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April 28, 2010

Homemade Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding (Plastic-Free too!)

 

Dairy-free Chocolate pudding

It’s a dreary day here in Oakland. So I thought I’d sweeten it up with the recipe for dairy-free chocolate pudding I made a few weeks ago. Why dairy free? Well, the choice is plastic-free or dairy-free. There’s no such thing as both because for me, and 99% of the U.S. population, there’s no such thing as plastic-free milk. (There are a few folks out there who buy milk directly from the farmer and can bring their own containers. I’m not one of them.)

Ingredients

Dairy-free Chocolate pudding

  • 3 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch because we already had it in the house. Arrowroot powder can be purchased from the bulk bin at Whole Foods.)
  • 1/3 c. honey (My local honey comes in glass jars from the farmers market. I’ll bet maple syrup would be good too.)
  • 1/3 c. cocoa (Bulk bin at Whole Foods.)
  • Pinch of salt (Cardboard box or bulk bin at Whole Foods.)
  • 2 c. plain, unsweetened almond milk (Almonds + Water. My almonds come loose from the farmers market. I made the almond milk in my soy milk maker, but you can make it in the blender and strain it.)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla (Glass bottle. Unfortunately, plastic cap.)

Preparation:

1. In a small cup or bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 T. cold water, mixing to dissolve. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine cocoa powder and salt. Over medium-low heat, add 1/4 cup of almond milk and the honey, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the almond milk, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly until smooth. Cook until a thin film develops on top of the liquid and steam rises from the surface, but do not let the mixture boil. Remove from stove and allow to cool down somewhat.

3. Mix in the cornstarch mixture and vanilla until well incorporated, and return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture is thick but just slightly thinner than desired (the pudding will thicken as it cools). Transfer the pudding into individual heatproof dishes and set on a wire cooling rack to cool for about 20 minutes. The pudding might develop a skin on the top. Do not be tempted to use plastic wrap to prevent this! Isn’t that skin the best part?

4. Once puddings have cooled slightly, place them in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before enjoying.

Added Benefit:

There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, flavors, or anything else added to this pudding, which is a good thing because the theme of this week’s Spring Cleaning Get The Junk Out carnival is “food additives.” Read about what they are here and how to avoid them here. A side benefit to giving up plastic packaging means buying a lot fewer processed foods. That can only be a good thing, right?



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27 comments
Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes
Tressa @ Hecka-Good Recipes

I don't know if I did something completely wrong but this was not nearly chocolately or sweet enough for me. I doubled the chocolate and the sweetener. I also used arrowroot and had to double that as well. I used about 1 TB vanilla. The end result was delicious though. I guess I like my chocolate pudding dark and sweet. :) Thank you for the recipe though. I had to idea where to start a dairy free pudding.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

No you didn't do anything wrong. We all have different taste buds. I prefer things less sweet than some people do, probably.

Jennifer
Jennifer

@Josefine, interesting that you don't use corn starch in Sweden... I used to live in Russia and looked and looked and looked and couldn't find it there either! I was advised to use potato starch instead. So maybe it's just a North American staple, I wonder?

Roni
Roni

Day 2: this is the most amazing pudding ever! The honey is perfect today....not to strong at all. Excellent recipe ~ big fan!

Roni
Roni

Yummers!!! & fun! I'm used to agava - so the honey is a bit much for me - think I'll use the agava next time. It thought I was gonna be stirring forever....then it just turned into pudding! Thank you so much and best to you and your cause - every person makes a difference. Two things I thought you might be interested in: You can make your own vanilla extract (no plastic top :): 1 vanilla bean - cut the length and "rolled" inside out, in a glass jar + 3/4 C. vodka. Keep out of heat and light, shake weekly - start using in 2-3 mo's. People had mentioned "avocados" - thought I'd share my all time FAV recipe with you, it's from "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook; p. 349) Avocado Fig Fudgesicles - we just call it chocolate ice cream @ our house (no dairy allowed :) - can also be used as pudding when avocados are in season. 1 ripe avocado - pitted and skin removed 4 fresh black mission figs 4 medjool dates - pits removed 2-4 TBSP organic cocoa powder water for blending 1. Place all ingredients (except water) into a food processor (or Vita Mix if your super lucky :) 2. Add water as needed (I usually use about 1 cup) 3. Blend 1-2 mins or until very smooth & creamy. 4. Place into dish (popsicle molds didn't work for us). Freeze 6-8 hrs or overnight. Recipe lends well to doubling. & is super fantastic with almond butter added just before eating. We've served this to guests who don't care for whole foods and they loved it so much - they didn't want to hear what was REALLY in it. Even the kids loved it. Peace be the journey <3

Josefine
Josefine

Just a curious question, is potato starch very uncommon in the US? I've actually never seen corn starch here in Sweden. I remembered this recipe when thinking about what I should bake for a Fairtrade Focus baking challenge. I don't think it'll be my admission (thinking about a chocolately cake with a slight aroma of coffee actually) but this definitely seems tasty. I'm soaking hazelnuts right now, thought I'd use hazelnut milk. :)

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Tanya, contamination scares me. How do I know it's safe? (Admission: I know almost nothing about this subject.) .-= Beth Terry´s last blog ..Reducing Plastic Waste: April 2010 Collection Results =-.

Tanya
Tanya

Beth, don't be scared of raw milk! It's yummy! Have u tried it? What scares u?

Eleanor Sommer
Eleanor Sommer

Great recipe! This post brought a couple of questions to mind triggered by the soy milk maker concept, and I note that community discussion board is not currently running. Yogurt: Has anyone found a 1 or 2 quart yogurt maker with a non-plastic inner container? I know the unit itself will be plastic, but the makers that produce little 8 oz portions have glass jars. I can't tell, but I think the large yogurt makers have plastic containers. I wonder if I could use it and just replace the plastic container with a glass mason jar? Coffee: I'm looking for recommendations for an electric coffeemaker that does not have a plastic where it counts (heating the water and dripping the coffee). Thanks! .-= Eleanor Sommer´s last blog ..CAFOs Need to Go the Way of Dinosaurs =-.

Deborah
Deborah

Is there any particular reason you don't use powdered milk? It comes in a cardboard box with a metal spout covered by paper (similar to a box of salt). We always keep some in the house for cooking and emergencies. It tastes okay, so long as it's refrigerated overnight in a glass container before drinking.

chokingplanet
chokingplanet

Thanks for the recipe, I'll give it a try. A couple of points: Straus Dairy is sold in returnable/washed/reused bottles. Although I'm cutting back on dairy, I'm not giving it up completely. On the subject of corn products, it seems that many products labeled "natural" or "organic" are made with genetically modified corn. This includes several Garden of Eaten products. Here's a nice link to a report (just scan down to the end of the report, unless you really care about the test itself). The chart shows negative for products without genetically modified ingrediants. http://www.capital.edu/23615.pdf .-= chokingplanet´s last blog ..Banking on Children =-.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Thanks, Chokingplanet. I actually mentioned Straus a few comments up and linked to my post about visiting the dairy a while back. The reason I don't buy the milk is because of the big non-recyclable plastic cap. Like I said, plastic is unavoidable unless you can buy milk directly from the farm in your own container. As for corn, I totally agree! The only reason I used cornstarch was because we already had a box in the house from way back. I would have bough arrowroot powder from the bulk bin otherwise. Unless you know something about arrowroot that I don't. (I haven't researched it.) Cheers!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Ooh! I might try the avocado version... once avocados are in season. None but imports from Mexico right now. Lucky you with your milk. Is it raw? Raw milk scares me. .-= Beth Terry´s last blog ..Plastic-Free Dental Floss? Not Quite. =-.

Andrea
Andrea

I've heard of dairy-free pudding made with an avocado and cocoa powder, but this looks much better (I like my avocados in guacamole, thank you very much). I'm one of those lucky few who gets milk straight from the farm, so I could make pudding pretty much plastic-free (I suppose the chocolate would come packaged in plastic) if I were so inclined...maybe I will this weekend! .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Book Booty! =-.

Amber
Amber

Thanks for the recipe! My kids are HUGE pudding fans, but I haven't attempted to make it from scratch. Now, thanks to you, I will. :) .-= Amber´s last blog ..A Van Down By the River =-.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Emily, I have not tried any other nuts. But check it out, I just Googled "nut milk recipes" and found this page that lists all kinds of nut milks, even one made from nut butter! http://www.raw-food-living.com/nut-milk.html Tracey, so you don't have to soak the almonds first? BTW, I did try making rice milk once and I hated it. Your mileage may vary. .-= Beth Terry´s last blog ..Plastic-Free Dental Floss? Not Quite. =-.

aurora fox
aurora fox

oohhh! yum--thanks Beth--next time I crave chocolate--I'm gonna try this!! .-= aurora fox´s last blog ..Earth Day : Honoring Our Mother =-.

Tracey
Tracey

Tracey's DARNITIAMSERVINGCOFFEE/TEA AND DON'T HAVE SOYMILK EMERGENCY RECIPE: 1. Boil water. 2. Pour water over raw nuts - almonds, cashews, whatever 3. Blend. 4. Letting the solids sink to the bottom, pour off the milk. You can control how thick or thin the milk is by using more or less water, by blending for longer, and by soaking for longer. Use the solids in burgers or soups the same day. BETH YOU ARE AWESOME AND WE ADORE YOU. .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Anarres has been blogged about... on 100 Mile Finds =-.

Emily
Emily

Beth! Love your post - will have to try this recipe. I made pudding from scratch (standard recipe) last night for my girls. I like making it from scratch becasue it's so easy and then it doesn't have that wierd chemical taste that the instant pudding has. Have you tried any other nuts that make a good milk?

ODog
ODog

Kanmuri, some local farms do indeed do the glass bottle bit stateside. Mapleline Farm in Hadley, MA sells their milk in glass containers sized all the way up to half gallon and it's actually carried in a decent amount of stores in Western MA. Same deal: pay a $2 refundable deposit on the bottle. I don't know if it's psychological or not, but the milk seems to taste better!

kanmuri
kanmuri

Looks yummy! I don't know if this is done in the US but here I Montreal I buy milk in glass bins. Unfortunately, the lid is made of plastic but it's a very small part. Plus the bottles are refundable and reused by the farm. The product is called '"harmony." I hope this can help. .-= kanmuri´s last blog ..First Hike =-.

Sudha
Sudha

thats too good! being a vegetarian (not even eggs)...i find it difficult to get myself to buy chocolates or candy...scared of any animal products in it....another thing...any of ur readers have an idea to buy milk in my container in Atlanta/alpharetta GA?...any info would be of great help .-= Sudha´s last blog ..China's Prosperity- at what cost? =-.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hey, Lisa. I just checked the recipe I linked to, and I think she forgot to say that you put the 2 cups of water in the blender w/ the almonds. It comes out liquidy and you strain the liquid through cheesecloth or fine sieve to remove solids. Or leave them in if you want. I eat them like breakfast cereal. As for cheesecloth for removing skin, I guess you could. But it's funny because when I was growing up, that skin was my favorite part.

Condo Blues
Condo Blues

You can make your own almond milk?! I recently picked up a carton and am hooked on it. I'm not thrilled with the tetrapak carton even though I can put it in my city recycling. I have doubts about whether it's really sent off to another facility or not. After soaking the almonds do you blend it into a paste or should expect a soupy liquid? .-= Condo Blues´s last blog ..Zestra Natural Nookie Giveaway! =-.

Michelle
Michelle

I am curious, if you wanted to avoid the 'skin' on the pudding and avoid the plastic wrap, could you possibly use some muslin the same as the plastic wrap. At least you could wash the muslin. Just a thought. Have a wonderful day!

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