Raw, Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Cafe Gratitude's cookbook
Makes 2 cups, 2-4 servings
You may consider doubling this right off the bat, since the pudding's lighter-than-air texture makes it easy to eat a whole cup faster than you might expect/like. If you don't feel like making your own almond milk, you can purchase freshly made almond milk from Cafe Gratitude, or try subbing a store bought milk substitute. Canned coconut milk might do; I would try half light and half regular. I've also made this from fresh coconut milk, which you make by blending the flesh and the water from a young thai coconut, with excellent results.
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
1/4 vanilla bean, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (preferably raw and organic)
pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1 tablespoon lecithin granules
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
cocoa nibs, for garnish
In a blender, combine the almond milk, agar, vanilla bean, cocoa powder, salt and maple syrup. Blend until well combined. Add the lecithin and coconut oil, and blend for a few minutes until well combined, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. The mixture will be the consistency of a thin milkshake. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove vanilla bean bits, pour into cups or molds and chill until set, about 1 hour. Top with a few cocoa nibs or a sprinkling of cocoa powder and serve.