One thing I discovered while writing How We Did It is that any aspect of weight loss you want to name has a dividing line, and people on either side of it.
Calorie counting--yes or no? Eating in moderation or total avoidance? Can anything you do ever really burn fat?
Now, I've discovered another one: Change your eating habits entirely, or modify your existing recipes to make them healthier?
I've always fallen on the side of changing your eating habits entirely. I'm far too in love with my recipes to mess with them. I'd rather just have the real thing once in a while, instead of a substitute all the time. I remember once years back trying to substitute carob chips for chocolate chips. Ugh. I only did that once!
But all my friends on the South Beach Diet have been talking up a recipe that I just couldn't resist trying: Chovacado Pudding. It's chocolate pudding made with... an avocado! Really.
Here's the recipe I used. I messed around with it because I didn't have the ingredients it called for.
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (I used honey)
1/4 almond milk (I used regular 1% milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. very strong coffee sweetened with 1 tbsp. sugar (my addition)
Peel and quarter the avocado. Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
The verdict? I tasted it after blending the first five ingredients. I thought it tasted flat, like decaf coffee tastes flat, so I added the sweetened coffee. Coffee and chocolate always go together in my book! The addition of sugar made it taste better, though my South Beach friends--and anyone who is avoiding sugar--wouldn't want to do that.
I topped the pudding with sugar-free Cool Whip. That's another substitution I generally avoid -- I like the real thing too much.
The verdict? I liked it okay; my husband thought it was odd. It was VERY rich. I couldn't finish my ramekin dish. I tried it the next day, and liked it less, though. Maybe something happens to the mix, but it was lumpy and tasted gritty, which isn't surprising since you don't dissolve the cocoa powder in anything hot.
I suppose I could solve these problems with some more tinkering with the recipe, but honestly, I don't see the point. I love avocados as they are, not buried. And I love chocolate, but am so-so about pudding. A worthy experiment, but nothing I'm going to try again. I definitely fall on the side of the dividing line with those who want the real thing now and again.