Creamy. (yet) Dairy-Free. Fudgy. Beautifying. Chocolate-y. I love all these words…but much more so when they all describe the same recipe! And all these words fit my brand new recipe, my Vanilla & Chocolate Avocado Pudding Recipe.
It’s so delicious and qualifies as a legit dessert…so you may think you’re cheating. But with the moisturizing, healthy plant oils from the avocado and the anti-inflammatory properties of the vanilla and the antioxidants in the cacao, you’re actually enhancing your body and beauty. Ohhh, snap. Take that chocolate cupcake! We no longer need you!!
Not Just For Baking: Vanilla
You may have heard me talk about chocolate (which I rather feebly attempt to give up for periods from time to time, but let’s face it, I’m a lifelong chocolate lover and always will be!), but what about vanilla?
Vanilla is such a fragrant ingredient that I love it in smoothies and different recipes, like today’s pudding.
Here are a few reasons why I love vanilla, besides it’s wonderful taste:
As we Beauties know, antioxidants protect our bodies from damage from harmful components like toxins and free radicals. Why not fight those suckers off with vanillic acid and vanillin, which are antioxidants found in natural vanilla extract?
Research has found that vanilla extract contains 26 to 90 percent of the antioxidants of unprocessed vanilla—depending on the type of antioxidant and the concentration of the extract. So while you may not automatically think of it that way, vanilla has health and food preserving properties.
As I mentioned above, vanillin is a natural antioxidant and what’s interesting is, this is what gives vanilla beans their distinctive aroma. Preliminary research found that vanilla extract had powerful liver-protective abilities and anti-inflammatory abilities—due to the vanillin content—and when treated with vanillin.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
Vanilla-infused herbal tea can soothe inflammation in the gut and can also help treat nausea (one of the worst feelings ever, as most all of us know. I’m not the best small boat/rocky water traveler, so I’m going to try this next time I get stuck on a sailboat adventure of sorts, or a motor boat that I have to sit on for a while when parked and in swaying water! ).
When it comes to buying a brand you like and can trust, read the labels. What makes vanilla so expensive is largely due to the environment it needs to be grown in. Vanilla flavoring is extracted from the seed pods of orchids that only grow in the tropical climates and can be very difficult to cultivate artificially because of they way in which it needs to be pollinated.
Whatever the technique, they are all laborious, which makes vanilla one of the most expensive food items (per-ounce), in the world (saffron and truffles being two others). The entire vanilla-cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from five to six years (!). Thankfully, a little goes a long way. Can you imagine if we needed as much vanilla as we did cacao?!
Be sure to steer clear of artificial vanilla, which is made with pure vanillin diluted with water, and alcohol. Even though the vanillin is chemically identical to that found in real vanilla, it’s being extracted from coal tar (or wood pulp), as a by-product of paper production and extremely inexpensive to produce.
Try buying an organic brand from your local health store or market, and never hesitate to ask advice on which brands are the best quality. This is one ingredient where I don’t feel bad splurging on a little.
Beauty Food: Avocado
Did you know that avocado’s are technically a fruit? Ye-siree! Become a regular avocado-eater and notice just how soft your skin is—becoming more supple and youthful. You don’t need a ton- 1/2 to a whole medium avocado a day is plenty for the average Beauty, pending on your other sources of whole beauty fats.
Avocado’s yellow interior is luscious and creamy, abundant in monounsaturated fats which are ideal for skin rejuvenation and moisturizing from the inside out to prevent wrinkles and lines. They are also full of compounds that nourish skin health and help maintain youthful skin tone, and rich in the skin-smoothing beauty vitamins: A, C, E (the best source of any fruit), and K.
Because everything we eat has such a profound effect upon the rest of our body, it’s nice to know that the fats from the avocado lubricates the digestive tract—promoting the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in your tissues and making your cellular membranes stronger.
Avocado has one of the highest amino acid contents of all fruit, which helps to build protein in the body. Although avocado’s have a relatively high fat and calorie content, their raw plant fat is digested very efficiently and is extremely nutrient-dense per calorie. Again, eating around half of an avocado or one small one is generally the maximum amount that should be consumed daily.
How to Make the Vanilla & Chocolate Avocado Pudding…
- 1 medium avocado
- ¼ cup raw cacao
- 2 Tbs. raw coconut nectar (or raw honey)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, hemp or almond milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional: stevia to taste
- Toppings: coconut whipped cream, coconut, hemp seeds, fresh mint
- Blend all ingredients. Adjust sweetness with stevia if desired.
- Chill to desired coolness.
- Serve immediately or layer with coconut whipped cream for a delicious parfait!
All my love,