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.)
- 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. Here’s a recipe.)
- 1/2 t. vanilla (Glass bottle. Unfortunately, plastic cap.)
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.
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?