Dairy products are tough on my temperamental gut, so I love how I can capture the richness of decadent pudding without the use of heavy cream. Also, as author of the cookbook, "Basic Bitchen," utilizing avocados in recipes is ingrained in my DNA. They're nutrient-rich, healthy for the heart and high in fiber, making them less of an indulgence and more of a dietary staple. Plus, I'll welcome any departure from avocado toast. Seriously.
Technique tip: You really want to make sure those avocados are ripe for maximum creaminess. If they're too firm to the touch, there is one quick solution to speed things up. Place your avocados in a paper bag with an apple or banana for a couple of days. The released ethylene gas from the fruits will cause your avocado to ripen quicker. You don't want an overripe avocado, though. The pesky brown spots will make your pudding taste like actual avocado, which we're trying to avoid.
Swap option: The beauty of this dessert is that it's completely customizable. One area you may want to tailor towards individual preferences is sugar. You can, by all means, use granulated sugar, honey or agave nectar to sweeten the dish in place of maple syrup (I opt for maple syrup because of its depth of caramel flavor), but you can also use sugar replacements like stevia and monk fruit (either powdered or liquid form) to achieve a desired sweetness level. The ratios of all the aforementioned ingredients will vary, so your best bet is to start with a small amount, mix everything together in a food processor and give the pudding a quick taste before adjusting.
Cut avocado in half and scoop out flesh. Discard pit. Chop avocado and place in a food processor.2.
Add cocoa powder, nut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, ground cayenne and sea salt. Blend until smooth.3.
Depending on personal preferences, add maple syrup to make it sweeter or a splash of nut milk to make the consistency thinner. Continue blending.4.
Scoop pudding into a bowl. Serve immediately and garnish with desired toppings or place in the refrigerator for an hour to thicken it up.