This dessert is for those who want a little sweet decadence, but also want to avoid added sugar and large portions. Cacao Coconut Protein Probiotic Pudding is loaded with good stuff: protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, and probiotics, while being junk-free.
The recipe below is not similar to a chocolate pudding you may remember from childhood. This dessert is designed to help retrain our tastebuds and minds away from sickeningly sweet confections toward more nuanced flavors. The Cacao Coconut Protein Probiotic Pudding highlights the tastes of its ingredients — beautiful bitter chocolate from the cacao, acidic tang from the kefir, and tropical coconut. It’s subtly sweet thanks to the stevia, but the sweetness is balanced by acidity from the kefir and bitterness from the cacao. A friend recently described it as “really good, but like a wheatgrass shot, it tastes even better knowing it’s also good for you”. Think of it as a dessert you’d find at a high-end health spa — if having dessert at a health spa sounds like something you’d enjoy, you’ll probably love it. I serve the pudding in small, one-quarter cup portions with a heaping handful of blueberries.
Recipe notes: It’s important to soak the cacao nibs for several hours in order to get the proper consistency, otherwise the pudding will have a grainy texture. The protein powder I use in cooking applications (Protein Pancakes) and smoothies (Superpower and Green Probiotic) is a collagen powder from Great Lakes. Plant-based protein powders would also work well. To make this recipe vegan, use a plant based protein powder, increase the amount of protein powder to 1/2 cup and swap the cow’s milk kefir for added sugar-free fermented coconut water. Lastly, stevia can come in several forms, but this recipe calls for a powder, so be sure to either use a powder or figure out the proper conversion.
- shredded coconut: ½c
- cacao nibs: ¼c
- water: ¼c
- collagen protein powder: ¼c
- vanilla extract: ¼ tsp
- stevia: ½ tsp
- Greek-style plain cow's milk kefir: ¼ cup
- coconut milk: ½ cup
- *Optional but suggested: Serve with fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
- Soak cacao nibs in the ¼ cup water for 3 hours to soften, then drain.
- Add soaked and drained cacao nibs into a blender with all the other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy (approximately 2 minutes).
- Remove pudding from the blender, place in a bowl and cover.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Serve chilled in small, ¼ cup portions with optional berries.