day five: raw chocolate pudding (GF & vegan)

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.”

MFK Fisher

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Well, dear readers, four and a half five days of cleansing later, and I am finished. Yeah, I know I said 7-day-detox, but life is too short to forgo a visit from an old friend who happens to be carrying over an apple pie (this afternoon). I made it through the elimination cleanse up until dinner last night, after which I had many cups of coffee and maybe some baked brie while out with a friend.

I cannot even express how amazing the coffee tasted going down. I could almost feel the caffeine coursing through every vein. Magic, I’m convinced.

It’s been interesting, though. I woke up with a stomach grumbling in a not-so-pleasant manner (read: it feels like a four year old is doing somersaults on a waterbed trampoline in here), and am still trying to work out what could have been the cause. Maybe coffee on an empty stomach? A habit I don’t often indulge in, but I was too excited by the thought of actually being allowed to that I may have been a bit…overeager. Will not repeat in future.

DSC_0021I’ve spent the morning reflecting on the whole experience. I’ve not yet had a chance to eat a tomato or a bell pepper, so it remains to be seen how these so-called allergens will frak with my system. The dairy avoidance I actually really liked. I’m not a big milk-drinker as it is, so I may make the switch to almond milk in smoothies (rather than Greek yogurt or skim) a permanent change. I make absolutely zero promises on cheese and butter, or heavy cream when in chocolate ganache, but who knows. Palates change, people change, and nothing is certain until it happens.

*shrug*

Still, it’s nice to be done. It was a good experience, certainly, and one that I would turn absolutely to again after days when I’ve had a few too many gluten-free crackers with cheese. For now, though, I’m happy to be able to make shakshuka for lazy evening dinners, ready to go out and purchase a carton of eggs and a basket of peppers, stop relying on fish and tuna for every meal’s protein source. (I swear, I’ve probably got mercury poisoning at this point from the amount of seafood consumed.)

What I’m more interested in, to be honest, is a few days of complete gluten-free, vegan living, avoiding all those ‘toxic foods’ GP claims caused her to “feel like she was dying” (soy, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.). Is this something I hope to do at any point in the near future? Abso-frakkin-lutely not. I am 100% certain that I would not embark on such a hellish endeavor unless I had a Vitamix at my disposal. (Top priority on my Christmas list: a Vitamix blender.)

It’s also nice to say you’re relying on gadgets you can’t afford to avoid doing unpleasant things, rather than admitting you’d rather have a root canal than actually do any of it.

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I’d known for a bit that yesterday was going to my final cleansing — Sounds almost like something out of The Last Exorcism. How metal. — so in celebration whipped up something that’s been on my list for a while. Celebratory treat of sorts.

Now, I’m not really a proponent of rawism. (How did 8,000 food movements sprout in the past few years? I will never know.) I like my steak medium-well, thanks-very-much. But I do like the emphasis on greens, total rejection of grains, and limited allowance of dairy (which, you know, seems to be the general trend for all self-proclaimed healthy food movements).

Raw desserts have always been iffy to me, though. I mean, yes, I realize that it’s a bit difficult to have something sweet when you don’t allow for things like brown rice flour or any actual oven time, but I’m wary of a dessert whose base is comprised of about 27 dates pulverized in a food processor. Too expensive, too much natural sugar. I’d rather have an oven and some flour substitutes.

But raw chocolate pudding is pretty widespread in appeal, and involves zero dates whatsoever. I’ve been a longtime fan of silken tofu chocolate pudding — though most dislike it, I adore the sandy, grainy texture that the tofu offers when pureed to oblivion — but hadn’t tried my hand at an avocado-based pudding. And, you know, I’ve very recently discovered a love of avocados, so any opportunity to play around with them is exciting.

I really actually love the way this turns out. The consistency is more pudding-like than a variation with silken tofu, and the avocado flavour is completely masked by the cocoa and sweetener. A few chocolate chips melted into the batter masks it even further, if you think you’re too much of a traditionalist for egg-free, dairy-free pudding.

And, you know, as a last treat on an elimination cleanse, I can’t say I have any complaints for GP.

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Raw Chocolate Pudding
Serves 2, or 1 greedy graduate

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and quartered
  • 2 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp honey or agave (you may need a bit more if your almond milk is unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse on high speed for about a minute, until creamy. Separate into two bowls and refrigerate at least one hour before eating. Serve with a dollop of sweetened cream or fruit.

Notes:

  • Recipe is 100% vegan and gluten free.
  • For a richer pudding, add in a 2 melted tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips. Be sure to us dairy-free chocolate chips to keep the pudding vegan, if necessary.
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