can't get these from a trusted source, then DO NOT use store bought eggs raw. Leave them out. I only add them for the extra nutrition that pastured egg yolks give. Maybe add in another 1/4 cup of cream or coconut milk to account for the extra liquid - depending on how thick you want your pudding.
cacao powder - again, highly nutritious but if you can't get this go ahead and use whatever cocoa powder you have. You may need to adjust the amount, I think the one I use is quite strong and goes further than the average dutch processed cocoa.
In the blender add the cup of chopped dates, cream, and avocado. Process until smooth. You may need to stop and scrap the sides and stir it around to keep the blender moving. It'll be a thick mixture. I added as little liquid as possible to keep it a thick pudding consistency. Add the kefir, egg yolks, vanilla and cocoa and continue to process. Stop and mix as needed. You can add more cream if you want a thinner pudding. Stop when you've reached a nice smooth thick pudding consistency. Chill.
After it's had a chance to set and chill - Wow! It has an amazing thick pudding texture. And so yummy! I'm not gonna lie, it does have a bite of sour and more of a unsweetened dark chocolate taste. This is from the kefir and the only sweetening coming from the dates. I wanted to keep the sugar low, but if you'd like it sweeter feel free to add raw honey, sucanat, or whatever sweetener you are comfortable with.
Mmmm... a chocolate pudding I can feel good about. Oh, and wouldn't it be amazing with some whipped raw cream on top?