A very heart healthy dessert: chocolate-chia-strawberry pudding. It tastes very indulgent and rich, but has no added sugars.
Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine.” Oftentimes, we associate healthy foods to be bland and boring; with rich and sweet foods being unhealthy. Whenever we crave for sweet and decadent foods, we often binge on those that have too much refined sugars. What if you can actually have both? What if you can have something satisfying and at the same time beneficial to your health?
For today, our recipe is a very heart healthy dessert: chocolate-chia-strawberry pudding. It tastes very indulgent and rich, but has no added sugars. The sweetness is mostly derived from a very ripe banana. It also makes use of locally sourced ingredients such as Baguio strawberries, tablea chocolate and Bicol pili nut butter.
Chocolate has been used historically as a tonic or medicine. The darker the chocolate is, the higher its cocoa content. A higher cocoa content (at least 70%) is associated with more benefits. Current research has shown that drinking hot chocolate improves blood flow to parts of the brain where it is needed. Chocolate also has great antioxidant potential (such as those from flavonoids), which is beneficial in preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. That means that chocolate is beneficial both for your brain and your heart!
Chocolate is also made up of about 65% fat. Research shows that previously endorsed low fat diets are no longer equated to good health outcome. Instead, the focus should now be on eating more foods that have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as dark chocolate, avocados, nuts and seeds (all of these are included in this recipe!). Other types of fats should still be consumed in moderation.
Chocolate comes from Cacao beans. The Philippine tablea is made from roasted, ground and molded nibs of fermented pure (100%) cacao beans, which makes it an excellent ingredient for this chocolate pudding.
This recipe is high in antioxidants and fiber from the tablea chocolate. The rest of the ingredients (Vitamin C-rich strawberries, banana, magnesium-rich pili nut butter, and chia seeds) are also excellent sources of antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants help reduce any kind of inflammation. They neutralize or eliminate free radicals that cause the inflammation. A significant number of diseases are caused by inflammation including even cancers and autoimmune disorders.
Go ahead. Satisfy your sweet tooth, and your brain and heart as well.
¾ cup ripe strawberries
4-6 tablea rounds
2 Tbsp pili nut butter
1 small ripe banana
1 up soy milk
1/8 cup chia seeds
Garnish: chopped walnuts, strawberry slices, chia seeds
HOW TO MAKE:
- Melt the tablea rounds in the soy milk (or any plant based milk your prefer). Set this chocolate milk aside and allow to cool.
- Slice the avocado, strawberries and banana.
- Throw the fruits in a blender. Add chia seeds. Blend.
- Mix in nut butter and chocolate milk. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the chocolate-strawberry-chia pudding into cups or glass jars. Garnish with chopped walnuts, strawberry slices, and chia seeds.
- May serve chilled.