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Light & Silky Chocolate Pudding Cups {Vegan}

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As we gear up for Valentine’s Day, chocolate recipes abound. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with splurging on decadent desserts every once in a while, (especially on a holiday), there are plenty of healthier versions of those indulgences if you’re interested in feeding your sweet tooth without consuming loads of sugar and saturated fat.

This chocolate pudding is one such dessert; it is rich, satisfying, and delicious, but it contains zero refined sugars or animal fats. Cashews comprise the base; and when they’re soaked and blended with water, cocoa powder, and a bit of maple syrup, a silky smooth pudding-like consistency emerges that makes the perfect vegan treat.

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These pudding cups make a great snack or dessert for kids and adults alike, so bust out your high speed blender and whip up this easy chocolate treat for those you love on Valentine’s Day!

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Light & Silky Chocolate Pudding Cups {Vegan}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole cashews
  • 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder, optional (I would suggest omitting this if you’re serving the pudding to kids)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cold filtered water

Instructions

Place cashews in a bowl of cold water and let soak for at least 4 hours, (or 8 hours if you do not have a high speed blender such as a Vitamix), then drain.

Place drained cashews, maple syrup, cocoa powder, espresso powder if using, and 1/2 cup cold filtered water in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend/process until perfectly smooth, adding more water (1 tablespoon at a time) as needed to reach desired consistency. Take care not to let the mixture start to heat up if you are using a high speed blender!

Chill in the refrigerator until fully cooled.

NOTE: If you are using a high speed blender, the end consistency should be light & airy. You may not achieve this exact texture if you are using a regular blender or food processor.

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Coconut Oat Breakfast Cookies {gluten-free, date-sweetened}

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January is National Oatmeal Month, and I’m slipping in a recipe featuring this powerhouse ingredient before the month passes us by!

Nature’s Path sent me some of their instant oatmeal packets to try, and – although they were all delicious – I was especially excited about this new-to-me product called Qi’a™. Qi’a™ is a superfood blend of gluten-free rolled oats, buckwheat groats, chia seeds, & hemp seeds, and the creamy coconut version is fantastic! The dried coconut lends a subtle natural sweetness without any added sugar, and I was inspired to use the oatmeal packets to make a healthy breakfast cookie. 

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In order to keep the cookies free of added sugar, I used date paste to sweeten the dough. If you’re unfamiliar with date paste, let this be the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with it! All you do is soak dates in boiling water, and then puree the mixture to form a paste-like consistency. You can smear it on toast or waffles, dollop in on top of oatmeal, sub it in for the jam/jelly in a PB&J, or – as I did here – use it to add natural sweetness to baked goods.

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I used coconut oil and added in extra flaked coconut (unsweetened, of course!) for an unapologetically coconutty flavor. The cookies are easy, healthy, hearty, tasty, and portable, which is exactly what you want for your morning meal if you’re on-the-go (or just busy with little ones!).

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Jack, who is almost 14 months (!!!!!), gobbled up the crumbled cookie I offered him, so they also get the toddler seal of approval.

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*I received free product in exchange for this review & recipe. All opinions are my own.

Coconut Oat Breakfast Cookies {gluten-free, date-sweetened}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (12 cookies)

  • 6 individual packets Nature’s Path Qi’a™ Creamy Coconut Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup melted & cooled virgin coconut oil
  • 6 Tbsp date paste (you can sub in an equal amount of honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 large eggs, preferably organic

Date paste:

  • Place 10 large soft medjool dates in a bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover them. Let sit for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. Pour the dates (and the remaining water) into a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or unbleached parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oatmeal, coconut flakes, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted & cooled coconut oil, date paste, and eggs.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until fully combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press down on each cookie dough scoop to slightly flatten.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges. Cookies will still be very soft.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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