|Gluten/Grain Free Chocolate Pudding|
As the Summer months approach and the heat and humidity rise, our Adrenal Glands have to work a bit harder. The adrenal glands, (which sit on top of the kidneys), serve as two different glands in one. The center of the adrenal gland makes epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). The outer part of the adrenal gland, the Cortex, is responsible for making several important hormones. These include: Cortisol, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S), Aldosterone, Estrogen, and Testosterone. When your Adrenals become stressed, or if you suffer from Adrenal Insufficiency you may experience: Fatigue, recurrent infections, difficulty recovering from infections, heightened allergic responses, body aches, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or low blood pressure which could include dizziness when you stand up.
Those with Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivities, or those with Thyroid Disease need to pay extra attention to this malady of the changing weather. Since my sons adrenals become fatigued easily, I limit his intake of carbohydrates and sugars (yes, even from fruit), this helps keep his adrenals balanced. I have found that Coconut Crystals are a wonderful option for making sweet treats, and with a Glycemic Index of 35 they are a safe alternative to sugar. These tiny brown crystals are made from coconut sap (like maple syrup), dried at low temperatures (technically they are raw), and are free of gluten/grains. Coconut Crystals may also be labeled as Coconut Sugar or Palm Sugar, but make sure you check the ingredients as some companies blend refined sugar into their products. Take note, Coconut Crystals are not as sweet as refined sugar, so if you have a sweet tooth you may want to consider adding a few drops of liquid stevia to your pudding.
3 Heaping TBS Cocoa Powder
½ Cup Coconut Crystals (a.k.a. Palm Sugar)
2 Cups Coconut Milk
2 Heaping TBS of Tapioca Starch (cornstarch can be substituted)
1 TBS Unsalted Pastured Butter
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Chocolate Extract (optional)
4-6 drops Liquid Stevia (optional….if you like your pudding sweeter)
In a large saucepan mix Cocoa, Coconut Crystals, and Tapioca Starch.
Cooking over a low heat slowly add in the coconut milk, stirring constantly.
The pudding will begin to thicken and come to a boil.
Stirring vigorously, add the butter, vanilla extract, and optional ingredients (stevia and chocolate extract)
Remove pudding from heat and pour into a glass bowl or ramekins.
Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator for several hours.