Valentines Day is next week which means we need to be thinking about chocolate! Chocolate does fit into a plant based diet you just have to choose wisely if you are buying chocolate as manufacturers like to sneak a little dairy into their recipes. Look for dark chocolate and read the labels. Better yet try making this recipe at home and you’ll know exactly what you are getting. It contains a secret ingredient that actually makes this treat on the healthy side – gotta love that. Best of all it tastes amazing! I try a lot of recipes that never make it to the blog – I only share the ones that we really enjoy and believe me this one is a winner.
The photo doesn’t do this dessert any justice. It’s so difficult to get good photos at night this time of year – sigh. It’s time to fess up and share with you that the base of this decadent dessert is none other than a can of cannelleni beans (or a box if you buy the no salt added 365 brand at Whole Foods). I know it sounds strange but it works beautifully. They blend up all nice, smooth and creamy are very neutral in flavor so there is no “beanie” taste going on. The incredible Debby at The Healthy Librarian blog came up with this amazing recipe.
We enjoyed it with some fresh strawberries I bought at Trader Joe’s. They were perfect together but raspberries would also be delightful! I must warn you that this is loaded with caffeine – the recipe calls for instant espresso powder. You might remember that I gave coffee up last March when I began a plant based diet. I enjoyed this dessert at about 7:00 in the evening and I barely got a wink of sleep that night!
I think it would still be good without the instant espresso if you want to avoid an all nighter. Ha ha! Or another option would be to brew some strong decaf coffee and use it in place of water in the recipe. A little orange juice could be a nice flavor too or if you are into chocolate mint some fresh mint leaves or mint extract would work! Take the basic recipe and have fun with it. I plan on trying several different versions.
Chocolate Ganache Pudding
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans no salt added, drained (you could sub garbanzo beans but they do have a stronger flavor)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or defatted peanut flour or PB2.
- 1/2 cup of non-Dutched unsweetened cocoa
- 2-3 packets of stevia – I used 2
- 1 teaspoon of instant espresso coffee - optional
- 4 large pitted Medjool dates that are moist and plump
- 1 teaspoon of good quality real vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water or more if needed
- pinch of salt – optional but it does help bring out the sweetness
Throw everything into a food processor, process until smooth adding more water if needed. I made it in my high powered Blendtec blender and it worked well but you won’t be able to make it in a regular blender as it is very thick. You can make it as thin or thick as you want. Add less water for more of a ganache, frosting or hummus texture. If you want more of a pudding/mousse add more liquid such as water, juice or almond milk.
Debby used the bean liquid instead of water but I thought the drained bean liquid looked unappealing and went with water.
Serving Suggestions: spread on chunks of bananas, use to frost cupcakes, cookies or brownies, serve in small dishes garnished with cut up strawberries or raspberries. It would be pretty layered in dessert shot glasses alternating with layers of fresh fruit!
Notes: The caffeine kept me up up all night so next time I will leave it out or brew some strong decaf coffee and use it in place of water.
Yield: approximately 2 cups
Servings Size: 4) 1/2 cup servings or 8) 1/4 cup servings
Nutritional Information (not including optional salt)
Per 8) 1/4 cup servings; 81 Calories, 1.7 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 10 mg Sodium, 4.95 g Fiber, 3.9 g Protein
Per 4) 1/2 cup servings; 162 Calories, 3.4 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 20 mg Sodium, 9.9 g Fiber, 7.8 g Protein
Recipe from The Healthy Librarian
I hope everyone who is in the snowy parts of the country are safe and sound! I grew up in the Midwest and remember having to stock up on groceries in anticipation of the big storms and then being glad to be at home all warm and snuggly when the snow arrived. Until we had to go out and shovel snow that is! I must admit that I don’t miss the snow and cold and have become a weather wimp since living in Northern CA. Where I live we have 4 distinct seasons and I do enjoy that change. We only go from cold and rainy to hot and sunny!
If you follow me on Instagram you saw the canyon photo I posted on Saturday. We got a late start for our hike – I was moving kind of slow since I had the Chocolate Ganache pudding the night before and barely got any sleep! It was a beautiful day so I didn’t want to miss being out on the trail and soaking it all up! The trail we chose that day was full of running groups who were training. Being the kind hikers that we are – when we saw runners coming we would step off the trail and let them pass so they wouldn’t have to break stride. The trail was narrow in most places so you had to go single file. It still amazes me how people can run up and down these hilly trails.
We hiked 9.9 miles and our elevation climbs were the equivalent of walking up 207 flights of stairs – each flight of stairs being 10 steps. That means it was like climbing up 2,070 steps! Believe me my glutes felt like it come Sunday morning! Actually I think I was more sore on Monday morning than Sunday.
From the photos you get a little peek at some of the lovely scenery we enjoyed. Because of the lack of rain here most of the little streams and water ways were dry which meant we didn’t have to do any rock hopping to cross. It was an amazing day to be out in nature and it just filled me with joy and a sense of peace. I love that feeling.
A Girly Girl!
The fact that I like to hike and be out in nature surprises some people. You see in my daily life I am a “girly girl“! I love to wear dresses, fix my hair and wear make up. Despite the fact that I grew up with three brothers there isn’t an ounce of tom-boy in me! I am not the athletic type – never played any sports – I’m really not that coordinated. I’m no expert hiker, I’m not terribly fast at it, I do have to stop now and then and catch my breath when going up hill. Having said all that, I must admit that I love the challenge of hiking, pushing myself to go a little bit further to see what’s on top of the next hill or at the end of a new trail. Out on the trail I get to soak up the beauty and tranquility of nature. Time slows down and my mind slows down along with it. I become acutely aware of my surroundings and how magnificent nature is. I feel small standing under trees that tower above or at the top of a ridge looking out over a vast canyon. I feel privileged to be able to see the things I see and feel the things I feel when hiking.
Last year when we were out on a trail we were passed by a young couple who were running out as we were headed back to the trail head. Since we were walking and they were running we all ended up back at the trail head at the same time. When I made some comment about how fast they were, compared to us, the young man said “It doesn’t matter how long it takes to do the trail, the point is that we all did the same distance”! He was so right!
I hope my knees and feet allow me to continue to explore nature and go the distance for many more years.
Edited: The blog was down this morning for a few hours. I was in the middle of writing this post when it just went “poof” and went away! Thank goodness I had just saved my work thus far and didn’t lose any of my work! My son David got it back up and running! Thanks David!
Thank you for following me on this journey into the world of eating a plant based diet. We can learn from each other along the way.
How about you? Is there something that you enjoy doing that surprises your family and friends?