The beets in this vegan Chocolate Pudding are not identifiable as such but do add a sweetness and some health benefits. Beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium and manganese. They also contain folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects. They’re known to fight inflammation, boost the immune system, help lower blood pressure, ward of cancer, and increase energy, among other things.
How I happened to think of putting beets into my chocolate pudding, well, that is a result of having extra beet puree around after failing to get red-colored red velvet cupcakes. The cupcakes were delicious – in fact, I will publish the recipe in a future blog post – but without adding red food coloring, red they were not.
I noticed that the beet puree added a subtle but very nice sweetness, so I wondered about what other dessert would be a good vehicle for the small amount I had left. I chose chocolate pudding. I reduced the amount of plant milk in the original recipe for my almost cult favorite recipe Almost Instant Chocolate Pudding to allow for the addition of the vegetable puree. I added a small amount of agar powder for thickening but you can leave it out, if you don’t have any agar. The verdict: Very good chocolate pudding. I liked it even without the ounce of chocolate—it was fruity. But, if it’s a richer more traditional chocolate pudding you want, add the small amount of chocolate.
The color is not as dark brown as the pudding that is made made without beets. To me, the pudding looked purple during cooking, but then again, maybe not. Do make the pudding and then you can decide.
Vegan Chocolate Pudding with Beets
- 6 tablespoons coconut sugar or organic cane
- 1/4 cup alkalized cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch (do not use arrowroot)
- 1/4 teaspoon agar powder, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablesspoons any plant milk (recipe tested with soy milk)
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) beet puree or baby food beets
- 2 ounces vegan chocolate chips chopped into small pieces or use good quality chips
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sift the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, through a wire mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Whisk in the salt and agar if using, If you have a sloping sided saucier use it and with a flat whisk. This will make it easier to cook chocolate mixtures, which burn easily.
Add the nondairy milk, and whisk until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the beet puree.
Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken and is close to a boil. Whisk hard, reaching bottom and sides of saucepan. Adjust heat as needed to obtain a boil, but watch that the bottom does not scorch. The pudding will thicken fully at the boil. Immediately lower the heat and boil low for another minute, stirring frequently, now with a silicone spatula.
Add the chocolate if using.