Avocado Pudding in Carob or Chocolate

Avocado Pudding in Carob or Chocolate

What great luck! I found three-pound bags of ripe avocados, mangoes, and artichokes for $2.00 each at G & G Market. I can eat the mangoes plain, and I already know I am going to steam the artichokes for dinner. I have to quickly figure out how to eat so many avocados; due to the bruises, I am not sure how ripe they are. Avocados have a light flavor when they are perfectly ripe, but these are a bit past that point, verging on a rather savory; sometimes overripe avocados can taste a bit… meaty. It will take too long to eat them all up if I merely put them in guacamole, salads and sandwiches, and I do not want them to go bad. I plan to make some into sauces for gluten-free edamame pasta, but what should I do with the rest of them? On Pinterest, I noticed several pins for avocado chocolate pudding. I know it may be weird, but I was not in the mood for chocolate. I decided to make carob pudding for myself and chocolate for my husband in case he was feeling adventurous. (He did not like the chocolate one, so more for me. Score!) Some of the of the avocados I used in the pudding were overripe, so I masked the flavor by adjusting the ingredient ratios.

Avocados are a wonderful source of healthy fats and protein. Usually a serving half of one is, so even though they are mighty tasty, be careful not to overindulge. They are also best eaten with certain foods, such as dark greens, to boost nutrient absorption. Find out more about avocados in this article, which includes selection, preparation, and nutritional information. Carob is also really nutritious with lots of fiber, calcium, and omega-6 fatty acids and helps reduce LDL cholesterols and improve digestion. Its gallic acid has¬†analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Although carob is available in grocery stores, see if you can find really raw carob, which is even better. Chocolate, which only becomes unhealthy when it is diluted by too much sugar or fat. Cacao or cocoa, the main ingredient for making chocolates, has significant amounts of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese but very few vitamins. Of course, dark chocolate has all sorts of benefits, and there’s no darker chocolate than cacao.

Avocado Carob Pudding
Based on Hannah’s Vegan Carob Avocado Mousse at Wayfaring Chocolate.
As carob is naturally sweet and does not require as much sugar, so used grade B maple syrup.

Ingredients
4 Medium Avocados, pitted and peeled
2 – 2 2/3 C Almond Milk
2 C Really Raw or Malted Carob Powder
1 T + 1/2 tsp Alcohol-Free Raw Vanilla Extract
1/2 – 2/3 C Grade B Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
Optional Pudding Toppings
Fresh Fruit, chopped or pureed
Ground Cinnamon
Apple or Pumpkin Pie Spice
Favorite Chopped Nuts
Whipped Topping

Directions
In batches, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor into a smooth consistency. Adjust add more milk if the pudding is too thick, and add maple syrup to desired level of sweetness. Chill for about an hour in a covered bowl or covered serving glasses.

Yummy chocolate pudding topped with cinnamon and chocolate chips

Yummy chocolate pudding topped with cinnamon and chocolate chips

Avocado Chocolate Pudding
I made this pudding dark chocolate, which means a bit more sugar was needed to counter balance the slight bitterness, so I used honey in this pudding.

Ingredients
4 Medium Avocados, pitted and peeled
2 – 2 2/3 C Almond Milk
2 C Raw Cacao Powder
1 T + 1/2 tsp Alcohol-Free Raw Vanilla Extract
1/2 – 2/3 C Raw Honey
1/8 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
Optional Pudding Toppings
Fresh Fruit, chopped or pureed
Ground Cinnamon
Apple or Pumpkin Pie Spice
Favorite Chopped Nuts
Whipped Topping

Directions
In batches, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor into a smooth consistency. Adjust add more milk if the pudding is too thick, and add more honey for desired sweetness. Chill for about an hour in a covered bowl or covered serving glasses.

Black and Red Bean Turkey Chili

Black and Red Bean Turkey Chili

My husband likes really meaty chili, whereas I like more beans and vegetables. This recipe was a compromise between the two differing preferences as well as an adaption of my previously posted chili recipe. It’s also getting colder at night lately, so this makes a rather comforting evening meal. There’s really nothing like a warm bowl of hearty chili to make you feel warm and cozy.

As my tummy has been extra sensitive lately, I made sure that this chili was as “Noel-friendly” and easy to digest as possible. I soaked the beans for a full day, changing out the water half way through. I added baking soda to cut down on the beans’ required cooking time. I skimmed the foam full of “impurities” (such as indigestible sugars and bitter compounds), which can cause bloating and affect the over-all flavor. I added a bunch of turmeric (I thought about adding asafoetida, as well, but didn’t want to stink up the house) and a strip of dried kombu seaweed (contains good bean-digesting enzymes). The spice mix I used contains cayenne pepper, but I added a little extra for more kick. I waited until the beans were tender to add in the salty and acidic ingredients. Just in case, I took a digestive pill, as well. If your stomach is not as touchy as mine is, you do not have to take all of these precautionary steps. All of them were definitely worth the hassle for me though. The chili turned out very tasty indeed. Besides, this chili is filled with protein, which is great, since my husband and I work out at our local gym.

Bean Sorting

Black and Red Chili Bean Turkey Chili
Adapted from my Turkey Black Bean Chili recipe. Serve the chili with Paleo Carrot Coconut Muffins (made with cinnamon wildflower honey) and salad with fennel greens to further assist with digestion.
I originally posted this recipe in December 2013.

Yields About 30 Servings

Ingredients
3 C Dried Red Chili Beans, Adzuki Beans, or Kidney Beans
3 C Dried Black Beans
3 to 3 1/2 qt Filtered Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 C + 1 T Minced Garlic
1 1/2 C Chopped Yellow or White Onion
1 1/2 lbs 80% Lean Ground Turkey
3 qt Filtered Water
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Large Piece Dried Kombu Seaweed
3 T Bean Roundup Spice Mix
3 T Dried Ground Turmeric
2 tsp Dried Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 16-oz Jar Balakain Farms Blended Organic Green Zebra Heirloom Tomatoes
1 C Mild or Medium Salsa Verde or Tomatillo Salsa
2 T Lime Juice
2 T Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
8 T Chicken Better than Bouillon, dissolved in 1 qt Hot Filtered Water
Filtered Water

Optional Garnishes
Cilantro Springs
Scallions, sliced
Avocado, skinned, pitted, thinly sliced
Vegan Sour Cream or Vegan Plain Yogurt
Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds

Directions
Sort your beans. Discard any beans that are discolored, under developed, malformed or broken, as well as, any rocks. Rinse the beans with water. Soak the beans for at least 8 to 12 hours or overnight in a large non-reactive bowl with 12 to 14 cups of water, changing out the water about half way through. Rinse with fresh water.

In a large oiled stock pot, saute the garlic and onions until they are tender and clear with a long-handled wooden spoon. Add in and brown the turkey. Stir in the water, baking soda, seaweed, beans and spices. Bring to a boil. With a long-handled ladle or wire mesh, remove any foam that forms on the surface for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the beans stop foaming; I like to keep a little bowl handy to put the foam into. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook covered for 1 hour or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Mix in the tomatoes, salsa, lime, vinegar and diluted bouillon. Cover. Return chili to a boil. Stir. Reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 1 hour, stirring often to prevent the beans and meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more water as necessary. Turn off the heat.

Serve and garnish as desired. Enjoy!

Madras Curry Zucchini Spears

Madras Curry Zucchini Spears

Summer barbecues are a wonderful opportunity to share fresh grilled vegetables with friends and family. Did you know zucchini is the most popular summer squash in the US? It is such a versatile vegetable and easily takes on flavors from spices and herbs. It can be cut into crudites, used in soups and salads, stuffed and baked, roasted, steamed, sauteed, and made into noodles, dessert breads, cookies, etc. Since summer is zucchini season, now is a perfect time to enjoy its peak nutrition and flavor. This squash is also low in carbohydrates and has significant amounts of vitamins B6 and C.

The other day, I made barbecued zucchini spears with a friend for a potluck. Normally, I season grilling vegetables with just salt and ground peppercorns for get-togethers, but this time I wanted to use bolder seasonings, something different. The Madras Curry was a perfect accompaniment to the burgers and sausages and provided a nice contrast to all of the refreshing salads. The spears were a big hit, and we received many compliments on the flavors. The zucchini spears had a great texture from being cooked on the grill, too.

Barbequed Madras Curry Zucchini Spears
This is a delightful departure from classic American summer potluck fare.

Ingredients
1/4 C Olive Oil
1-2 T Madras Curry Spice Mix
1 tsp Garlic Pepper
1 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
3 lbs Fresh Zucchini, stems removed

Directions
Pre-heat the grill to medium-high, about 400 degrees F. Thoroughly grease a flat grilling basket. Mix the oil and spices together in a large bowl or bag. Cut the zucchini into 1-inch by 5-inch spears, and add them to the spice mixture. Evenly coat the zucchini. Let them marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Evenly space the spears in a closable grilling basket. Cook them over direct heat until they form nice char marks but are still firm, cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the zucchini from the basket to a platter. Serve and enjoy.

Paleo Carrot Coconut Muffins

Paleo Carrot Coconut Muffins

When I found Lauren’s paleo cornbread muffins, I was intrigued. They look really good from the description, and the title seems rather interesting. I mean, what are corn-less cornbread muffins anyway? Well, these little treats are actually cornbread-style coconut muffins. I know that may sound strange, but the muffins are very tasty. The flavors blend nicely, covering up any potential coconut flavor almost entirely.

Coconut Muffins

These muffins looked like they would go perfectly with the chili from the recipe I recently posted, but they also taste great on their own. The muffins contain honey without being overly sweet, especially since I swapped the originally listed apple sauce with carrot puree. I was worried about Lauren’s oil to flour ratio (my stomach usually does not easily digest oily food), so I substituted half of the oil with more carrots. If you want to lower the fat even more, replace all of the oil with puree; I plan to do this next time.

Coconut Muffins with Cheese

To increase savoriness, I added Daiya pepperjack to half of the muffins by sprinkling it on top, but I suggest putting the cheese in the middle (as instructed below) to help prevent it from sticking to the liner papers. For other savory flavors, try adding minced bacon (real or soy bacon), red bell pepper, chiles, or scallions.

Carrot Coconut Muffins
Adapted from Lauren’s Paleo Cornbread Muffins at Empowered Sustenance. The recipe below is a doubled adaptation of the original version. I have also included vegan options.
Originally posted in January 2014 at Three Chicks Talking About Food.

Yields 1 Dozen Muffins

Ingredients
1/2 C Coconut Flour
1/4 C Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 C + 2 T Raw Pureed Carrot, room temperature
4 Eggs, room temperature
OR 4 Chia Eggs (1/4 C Chia Seeds + 3/4 C Filtered Water)*
2 T Creamed Cinnamon Honey or Wildflower Honey**
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Filtered Water, as needed, room temperature
Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds, optional

Directions
For vegan muffins, finely grind the seeds in a spice grinder. Mix the chia egg ingredients together with a fork in a medium bowl, adding up to 4 more tablespoons of filtered water if necessary to create an even egg-like consistency. Set aside for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line the muffin tin with muffin papers. Set aside. In a large food processor, combine the flour, oil and 1/4 cup puree until well combined. Incorporate the eggs fully until the batter no longer has any lumps. Mix in the remaining puree, sweetener, baking soda and vinegar. Add more water as needed to achieve proper muffin batter thickness. Pour about 1 tablespoon of batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle about 1 to 2 teaspoons of cheese on top if desired. Pour another spoonful of batter over the cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the muffins on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the tin onto a rack or plate. Cool until they are warm to touch and ready to eat. Store in an airtight container. They will last longer if chilled.

Notes
*You can make flax “eggs” instead of chia ones with the same seed to water ratio and instructions.
**For lower sugar content, use 1 tablespoon blue agave nectar or about 6 to 9 drops of liquid stevia in lieu of honey. If you want to leave out the sweetener entirely, just add more carrots.