With this delightful raw almond pudding I am proudly expanding my Low Carb Treat Repertoire My almond pudding is my brand new star. This new dessert is the result of much tinkering, not only in honor of some severely sugar-restricted friends who want their dessert and eat it too, but for us omnivores! This almond pudding has everything going for it: low carb (very-low-to-no-carb if you use stevia); it is so nutritious it is equally at home whether you enjoy it as dessert or as breakfast; 100% raw, no cooking; vegan; a snap to make. What more could anyone wish for? Even those of us who can’t have nuts can forgo the almonds and replace the almond milk with another no-nut milk.
I love to use almond milk, I find some excellent choices in health food stores or better supermarket. All brands marked unsweetened and low in calories, ranging from just 30 to 45 calories per 1-cup serving. Play with different brands and see which one you like best. I love to use it with cold cereal, smoothies and pancakes.
Chia seeds are a nutritional marvel, and lend themselves to many interesting preparations, as they absorb any liquid they are soaked in (up to 6 times their volume) and develop a pleasing gel-y texture, which they impart to the whole finished dish.
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 cup ground finely ground unblanched almonds (price clubs have them, ground, called almond flour, at a very good price, but of course they are very easy to grind in your food processor)
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (not dry and sweetened), coarsely chopped in a food processor
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (if it is not liquid, microwave it for just 30 seconds to liquefy it, so it distributes evenly). Olive oil OK.
- 2/3 cup maple syrup, or 1/2 cup agave syrup (Sugar-restricted: 1/3 cup stevia or truvia)
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon orange flower water
Soak the chia seeds in the milk for about 30 minutes (if it soaks longer, it's OK too). You will notice all the liquid will get absorbed. Mix in all remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into small dessert cups. The almond pudding is ready as soon as you pour it into the cups, but if you are serving later keep it chilled until serving time.
Almond Pudding Variations. The Chia Seeds are the main player, so they are a constant.
- Flavorings: for my dessert I picked cardamom and orange flower, to give it a distinct Sephardi flair, but of course you will enjoy playing with other flavorings and extracts (only the real thing please!) and get a new exciting variety each time: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, rum, cassis, anise, caramel, etc....
- Apple: No cranberries. 3 unpeeled grated granny smith apples (rum and cinnamon will go best with this variation)
- Chocolate: No fruit, no spices no orange flower water. 1/3 cup pure cocoa, 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder, 2 tablespoons rum. Microwave these three ingredients with the coconut oil until the mixture is smooth before adding to the rest of the ingredients. Increase the maple syrup to 3/4 cup, or the agave to 2/3 cup, or the stevia to 1/2 cup.
- Lemon: Basic recipe. No fruit. Increase the sweeteners exactly as for the chocolate variation above. Add the juice and grated peel of a lemon.
- Explore with other kind of nuts, or no nuts at all if you are restricted.
- Explore with other kinds of very low carb milk (hazelnut, hemp, flax) or grain milk (soy milk, rice milk) or regular milk. The last two milk choices will yield a delicious but less low-carb dessert.