Paleo Lemon Coconut Pudding

I've never been good at remembering my dreams. Often, I'll wake up, aware that I was dreaming, but still unable to grasp exactly what my dream was about. If my sleeping dreams are anything like my daydreams, half of them are probably recipes. My guess is that even if I could remember them they'd be complete nonsense, using ingredients that don't exist in measurements that are impossible to take. when I do remember my dreams, they're always just a bit abstract, as most peoples dreams are. In any case, after waking up with a grumbling stomach. My guess is I had been dreaming of lemon cream and raspberries. 

This recipe actually started as a day dream, as many of my creations do. From lemony to coconutty my mind went, landing on a touch of tart raspberry. My day dream focused on the smooth texture of the pudding more than anything else. It was light, and creamy. It was clearly not panna cotta, but I knew it was set with gelatin. If Jell-o brand can figure this one out, I thought, then I can. The comparison to Jell-o Pudding was short sighted or course. They use machinery, thickeners, and actually no gelatin in their product. Still, I knew what I was looking for, and had to get my mind to stop defaulting to pudding every time I had a moment to think. 

So, with an end result in mind, I gave it a whirl. Is this what it feels like when dreams become reality? Like lemon pudding? Almost like a lemon cloud, this pudding is light and fluffy, sweet and refreshing. It's grounded only by a teaspoon of raspberry-chia seed jam--a spoonful of tangy "pow" right in the middle. While it feels dream, the light an fluffy texture is all thanks to the final step in the recipe: after everything is set, the mixture gets whipped with an electric beater, yielding a fluffy mousse. 

The bonus--the reason why I knew in my day dream that this pudding was set with gelatin and not eggs- is that you can share it with pretty much anyone. The number of "-free" labels it gets is absurd. Nut-free, dairy-free, grain-free. Egg-free. Nightshade-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, starch-free. The list goes on. This dessert is about "-free" as they come! Here's to a happy Valentine's Day, with something sweet for everyone. 

This recipe was shared at the AIP Round Table at Pheonix Helix.

Creamy Lemon Coconut Pudding

1 cup canned coconut milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup almond milk or other dairy replacement (coconut milk for AIP)

1 ripe banana

1-2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon gelatin (7g)

Option for serving: fresh berries, pureed berries, or raspberry-chia jam

 

1. Whisk together the lemon juice and gelatin until no clumps remain. Set aside.

2. In a blender, puree the banana with the milks and honey. Add the lemon gelatin mixture, and puree again. 

3. Pour the mixture into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constant for 5 minutes.

4. Pour the mixture into a glass contain with an airtight lid. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

5. Just before serving, use an electric beater on high to break up the pudding. After 3 to 5 minutes, it will become creamy and fluffy. Serve immediately, topped with berries or jam. (This pudding with set again if it sits in the fridge for more than 15 minutes--it will need to be whipped again to bring back a creamy, fluffy texture).

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Extra Dark Homemade Chocolate Hearts (Paleo)

Alright, now that you're all privy to my chocolate addiction, we can really cut to the chase: how to make smooth extra dark chocolate in your own kitchen. As much as I like making things with chocolate, like pie, ice cream, and gooey cookie bars, my real week spot is straight chocolate. No trimmings. No extras. Just plain, dark, luxurious chocolate. 

This chocolate recipe is for serious dark chocolate lovers. And I mean dark. I use my favorite kind of cocoa, Droste, for it's rich flavor. Unrefined cocoa butter adds nutty notes, while honey--just enough- gives each bite a floral sweetness. With so much going on in your mouth, this must be complicated, right? Not unless you think melting and mixing is complicated! It's pretty much as easy as that: melt the fats, add the honey, whisk in the cocoa, and let it all set. Next thing you know, chocolate is melting away on your tongue.

I used a candy mold to make these heart-shaped chocolates, but you can also spread the mixture our on a piece of parchment, making bark, or fill mini cupcake liners. Try sprinkling the chocolate with coconut, toasted almonds, a few spices, or a dash of salt.

One thing is for sure: this is a reason to keep cocoa butter in the house! 

This recipe has been edited since I first posted it, as I now use more cocoa butter and less coconut oil, for a more stable chocolate with deeper flavor. 

Extra Dark Paleo Chocolate Hearts

4 ounces unrefined cocoa butter

1 ounces coconut oil

3 ounces cocoa powder (I like this kind)

1 to 2 ounce honey or stevia powder (optional, depending on taste)

Extras (optional - nuts, spices, salt, coconut, cocoa nibs, etc. Get creative!) 

 

Note: Because this chocolate is not tempered, it will melt at room temperature. Keep the chocolate in your fridge until you are ready to eat it!

1. Measure the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and honey on a kitchen scale. 

2. Place the oil, cocoa butter, and honey in a small sauce pan, and warm over very low heat, stirring as you do.

3. Once all of the fats are melted, add in the cocoa powder. Use a whisk to stir, until a dark, buttery syrup forms.

4. Choose a method for setting the chocolate: pour the chocolate mixture into miniature muffin tins, into a candy mold, or spread it out in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet or a silicon baking mat. If you would like any "extras" (nuts, coconut, spices) sprinkle them on now.

5. Place the candy molds (or muffin tins or cookie sheet) in the fridge to set. The chocolate is set once it is hardened through (this should take no more than 10 minutes, unless you are making very thick chocolates). 

6. Eat! Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

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