October 7, 2013
Many of you have asked about how dairy-free life is going. The truth is that it’s pretty easy for me because, well, I’ve gone back to eating dairy. Not much, but milk in my cereal and coffee, cheese when I’m out—that kind of thing. The hungry boy, though, is still mostly milk-dairy free. Luckily, he can tolerate dairy in baked goods, so we don’t have to go crazy reading labels on crackers and snacks, but he does need to avoid cheese, cows milk, ice cream, and—gasp—hunks of butter.
Even though he’s not technically on a strict dairy-free diet, my guess is that avoiding milk, cheese and butter sounds hard to some of you. It was certainly hard for me, but the hungry boy has adjusted beautifully. We skip cheese, he likes rice milk and almond milk yogurt, Earth Balance satisfies, and so does tofu cream cheese.
When it comes to food, he’s impressively adaptable for a 6-year-old. (I’m shamelessly patting myself on the back right now.)
There’s more than that, though. (Get ready for even more self-cogratulatory blathering.) There’s also the fact that I’ve worked hard to make his mostly dairy-free life delicious. Most of my efforts have focused on savory food. (My favorite trick so far: whisk a hunk of tofu cream cheese into reserved pasta cooking water and add it to pasta sauce for a creamy, cheesy layer of flavor.) With baked goods of all kinds on the menu, there hasn’t been much reason to experiment with sweets. Except for ice cream and pudding.
Having mastered dairy-free chocolate ice cream, it was time to take on pudding. And, now, with this Mexican Chocolate Pudding in my repertoire, I can rest easy knowing that I can truly satisfy my dairy-free eater.
If you can’t tell, I’m feeling pretty self satisfied.
Both this recipe and the one for my dairy-free chocolate ice cream call for just a handful of ingredients. So simple. And for the record, both also satisfy the rest of the family and our dairy-craving, cheese eating, milk drinking palates.
In other words: these are easy sweets that everyone will love. I hope that you’ll give them a try even if you love cow’s milk. If you do, you get to make pudding in 5 minutes without using the stove. That’s worth it on its own.
Mexican Chocolate Silken Tofu Pudding
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
1/2 cup chocolate chips (use dairy-free chocolate for a dairy-free, vegan version)
1 lb silken tofu
1/4 cup honey*
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or using a double boiler. Allow to cool to the touch.
2. Add melted chocolate, tofu, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons for an extra strong cinnamon flavor) in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree until completely smooth and the texture of pudding.
3. Transfer pudding to a container with a lid and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*Note: Though you can share this pudding with younger eaters, I recommend this starting at 12-months-old due to the sugar content. If you choose to share this with younger eaters, be sure to substitute agave nectar or another sweetener for the honey since children under 12-months-old should avoid honey due to risk of botulism. Agave is also a good option if you want to make this vegan, but don’t consider honey a vegan product.