Raw Cacao Pudding

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Ladies and gentlemen, get those strawberries washed and ready for dipping! This recipe by Gena Hemshaw makes a great dip for berries but can also be eaten with a spoon for a truly decadent experience. Irish moss gel is used to whip this pudding up into a lightweight delight, while truly raw cacao powder combines with cashews, almond milk and dates to create rich creamy depth and sweetness.

Ingredients

3/4 cup *Irish moss gel

1/4 cup cashews

5 pitted medjool dates

3 tbsp raw cacao powder (substitute 4 tbsp regular cocoa powder–it’s less strong)

1 1/2 cups almond milk, plus extra as needed

 

*Irish Moss Gel

1 cup (or about 2 oz) of Irish moss

 

Instructions

1) Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender. Start with 1 1/2 cups almond milk and take it from there: this is a kitchen intuition recipe, which means that I can’t tell you for sure how much liquid you’ll need. As soon as you have the texture you want, stop adding!

Serve!

*Irish Moss Gel

1) Remove Irish Moss from packaging. Rinse and wash in cold water thoroughly.

2) Place Irish moss in fresh, cold water, and soak overnight (you can do this in your fridge).

3) In the morning, rinse the Irish Moss and place it in your Vitamix or blender with 1 1/2 cups fresh water. Blend well. At first, the moss will seem to simply get broken up in the water, but as you continue blending, it will start to gelatinize in the water and become thick. It’ll even be hard to blend, but you can use your plunger attachment to help you. Once you have a thick, uniform “gel,” stop and place the gel into an airtight container. It will keep for a week in the fridge, or you can use it right away.

 

Gena HemshawAbout Gena Hemshaw

I’m a Manhattanite living in the D.C. area who is passionate about vegan and raw food. I’m also a clinical nutritionist and a premed student at Georgetown University, hoping to enter med school in 2013. You can read more about my services here. If you’re interested in a consultation, email me at gena@choosingraw.com. My way of eating is simple: I’m a vegan, and I eat a lot of raw foods. Beyond that, I avoid processed food as much as possible. I eat lots of raw and cooked veggies, sea veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, organic, non-GMO soy, and root vegetables. I’m not 100% raw and don’t aspire to be: my goal is to get a wide array of nutrients from as many delicious, plant-based sources as I can. Exclusively raw diets work for some people, but many others find them either nutritionally or psychologically limiting. I do, however, believe that most people can experience tremendous health benefits from adding raw food to their diets. The title of my blog, then, evokes a lifestyle that encourages us to eat “close to nature,” and and encourages to make choices every day that emphasize raw food. The goal of this blog is not to force a vegan lifestyle on anyone. My goal is encourage you all to explore the many health benefits, spiritual benefits, and the delicious cuisine that veganism has to offer. With any luck, you’ll be inspired to think harder about the food on your plate, to feel more compassion and respect for the animals we share this planet with, and to get cooking! I grew up in a Greek family where lamb and cheese were the order of the day, but I can’t remember a time when the mainstream diet—especially meat—felt right to me. I believe that many girls who become susceptible to eating disorders feel disconnected from the prescribed way of eating in their lives; this was definitely true of me. And needless to say, when I tried to eat more healthily, but without an informed perspective, I quickly became obsessive and restrictive. This is when I was about twelve. For six years to come, I would struggle with restrictive eating and body dysmorphia. I managed to recover in my late teens (I’m 29 now), but I was left with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and a very sensitive digestive system. After my recovery, I started to take a plant-based diet more seriously. I, like many other women, found that eating plant-based food contributed immensely to my healing process. For the first time, I ate, cooked, and studied nutrition with a sense of enthusiasm and confidence. Exploring a cruelty free, eco-friendly, and body-friendly way of life made me proud to say, for the first time in a while, “I’m hungry.” I became 100% vegan about six years ago (I was eating mostly vegan before that), and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. A year later, I began researching raw foods. I was dubious about many (OK, most) of the claims, but I figured it was worth a shot, if only because I thought it might help me fine tune my digestive health. Within two weeks of eating more raw foods, I had more energy, more even-keeled moods, and better digestion. It was an adjustment to eat less cooked food than I had before, but not a hard one: in fact, I was so focused on the new foods I was enjoying that my fondness for hot food at every meal diminished. Fast. Since I started eating more raw foods, I’ve seen my IBS all but disappear. More importantly, I’ve learned to think differently and more creatively about food preparation, and I’ve fallen in love with the fresh flavors and textures of raw cuisine. People who become entranced with raw foods are often prone to extremism. It’s perfectly normal to be zealous about raw when you start out; certainly, I had a raw honeymoon phase, too! But I remain firm in my belief that raw foods should be a part of a healthy vegan diet, and not all of it: obsessing about whether or not you’re eating 100% raw is unhealthy and counterproductive. The point of this lifestyle should be joy, and freedom: if you’re miserably trying to be perfect, you’re missing the point. No matter who you are or what you eat, I think you can feel better by adding more raw food to your diet; at the least, I bet you’ll have quite a bit of fun. I hope I can inspire you along the way!

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