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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients:

+ 2 avocados, very ripe, pitted

+ 1/3 to 1⁄2 cup honey, to taste

+ 6 oz. dark chocolate melted

+ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

+ 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

+ 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup warm water

Instructions:

Puree avocado in a food processor until creamy.

Add honey, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt. Blend until well incorporated.

Gradually add the warm water until desired consistency. (note; pudding will firm up quite a bit when chilled).

Spoon into large bowl or individual bowls. Chill at least one hour before serving.

Suggested Variations:

Add a ripe banana and blend.

Thin with coconut milk instead of water and top with toasted coconut. Garnish with candied ginger or orange.

Add a flavored liquor in place of some of the water.

Source: Chef Lynda Lacher, Nutrition Therapy Institute

Chocolate contains antioxidants called catechins and epicatechins, the same types of flavonoids that are also found in grapes, red wine and green tea. They have been studied extensively for promoting cardiovascular health, reducing LDL cholesterol, preventing platelet clumping by changing the viscosity of the blood, reducing inflammation and releasing endorphins that stimulate the brain to feel good. Avocados, although they are fruits, have a high fat content of between 71 to 88%, 2/3 of which are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid. avocado have some important nutrient benefits, including intake of potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber and magnesium.

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