These little custards are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free.
Rest assured they are definitely not free of flavour or sweetness. In fact, the spices and creaminess remind me of my favourite Thanksgiving and holiday indulgence -- pumpkin pie. Oh yes!
If you think that eating healthy means you have to sacrifice taste? Think again! :) Hurray for real whole food that is full of flavour and nutrients.
Now because I'm a nutritionist, I have to tell you why this recipe is so gosh darn healthy:
The spices, including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg are of royalty breed when it comes to the level of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory naturally occurring plant chemicals they contain. Just look up Tuft's University ORAC scale on these spices.
The good fat in the coconut milk is chock-full of fat-busting nutrients. These good fats especially MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they dont require bile acids for digestion, and theyre directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. In fact, you can read my post on why coconut products are so good for you.
The medjol dates add fibre and a natural sweetness, plus you may find you don't even need to add the maple syrup. Also, dates are a source of immune-enhancing and blood sugar balancing beta glucan. This type of fibre helps to absorb cholesterol and flush it out when you, ahem, eliminate.
It's raw! This recipe requires no cooking whatsoever.
I do strongly recommend you use the highest quality ingredients in this recipe. You will notice a significant difference especially with the spices if you use organic. Just let your nose and taste buds lead you in the right direction and you can't go wrong.
This is fabulous as a fall dessert or as a breakfast if you enjoy a sweet taste first thing in the morning. I'm ALL about the sweetness first thing in the a.m. ;) I topped them with candied ginger and pecans.
5 medjol dates (these are the really plump ones), pits removed, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
1 can (14 oz) organic pumpkin or sweet potato puree (even better if you make your own!!)
1 can (400mL) organic coconut milk (I used FULL-fat because it's creamier and more luxurious -- remember you aren't eating the entire batch in one sitting, so fat is A-Okay).
1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, cloves, ginger
1/4 cup water -- save the water from the soaked dates
If needed: 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup or 4-5 drops liquid stevia (herbal sweetener)
The only kitchen tool you'll need is a blender.
Toss your dates, coconut milk, pumpkin or sweet potato puree and vanilla into your blender. Blend until smooth.
Next add your chia seeds and all your pumpkin pie spices. Give it a taste taste. Need more sweetness? Add maple syrup or stevia at the end.
You may eat it right away or let it sit either overnight or for a hour in the fridge if you want it to become more custard-like. Basically, you need to let the chia seeds work their magic. New to CHIA? Check it.
Topping: I added chopped pecans and a bit of candied ginger on top. YUM!
Serving Size: Fills 6-8 little custard cups (ramekins).