Lighter Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

February 23, 2013

On Valentine's Day I made the most amazing chocolate fruit dip I've had in a long time. It was awesome except for the fact it was whole milk, I'm lactose intolerant. Those two don't mix well. So I decided to make a milk free version and lighten it up a bit, and add a slight amount of healthy. 

I opted out of milk all together and went with my favorite substitute, unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I've tried making puddings and congealed desserts before with almond milk and they have failed miserable, it just doesn't set quite like cow milk. My solution -- chia seed. When chia seeds soak in liquid for a few hours they soak it up and become very gel like, reminding me slightly of caviar. I've seen other healthy puddings using this as  thickener and decided to give it a go. Lucky for me, it worked. 

If ou haven't had Mexican Hot Chocolate before, it is definitely a different taste. As a kid I remember my mom making it and somehow finding real Mexican chocolate, I on the other hand have never seen in it stores. Mexican Hot Chocolate is slightly spicy and not very sweet at all, very much like eating dark chocolate with chili pepper in it., but you should at least try it once. With fruit it is so good and not overly sweet at all, surprisingly it is even good with tortilla chips. I know, I know, chips and chocolate is weird. We had chocolate covered chips a few years back and I am now in love with the combo. The salty and chocolate is delicious! 

Now while this isn't insanely low calorie per serving due to the chocolate, remember that it is much lower calorie than it's whole milk counterpart. Chia is definitely a texture not everyone would love, but considering it is known for being an awesome complete protein that vegans can eat it is worth adding to your diet. 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding
adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4 

What you need:
1 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp masa harina
3/4 c (or 5 oz by weight) semi sweet chocolate (or Mexican chocolate)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
pinch of chili powder
dash of vanilla

What to do:
Heat milk & chia over medium heat in a saucepan until it starts to bubble. Stir in masa & chocolate. Whisk to combine until chocolate is melted. Allow to come to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, add cinnamon, salt,  and chili powder. Simmer 5 minutes until thickened and add vanilla. 

Serve immediately with fruit or tortilla chips, or let cool and serve as a pudding. 

Nutrition Info: calories 194, carbs 23, fat 11, protein 3, sugar 18, fiber 3

I ate this cold in the fridge at midnight the first time I made it. It is that good. Not too sweet and overly decadent, but good.