Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Pescatarian, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serves: 6 puddings
Total Time: 40 minutes
Inspired by my trip to Bali, this is one of my favourite indulgences and pleasures to make if ever I am feeling a little bit peckish.
A date and coconut crumb base with a soft, gooey centre, this is an amazing treat that I like to make to enjoy on a weekend.
Here are some of the nutritious benefits of these amazing ingredients:
- Pecans – a plant-based source of protein. 150g of pecans would give you about 14g plant protein, which is excellent if you are vegan and looking to ensure you are reaching protein requirements (Nutrition Data Self, 2018).
- Dates – the fruit of the tropical date palm tree, the dates in this recipe will provide just over 10g dietary fibre (Nutrition Data Self, 2018) which is excellent for improving bowel regularity.
- Desiccated coconut – also rich in fibre, desiccated coconut is simply coconut meat that has been grated and dried. The high copper content of desiccated coconut makes this a great ingredient to contribute to brain and nervous system health. This is because copper works to create efficient communication between nerve cells, whilst also playing a role in the creation of neurotransmitters (our body’s chemical messengers) (Manto, 2014). Because copper is an essential trace mineral that cannot be synthesised by the body, we need to consume adequate amounts in our diet in order to meet our basic nutritional needs.
- Cinnamon – this sweet spice is not only delicious, it can also help with blood glucose control. Cinnamon has been increasingly linked with improving conditions such as diabetes mellitus through its ability to increase insulin sensitivity (Quin et al. 2010). There are four main types of cinnamon (ceylon, cassia, saigon, korintje), with cassia cinnamon being the most common variety. Whilst ceylon cinnamon is the most well-studied in terms of its myriad of health benefits, both cassia and ceylon have been shown to have an ability to aid blood glucose levels (Medagama, 2015).
- Cacao powder – high in magnesium, which is a mineral well-known for its ability to enhance energy production. Magnesium plays a crucial role in producing ATP, also known as adenosine triphosphate (Ko et al. 1999). ATP is the body’s energy currency because it powers all functions and activities of each living cell. It is so important to have fully functioning cells so that they can produce proteins and enzymes in order for our body to function at full capacity, so consuming more magnesium-rich foods can really benefit.
- 150g pecan nuts
- 150g dates (pitted)
- 75ml coconut milk
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 50g desiccated coconut
The Chocolate Sauce
- 100ml coconut milk
- 30g raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp raw honey (use maple syrup if you are vegan)
- Add the pecan nuts into a food processor and whizz for a few minutes.
- Next add the dates, coconut milk and the cinnamon powder and continue to blend into a smooth paste (you may need to keep stopping and stirring with a spoon as the mixture tends to be quite thick).
- Place the contents into a large bowl, adding in the desiccated coconut and mixing with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick and sticky.
- Place some baking parchment on a tray or baking dish. You can now start to mould your puddings with your hands, creating a round shape and pitting your fingers in the middle to create a dip that resembles a cupcake case. You should have approximately 6 pudding bases from the mixture.
The Chocolate Sauce:
- To create the chocolate sauce, add the coconut milk into a small bowl, adding in the raw cacao powder. Keep stirring for a few minutes to create a smooth creamy texture. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the spoonful of honey and taste.
- Now spoon the chocolate sauce into the pudding moulds. Be careful not to overdo it as they can drip over the edges (less is more with this process).
- Top each pudding with a pecan nut in the centre.
- Place into the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and serve.
Ko, Y.H. Hong, S and Pedersen, P.L. (1999). ‘Chemical Mechanism of ATP Synthase. Magnesium Plays a Pivotal Role in Formation of the Transition State Where ATP is Synthesised from ADP and Inorganic Phosphate’, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 274 (41), pp. 28853-28856, NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10506126 (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
Manto, M. (2014). ‘Abnormal Copper Homeostasis: Mechanisms and Roles in Neurodegeneration’, Toxics, 2, pp. 327-345, MDPI [Online]. Available at: www.mdpi.com/2305-6304/2/2/327/pdf (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
Medagama, A.B. (2015). ‘The Glycaemic Outcomes of Cinnamon: A Review of the Experimental Evidence and Clinical Trials’, Nutrition Journal, 14 (108), pp. 1-12, NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609100/pdf/12937_2015_Article_98.pdf (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
Nutrition Data Self. (2018). Medjool Dates. Available at: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/7348/2 (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
Nutrition Data Self. (2018). Pecan Nuts. Available at: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3129/2 (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
Quin, B. Panickar, K.S and Anderson, R.A. (2010). ‘Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes’, Journal of Diabetes, Science and Technology, 4 (3), pp. 685-693, NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901047/ (Accessed: 8 July 2018).
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