After having traveled in Africa you can surely say that I love zebras. The beauty of nature’s contrasts! We can do the same to create beautiful, amazing food colors and contrasts.
My Layered Zebra Pudding Recipe is my food expression of a combination of the rich and yet delicate flavors of chocolate and vanilla all layered up into creamy dollops of goodness, and who doesn’t love this zebra-colored combo?!
With its moisturizing and cleansing oils from the coconut and the anti-inflammatory properties of the vanilla, and antioxidants in the cacao, you will enhance your body, beauty and overall wellness.
So don’t think of this as “cheating” (I dislike this word so much. It implies so much shame!!). On the contrary! Think of this beautiful dish as nurturing your mind, body, soul, and all of your senses :).
Beauty Chocolate Layer: Cacao
Let’s face it: chocolate makes the world a better place! I am a life-long chocolate lover. Are you as well? Have you ever wondered why it makes us feel so good??
There is actually a science to it, in that cacao contains the neurotransmitter anandamide (also known as the “bliss chemical”).
Cacao contains anandamide inhibitors which keep the compound from breaking down quickly and the feeling of cacao anadamide lasting longer—so we feel great longer. I like the sounds of that!
Looking to keep your skin looking and feeling more youthful and fresh? You will be happy to hear that raw cacao contains polyphenol antioxidants that are also found in green tea and red wine. The anthocyanins that are found in red wine can actually help protect your cells and keep them beautifully vibrant.
How about shedding some unwanted fat? You got it! Raw cacao’s MAO inhibitors help reduce your appetite naturally, which is great because unnatural restriction and feeling hungry and not eating when you are is so miserable.
Do you love your blueberries? Well, raw cacao contains nearly 20 times more than blueberries and four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate. Pretty crazy right?!
If they wasn’t enough to convince us (and who needs convincing?), cacao also aids you in better sleep, in lowering fatigue, in building stronger hair, and improving your overall well-being and longevity.
You may choose to purchase cacao at any health food store, or find some great online sites where you can buy it raw, organic and in bulk (this is true of the chocolate chips you’ll be using in this recipe as well).
Note: Choose raw cacao over cocoa since it is the raw form of the cacao bean and is less processed—having more powerful antioxidant effects and health benefits.Both powders come from the same original source (the Theobroma cacao tree), how it’s processed is what makes the difference. If cacao is hard to find locally you can also source it online.
Beauty Vanilla Layer: Coconut & Vanilla
Coconut in all Forms
Coconut comes in an array of forms, from it’s young flesh and coconut water, to it’s harder mature meat that can be made into coconut shreds. All of these forms packed in one shell and from the same incredible source.
Not to mention the coconut milk and coconut yogurt that is created from this same cleansing fruit- how could you not love this beauty fruit, right!
Key nutrients found in coconut are…
Because it is so full of electrolytes (like the potassium), it helps to regulate the fluid levels inside cells and balance the high amount of puffiness that may occur from too much sodium.
These electrolytes also help to facilitate cellular cleansing and is about twice as concentrated in coconut water as in a banana.
Coconut milk and coconut water is an amazing beverage for nourishing your body and keeping your skin supple and beautiful. Choose plain coconut water over those from concentrate, or with juice added in. It’s simply not needed!
Regardless of what form of coconuts you choose to consume, you really are guaranteed to reap the benefits while enjoying its sweet and earthy taste. Rich in trace minerals that come from the roots of the coconut trees, it’s literally like you’re putting nature right into your body.
The Ultimate Flavoring of Vanilla
As for the vanilla, this is such a fragrant ingredient that I love to put in my smoothies and desserts, like today’s pudding. I mean, how could we not put vanilla into any dessert?! It’s really a key ingredient to giving these dishes their ultimate flavor.
Here are a few reasons why I love vanilla besides its taste:
Anti-Inflammatory: Vanillin is a natural antioxidant and is what gives vanilla beans their distinctive aroma. Preliminary research found that vanilla extract had powerful liver-protective abilities and anti-inflammatory abilities (due to the vanillin content), and when treated with vanillin.
Antioxidant-Rich: Contains antioxidants protect our bodies from damage from harmful components like toxins and free radicals. Research has found that vanilla extract contains 26 to 90 percent of the antioxidants of unprocessed vanilla, depending on the type of antioxidant and the concentration of the extract. So vanilla has health and food preserving properties as well.
Promotes Healthy Digestion: Vanilla-infused herbal tea can soothe inflammation in the gut and can also help treat nausea.Be sure to steer clear of artificial vanilla, which is made with pure vanillin diluted with water, and alcohol. Even though the vanillin is chemically identical to that found in real vanilla, it’s being extracted from coal tar (or wood pulp), as a by-product of paper production and extremely inexpensive to produce.
Try buying an organic brand from your local health store or market, and never hesitate to ask advice on which brands are the best quality.
By now you must be excited as I am to try this energy, wellness and beauty-boosting dessert…so let’s get to it!!
For the chocolate layer: Add coconut milk into saucepan.
Next, add the cacao powder.
Add the dark chocolate chips.
Add the arrowroot powder, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan, whisking frequently until boiling. Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Set aside to cool.
For vanilla layer: in second pan add coconut milk.
Add the arrowroot powder.
Add the coconut shavings.
Add the maple syrup and whisk frequently until boiling.
Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla until fully combined. Set aside and allow to cool.
Layer chocolate and vanilla puddings in small serving bowl. Top with coconut and dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy!
So far I’ve been able to control Bubby’s diet…only veggies, GGS, fruit, hemp milk, lentils, chia seeds and so on- no dairy or gluten or animal products! I know the day will come when he’ll try other things…but so far that day hasn’t come :) , and I’m enjoying every moment of seeing his little body thrive. Sending you love! xoxo