Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Pudding - Grain free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free

Around Christmas time I was doing a lot of baking for the first time using alternative flours, sweeteners and using new methods foreign to me. 
One thing I came across was the benefit of cooking with gelatin instead of using starch. 
You can make the most delicious sugar free marshmallows (which i gave away) with gelatin instead of using eggs and  cornstarch. Of course you will get a more tender texture but so much better for you.
I also used it for the custard base in my Nanaimo bars which is usually made with custard powder (Corn starch and Maltodextrin). I also used it as a fabulous base for my Banana Cream Pie custard filling instead of the traditional lots of eggs, flour, butter and sugar.
It seems to be a very promising thickener without adding ANY Carbs at all to your dishes.
I also love how it doesn't clump together like corn starch or give you a chewy gelee texture like arrowroot. It hardly needs any cooking time or can be made strictly without cooking at all if using a pre-heated liquid.

So back to my story..... I am finding that eating some dark chocolate every day helps with cravings, keeping me on task and satisfies my desire for sweet most days without adding anything negative to my diet. We used to buy the dark 78% chocolate bars for our baking and eating. Then one day at my favorite bulk store I came across a bin that carried Dark, Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate. OHH MY GOD THERE IS A GOD, AND HE HAS SENT ME CHOCOLATE!
I didn't actually know you could buy completely sugar free chocolate. All though the dark is pretty close it definitely isn't sugar free. AND the only amount of sugar in it is the totally bad white, refined, processed, horrible, really bad for you sugar. So anyway to eat less of that crap in my opinion is a good idea.
I have now been using the bakers chocolate in every one of my recipes calling for chocolate. I haven't noticed too much of a difference in taste. A couple times I have just thrown in an extra tsp of agave or a pack of Stevia here and there to make up for the sweetness which is way better than eating the wrong sugar.

I noticed thought that my days of shoving my hand in the pantry to pull out a couple squares of chocolate are over as a square of unsweetened chocolate  is really not very good at all. Trust me you won't do that more than once! 
You can tell its chocolate, but, your brain is refusing to admit to you it's chocolate because the sugar spike it is used to receiving isn't there and it wants it lol.
Sooooooo I had to come up with a different way of getting my chocolate fix or I will just end up eating the cookie jar and that will not help anybody.
So here is an idea that popped into my head this morning as I walked into the pantry thinking about chocolate and a delicious way to eat it without adding carbs and junk.

Delicious Grain Free, Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding!!! MMMmmm totally beats those cups of chocolate pudding that you could leave in your pantry for months. Do I need to say more?? 
This is not a recipe for those of you who are fat phobics though. In our house we eat animal fat, non hydrogenated natural non-hydrogenated fat such as (dairy fat, fish oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil) and nothing that isn't found in nature. Of course you can always have too much fat, but the natural fats and animal fats are broken down completely differently in your body. 2% of every meal being a natural fat is what you should consume on a daily basis into your diet. 
Compared to toxic, man made fat such as vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine, cool whip etc... It's way worse to eat all of that junk (such as those flavored oil creamers in your coffee every morning or margarine on your toast).
For example if you put margarine on your toast every day or use fake coffee creamer or use skim milk BUT burn your bacon until it passes from a solid to a black dust bla... your really not helping yourself out in any way at all. 
Of course there is always the very first argument that comes out once I mention "only fats found in nature" .. "Canola oil is natural" true.. but there are chemicals added to the oil in order to keep it a liquid in hot weather, cold weather, 10 years from now etc! Those chemicals are just as bad for you as those bad BPA chemicals you get from reusing plastic bottles over and over.  If you wouldn't drink water that has sat in a plastic bottle on your window sill for a month.. why would you purposely ingest chemicals from hydrogenated oils??
Taking a lovely natural ingredient such as vegetables and make it into a oil (how the heck do you do that), add a bunch of chemicals to it and process the crap out of it, how is that good for you?
There is a huge amount of information out there for you but you have to go looking for it. If you don't you may end up with a sad bill of help way to early on in your life and then it may be too late.
So please don't shy away from the good fat that I recommend using in my recipes as it is very important and healthy!!
Only use full fat coconut milk  or 1-2% dairy milk for this recipe as you want it to thicken naturally. There is nothing natural about using skim milk and then adding starchy thickeners to it. Using a higher fat milk such as coconut milk has a great thickening characteristic without adding starch to it.
I did this recipe using 1 cup of 1% milk and 1 cup of coconut milk as I wanted it to thicken, add protein and fiber and I always add coconut milk to most of my cooking now. I find the chocolate over powers the coconut taste so if you don't like coconut you might benefit from this. If you do like it you could use solely coconut milk.
As I went through all of my ingredients in my pantry I came across one of those "JELL-O instant pudding" boxes that I forgot to throw away.
It was very ironic to stumble across that when I am planning out pudding in my head. So naturally I read the box. I was happy it was gluten free and sugar free (aspartame) but this itself is a chemical. At the bottom of the ingredient list was about 3 big long words that I couldn't even pronounce. So what is that? How is it going to help my pudding? Why is it there? 
If you can't speak it, don't know what it is and you wouldn't add it in yourself, don't eat it. Not to mention those weirdo ingredients probably did have gluten in them.
I threw it away and picked up my giant box of Knox Gelatin. 
What are the ingredients? 
What's in it?

Woohoo finally. And then I created this:

Grain Free, Sugar Free, Chocolate Pudding

In a small glass bowl:
1/2 C 1% or 2% dairy milk
3 packages of unflavored Knox gelatin
let sit for 3 min

In a sauce pan over medium heat:
1 C of coconut milk/almond milk/cashew milk
1/2 C 1% or 2% dairy milk
3 squares unsweetened Baker's Dark Chocolate or 1/2 C dark cocoa powder
2 T Coconut oil/Butter
1/2 C agave nectar/palm syrup/date syrup**
1 T vanilla

Melt coconut oil and add chocolate squares. Stir slowly until completely melted. Whisk in agave, vanilla and coconut, dairy milk. Bring to a simmer, immediately stir in gelatin mixture and whisk constantly for 1 min.
Remove from heat and pour pudding into individual ramekins and place in the fridge for 1 hour until set.
I got 7 full to the top ramekins. You could do small mini ones by pouring pudding into small muffin tins or 1 large baking tray. I don't know how well it will set up if the pudding is just one big deep bowl. Try it and let me know.

Top pudding with a layer of whipped cream (without sugar) or just plain heavy cream, and shave some unsweetened chocolate on top. yum. This recipe beats the crap out of store bought pudding and I didn't even know what I was doing!

**Substituting granulated palm sugar or Splenda may cause the pudding to not be as thick as it is a binding agent and natural thickener. Always use a liquid thickener substitute for agave.**

No comments:

Post a Comment