Healthy Recipe, Chocolate Pudding

This dessert tastes so decadent, it’s hard to believe it’s actually good for you. With a base of gelatin-thickened coconut milk, it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and low in carbs and sugar. And its hefty dose of unsweetened cocoa powder is rich not only in deep chocolate flavor but also in flavanols, which have been linked to lower blood pressure and other health benefits. Though delicious eaten straight out of the bowl once it sets up, its texture becomes fluffier and more luxurious when beaten with an electric mixer after it’s set. Coconut whipped cream adds a dollop of tropical flavor, and fresh raspberries provide just the right romantic touch for Valentine’s Day, or any day you deem special. Serves 4. Inspired by “Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!” by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong.

-Susan Puckett

1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Coconut Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
1 cup fresh raspberries Instructions
1. Place ¼ cup of the coconut milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining coconut milk, cocoa, honey, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
3. Add the gelatin and coconut mixture to the saucepan and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
4. Pour the hot liquid into a heat-safe container or bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours longer, or until firm. The pudding may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
5. About 30 minutes to an hour before serving, beat the pudding with an electric mixer until very smooth, giving it a fluffy, mousse-like texture. If it turns soupy, return it to the refrigerator to allow it to firm back up a bit until you’re ready to serve it.
6. Place a few raspberries in the bottom of 4 serving bowls, martini glasses, or wine goblets. Spoon some of the pudding over the top of each.
7. Top with coconut whipped cream, if desired, and a few more berries. Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

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