Halloween is fast-approaching, and I thought I’d bring you a sweet treat to please kids and adults alike. Double-duty: This would also make a beautiful holiday dessert for those of you now looking forward to Thanksgiving. With how much our family loves my Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding (and how well received it was by all of you), I decided to create a Pumpkin Chia Pudding.
This parfait is a combination of the Pumpkin Chia Pudding and a Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse from Let Them Eat Vegan. This mousse is actually the pie filling for a full chocolate raw pie (page 245, LTEV) Have any of you made this pie, as a side note?
These puddings are spectacular all on their own – our whole family loves them. Put them together… outstanding! Layer one pudding on top of the other, and finish with some chocolate shavings – so simple.
Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse (recipe from LTEV)
Creamy, chocolaty, luscious. Yet no sugar, no flour, no oil. Yes, chocolate dreams do come true. This mousse is adaptable and can be accented with other flavors, such as orange zest (or orange oil), almond extract, or mint (leaves or extract).
1 cup avocado flesh (cut in chunks or slices, roughly 1 large or 1 – 1/2 medium avocados; be sure they are soft and ripe, not hard)
1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
1/2 cup nut milk (or other non-dairy milk if non-raw)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 -1 tsp pure vanilla extract (see note)
1/8 tsp sea salt
Place all the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree for a minute or so on at medium-high speed, until completely smooth and no texture of the cashews re- mains. Stop to scrape down the blender and redistribute the ingredients. Puree again until very, very smooth – like a velvety pudding. This will take a few starts and stops for scraping down, even with a high-powered blender. Once the mixture is readily churning and smooth, it’s ready.
Savvy Subs and Adds: If you’d prefer not to use vanilla extract, use the seeds from one vanilla bean.
Note: For a nut-free pudding, I’d suggest using the “Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding” recipe from LTEV, page. 237.
Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Easy to make, healthy, and scrumptious… you just might find yourself making this pumpkin pudding year-round!
3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, see note)
3/4 cup plain or vanilla unsweetenednon-dairy milk (see note)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1-2 tbsp coconut sugar (or pinch stevia, see note)
3 tbsp white chia seeds (black will discolor pudding some)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
pinch ground ginger (optional, I omit it when making for the kiddos)
1/8 tsp sea salt (slightly rounded)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla seeds from one bean)
Optional toppings: shaving of dark chocolate, vegan cookie crumbles (see note), and the Coconut Whipped Cream from LTEV would be a phenomenal topping!
In a blender, add all ingredients. Blend for a minute or more (depending on blender, my Blendtec pulverizes the seeds quickly), until the seeds are fully pulverized and the pudding begins to thicken (it will thicken more as it refrigerates). Taste, and if you’d like it sweeter, add a teaspoon or two more of coconut sugar or maple syrup (not too much maple syrup or it will become loose). Transfer mixture to a large bowl/dish, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1/2 hour or more (it will thicken more with chilling, but really can be eaten straight away.). Serve, sprinnkling with optional toppings if desired.
Milk Note: I typically use unsweetened almond milk (either plain or vanilla) when I make this pudding. If you are using a sweetened vanilla milk, reduce the sweetener to taste.
Pumpkin note: Canned pumpkin can really vary in consistency. Some are thinner, others a little more loose. I use Farmers Market brand which is very thick and dense, and bonus – organic.
Sweetener Note: I love coconut sugar, and I think it adds a buttery-sweet note to recipes. You may not need/want it in this pudding, the maple syrup may add enough sweetness for your taste (and the type of milk used will also affect sweetness). If you’d rather use stevia, add just a pinch or two and test along the way, as too must stevia can ruin the flavor. You can also add a little extra maple syrup, but no more than about a tablespoon or two, as the pudding can become a little loose.
Idea: Serve paired with crumbled ‘Gingery Cookies’ from LTEV, or ‘Snifferdoodles’, or a vegan graham-type cookie. It will taste like pumpkin pie in a bowl!
You should know that I used some pretty large cups for these parfaits – one of these cups would be enough for two people. I’d say that the two of these puddings together would serve 4-5 for dessert.
Will you be making healthy Halloween treats? Do tell!