Creamy Chocolate Cashew Pudding
Thanks to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post
Pudding? With no sugar, no cream, no eggs, no whole milk?
Does that also mean it’s NO GOOD?
It’s SO good. Everyone in my house was surprised by just how good after polishing off every last jar only to learn it was dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, and nutrient-rich.
The creaminess in the pudding owes to a half cup of cashews, which soak overnight in any kind of milk you like: Plant milk if that’s your fancy, cow’s milk if it’s not. Also soaking in there are a few Medjool dates, after which the whole lot gets whizzed in a blender and then thickened in a pot on the stove.
At that point, the sweetness is not quite up to snuff, so I added an ingredient I’ve been tinkering with lately: liquid stevia from Sprouts Farmers Market. Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. Historically I’ve been slow to the stevia train because I haven’t loved the flavor. But a few teensy drops works wonders (plus, I find the Sprouts’ liquid version has a more appealing taste than the more common powdered form).
So give this pudding a whirl …and see what your family thinks of vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free (and delicious) chocolate pudding. If you want to top it with dairy-full/vegan-free whipped cream, be my guest.
Vegan Chocolate Cashew Cream Pudding
This decadent-tasting chocolate pudding is vegan and sugar-free. More importantly, it’s creamy and delicious thanks to cashews, dates, dark chocolate, and just enough sweetness to make it a “can I have seconds” kind of dessert.
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 cups plant milk or cow’s milk, I used coconut/almond milk
- 3 medjool dates, pits removed
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, Anson Mills makes a non-GMO brand, if desired
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, see notes
- Sprouts liquid stevia drops to taste (or maple syrup, agave, or honey to taste)
Put the cashews and pitted dates into a medium bowl and add the milk. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Pour the cashews, dates, and milk into a blender. Add the cocoa powder, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until creamy smooth with the cashews and dates completely pureed.
Transfer to a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid thickens, stirring consistently with a whisk and scraping down the sides regularly. The pudding is ready when it leaves a trail when you run the whisk through the center (it will continue to thicken as it cools). Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate chips. Whisk until melted into the pudding.
Taste the pudding and add liquid stevia to taste (or use a little maple syrup, honey, or agave, if you prefer). The amount depends on the type of milk used, since they vary in sweetness. Take it slow, figuring anywhere from 1 to 5 tiny drops of stevia or a few spoonfuls of maple syrup/honey/agave.
Transfer to 4 small jars or dishes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you want this completely sugar-free, look for stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, such as Lily's brand. Alternatively, use dark chocolate chips.