February 3, 2009

Avocado Pudding with Spicy Cashews

A stop by the great blog Balance this morning made me realize I've hesitated for far too long in making a sweet avocado dish. The author Chou has a superfood challenge posted and the task is to use avocado (the superfood) in a dessert. Luckily I had a perfectly ripe one waiting in my fridge and so today was the day.

I decided to make a pudding with lime because it's a familiar flavor often found in dishes with avocado. I also felt like using honey to sweeten, because I'm randomly on a unrefined/natural sweetener kick this week and I have this really good local raw honey. To thin the pudding I used my most recent nut milk creation. It's a third each soaked cashews, pecans and almonds and MAN is it good!! If you aren't into making your own nut milk then I would use almond milk, rice milk or water. Soy milk would alter the taste too much, as would cow's milk if that were an option for you. I wanted to gild the lily so I tried the pudding with some candied ginger but it wasn't what I was looking for. Then I found some Cajun spiced cashews in my pantry. I bought them to snack on but they are way too spicy on their own. However the nuttiness and heat were perfect in the pudding. It was a great combination of sweet, tart and spicy with the creamy richness of the avocado.

As much as I liked the pudding, I was extremely doubtful that either of my two taste testers, my husband and son, would go for this. I was so skeptical I made my husband try it with his eyes closed, so he wouldn't guess that it was avocado. But he actually liked it and thought it tasted like flowers!? I think that came from the very floral Shadowland raw honey I used, a Michigan product. It was his idea to mix some of the nuts into the pudding. I scoffed at this because they looked prettier on top but then found that it was better that way. Unfortunately, I mixed all the nuts in before letting my son Alex have a taste. Surprisingly, he really liked the pudding as well and asked for a bowl! Alas, that was ruined when he got a piece of spicy cashew and ran for water. I'll be getting more avocados and making a non-spicy version for him soon. Don't be afraid of avocados in dessert and give a new recipe a try. You can join the Superfood Challenge #1 Avocado or see next week's superfood challenge on Feb 8th at Chez Us.

Here are some more sweet avocado recipes from my saved recipe collection on Delicious:
Alton Brown's Avocado Buttercream Frosting
Butterless Avocado Brioche from Holy Cow!
Vegan Avocado Fudge!! from The Vegan Diet
Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse Ice Cream from Vegan Cookbook Critic
Coconut Milk and Avocado Ice Cream from The Perfect Pantry
Avocado Gelato from Epicurious

Avocado Pudding with Spicy Cashews
Makes 2 small servings

1 small to medium (4-5 oz) Hass avocado
1/2 cup nut milk or rice milk (I used my fresh unsweetened mixed nut milk)
5 teaspoons (35 g) honey or agave nectar
4-5 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 oz (~2 tablespoons) finely chopped spicy roasted cashews, or use plain roasted cashews and a small pinch of cayenne pepper

-Blend the avocado, milk, honey, lime juice, zest and salt together. Scrap the sides of the container a couple of times and continue blending until smooth. Taste and add additional honey for sweeter pudding.
-Stir in half of the cashews and spoon into two bowls. Top with the remaining cashews.
*If you are making this ahead of time, store it in the fridge and press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent browning.

Shadowland Honey is some of the best Michigan honey I've found.
Unfortunately, they don't have the raw honey available online, I got mine at Oryana in Traverse City.