Dairy-Free No-Cook Chocolate Pudding
A few weeks ago, we toured Creo Chocolate, a family-run chocolate factory and tasting room that opened in Portland in 2014. They source their cacao beans from farmers in Ecuador, then do every step from roasting to packaging right in their Lloyd-district chocolate shop. We were so impressed with their focus on quality, family, and sustainability. (This is not a sponsored post, just sharing the love for a local business. Check them out!)
On the tour, we learned that not all chocolate bars are created equal. For example, commercial chocolate products are only required by the FDA to contain a minimum of 10% cacao to be labeled as “chocolate” (Hershey’s milk chocolate is around 11%). The rest of the bar consists of milk, sugar, and other fillers, making it a true candy bar. Real dark chocolate, on the other hand, usually has around 65-85% cacao. The higher the percentage, the lower the sugar giving you a more complex, richer, slightly bitter flavor.
Suddenly, it made total sense to me why I could polish off 13 fun-size Snickers and still crave more, but a small square of dark chocolate satisfies my sweet tooth. Sugar is addictive, but real chocolate (like any real food) is satisfying.
That’s the first thing I thought of when I tasted this pudding. It ain’t yo snack pack pudding, but you know what? That’s ok. That’s good. It has real ingredients that you can easily pronounce!
And this recipe seriously couldn’t be easier. It takes maybe 5 minutes to make. You just dump all of the ingredients into your blender, blend until smooth, then chill for several hours.
Chia seeds are a natural thickening agent, but if you have texture issues with them then this recipe would be a great place to start.
And my favorite part! Instead of sugar, pitted dates and coconut milk provide all the sweetness. Because friends don’t let friends cut back/out refined sugar without some tricks up their sleeve first.
You’re left with little cups of rich, dark chocolate pudding topped with spoonfuls of whipped coconut cream. A few bites satisfies your sweet tooth without guilt (or a bag of fun-size bars). Enjoy!
Chia Seed Chocolate Pudding
slightly adapted from an Against All Grain recipe
1 (13.5 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 c. hot water
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 c. chia seeds
4 1/2 oz. pitted dates
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth, about 1 minute.
- Pour the pudding into small serving bowls, cover, and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
- Top with Whipped Coconut Cream, if desired (recipe below).
Trader Joe’s used to be my go-to place for coconut milk, but their coconut milk stock has been totally unpredictable for the last year. More often than not they are out. (I’ve heard Asian grocery stores are the best bet?)
I do use TJ’s coconut cream to make a simple Whipped Coconut Cream. It does have a strong flavor, but we like it. I also like that you can use the whole can, instead of just the solids you get when chilling regular coconut milk. For this recipe, I scraped out one vanilla bean pod, but some vanilla extract would work just fine, too. Add a small amount of sweetener and whip!
Whipped Coconut Cream
1 (14 oz.) can coconut cream
1-2 T. sugar (I use coconut sugar)
1 t. vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod)
- Place coconut cream in refrigerator for several hours-overnight to chill.
- Place cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Leftovers can be refrigerated.
This recipe comes from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime (Amazon). I don’t have any serious dietary restrictions, but this is one of those cookbooks that doesn’t matter. The recipes are healthy + delicious. And, unlike many diet-specific cookbooks, the ingredient lists are pretty basic. Win-win-win.
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