Veggie puddings – using a healthier alternative

What normally goes into a chocolate brownie mixture? Eggs, butter, zucchini, flour… wait, zucchini? It’s true. And delicious. Vegetables are a wonderful resource for the baking world, and one that has not yet been truly tapped into.

Sure we have our carrot cakes and pumpkin pie, but there is more that can be done to take full advantage of the vegetable goodness that we can find out there.

The idea of using veg for puddings was originally road tested by the gluten free and wheat intolerant living amongst us (a group of people whose numbers are steadily growing every day) we think it’s time that you also joined the club (maybe try not to become wheat or gluten intolerant though) and chuck some delicious vegetables into your puddings, creating healthier and tastier results.

You might have experienced a few heartbreaking healthy alternatives in times past; as people persuade you to try something new that is supposedly better for you.

“Honestly this fruit tea is delicious and will completely clean out your insides,” you were told as you were handed a hideously-coloured cup of water, featuring added strange floating bits on its surface.

Or you might recall that time you were coerced into swapping to Soymilk and told; “it tastes just like the stuff that comes from a cow.” It doesn’t, you thought promptly, placing the glass as far away from you as possible, whilst wondering what Soy even is.

It’s okay, we understand, you’ve been tricked before and trying a new healthier alternative might now feel like a cruel prank is being played on you. All those bloggers you follow on Instagram rave about Chia seeds and Kale and green smoothies, but as much as you want to jump on that bandwagon and kick start your healthy food intake, you just can’t bring yourself to do it.

Well, we’re here to tell you that now is probably the best time to try, as more and more people embrace the gluten and wheat free way of life and a truck load of delicious recipes are readily available for you to experiment with.

It’s best to begin with a small change, swapping out an ingredient for something relatively similar, but a lower in fat option. See how that goes, embrace the change… then go wild and throw in lentils instead of rice or zucchini for potatoes or half your cocoa powder for beetroot.

This is why we’ve started with something that can’t go wrong: pudding.

Vegetables just make everything cake related better, they lock in moisture and add a whole new dynamic to a chocolate sponge. It’s time for you to branch out a little though, move away from that oh so delicious carrot cake – feel free to come back to it later – and dip your toe into the world of vegetable pudding goodness.

Root vegetables are lovely and sweet and perfect for anything and everything cake related. Parsnips, sweet potatoes, beetroot and pumpkin all work well. But you could also try out avocado for a creamy texture in a pudding pot style dessert or spinach for an additive free green food colouring for ice cream – perfect for Halloween, which is just around the corner.

Talking of ice cream, try blending spinach, mint, frozen banana and chocolate chips together, to create a tasty, sorbet style desert. You can find the recipe here.

Sweet potato works great if you’re looking for something that will create a caramel-y element to your dessert. They’re also really healthy and super sweet! Try making sweet potato truffles, seasoned with cinnamon or chocolate ganache, simply bake your sweet potatoes until they start to caramalise on the outside, leave to cool, then roll into balls and decorate with your desired cinnamon or chocolate topping.

Simple, easy and really delicious; they’ll work great at one of those many dinner parties we’re sure you hold at the weekend, as either a sweet/savoury appetiser or a dessert, paired with ice cream. You could use parsnips if you don’t have any sweet potato, although you need a lot more to make decent sized truffles. Just try not to devour them before people arrive.

If you’re looking to get serious when it comes to a healthy pudding you need to consider changing up your flour, sugar and oil as well. Wholewheat flour is great to use instead of white flour and coconut oil and sugar is now a favourite amongst the healthy ambassadors out there.

So…why are you still here? Go crack out the parsnips and get baking!