I need some comfort, and I know I am not alone. I’ll take comfort food. We each have our own, of course, but for me it’s chocolate pudding. My mother made the kind from the box. It had lumps and it had a thick layer of skin but it was among the only desserts mom “cooked”. Plus, it was warm and chocolately. So, I still think of this as comfort. Make this for yourself and one other friend, or double, triple this 5 minute Vegan Chocolate Banana Pudding.
Bananas are known to help cheer us up. (And no matter where you stand on the election result, clearly with all the upset that is going on, everyone use some comfort.) Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. So, forget the pills and eat a banana. And if you eat it with chocolate pudding, you’ve got a double dose of happy. Why you ask?
Well, tryptophan is also found in small quantities in chocolate. Chocolate also contains phenylethylalanine, which promotes feelings of attraction, excitement, and nervousness and is associated with the initial euphoria of falling in love. It has also been isolated in chocolate. This chemical also acts as an anti-depressant by combining with dopamine that is naturally present in the brain.
And then there is theobromine, which is a weak stimulant that works alongside caffeine to produce the characteristic ‘high’ that many people experience after getting their chocolate fix.
Enjoy. Be positive. Be compassionate. Be hopeful. Be positive. Be considerate.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Pudding
Makes 1 cup of pudding
Note: instead of coconut milk and water, use same amount any nondairy milk.
- 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca (do not use arrowroot)
- 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 7 tablespoons water
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 ounces chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift the sugar, cornstarch or tapioca, cocoa powder, and salt through a wire mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Stir in the agar and then the coconut milk and water.
Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken and is close to a boil. Adjust the heat as needed to get a full boil, but don’t let it be so high that the bottom scorches. As soon as the pudding starts to boil, it will thicken to pudding consistency. Immediately lower the heat and boil gently for 1/2 minute, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the diced banana and chocolate. Gently stir until the chocolate is melted and incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
Spoon the pudding into a serving dishes. It is ready to eat as soon as it isn’t hot, about 5 minutes, but it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If you refrigerate it, cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap adheres to the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Serving: Slice the other banana over the top of the pudding and drizzle if you like with some melted chocolate. Eat warm or at room temperature.