I think it's safe to say that hospital food is pretty much the worst. It tastes bad and is not good for you, which is super frustrating when you are sick and trying to do good things for yourself. Since his diagnosis, Drew has had a few hospital stays that have lasted weeks and one that lasted almost three months. It was awful for many reasons, but more than the IVs and scans and draws and medications, the food was usually the most depressing part of the day because it just didn't have to be SO bad. Accepting the necessity of the medical stuff was one thing, but accepting Diet Soda and Jello was hard to swallow (sorry, couldn't help myself). My lovely sister, Alexis, is our family baker + maker of all things healthy and makes a delicious and super nutritious Chocolate Pudding that is one of Drew's favorites and makes for an awesome hospital dessert substitute.
BETTER-THAN-JELLO CHOCOLATE PUDDING
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
4 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot starch/flour, if preferred)
scant 1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 (13oz) can full fat coconut milk
1 ¼ cups milk (any non-dairy or dairy milk, 2% or greater)*
2/3 cup chocolate chips (non-dairy or regular)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. heavy whipping cream (optional), for topping
Cacao nibs, berries, banana slices, peanut butter, or any other topping you can dream up!
*Note: I like to use vanilla almond milk
Original Author: One Lovely Life http://www.onelovelylife.com/the-best-vegan-chocolate-pudding/
1. In a medium saucepan, stir together cocoa powder, cornstarch, and coconut sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk (you can use anything that will not scrape your pan!). Add both types of milk and stir/whisk vigorously until minimal clumps of cocoa powder remain.
2. Cook over medium heat, continuously stirring, until mixture starts to bubble. Then, stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, for 2 minutes after it begins bubbling. Mixture will thicken.
3. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
4. Transfer pudding to bowl and refrigerate until cool (it will thicken as it cools). Then, cover with plastic wrap if not devouring immediately.
5. If the pudding ends up too thick, add a splash of milk and mix.
6. Add heavy whipping cream to a large baking bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on high speed until stiff peaks form. Top pudding with whipped cream and toppings and enjoy! Take that, jello…