Cletus McDirt and Avocados

Chocomole recipe to follow...
 It's almost Christmas, and how do I know this? Because each morning Riley is sure to remind me, almost quaking with anticipation and excitement. And despite the fact that I've been working on gifts since, oh say August? Nope, still not done. My problem is that I keep coming up with new ideas, always new ideas. And while it keeps me busy up until the day, I'll take it. It's much better than the depressing, creative slump alternative.

When I think of Christmas many happy thoughts jump to mind. Our lazy Christmas mornings, leisurely opening one handmade gift after another. Family. Tons of laughs. And none of us can forget Cletus (my brother's alter ego!) Each year he makes a family video that we all await with fevered aniticipation. But mostly? Heaps and heaps of... FOOD!! Or more specifically, tons of desserts! It's not that I don't make desserts on a regualar basis, in fact, my desserts are pretty much as healthy as our meals and I have no qualms about eating them. But timewise, I don't always have the extra chunk to throw something together. And I definitely don't whip up three pies for the sheer pleasure of it, much to my familys' dismay.

My nieces and nephew appearing in Christmas Cletus 2008

Cletus in all his glory
Several years back Scott, the girls and I decided that we much prefer our disgustingly big holiday meal here, at home. We can make all of the foods we adore and enjoy it thoroughly, punctuated with many moans and groans of delight. We don't have to worry about accomodating, or worse, watching our food go to waste. That, is a very, very sad thing. Organic food thrown in the trash? I shudder at the thought. I'm afraid one day Jordan may physically injure someone who leaves a morsel of our food on their plate. A morsel that could have gone into her bottomless belly. :) So while my presents aren't quite finished, our holiday meal plan is securely in place. The meal will be simpler than usual. After spending the morning in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, I'm in no mood to do that again. I settled on a simple meal followed by as many desserts as I can manage! Right now we've got a chocolate cake (Scott's favorite), an apple pie (Tay and Jord) and a sweet potato pie (Riley) on tap. My mouth is watering just thinking about the deliciousness. But one of our favorite desserts may sneak in too and I thought I'd share this recipe with you today. It's super simple (if you've got the ingredients) and a healthy alternative to a timeless classic. Chocolate pudding, otherwise known as Chocomole in our home.

3 super ripe avocados
16 dates (I use Medjool)
8 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder

I pit the dates, throw them in a saucepan with some water (not enough to cover them completely, but you don't need to be exact here because you'll add water to the recipe later) and stew them until soft. The original recipe didn't call for this but I always add in this step.

After pitting the avocados, scoop all that green stuff into the food processor, add the cocoa power, the stewed dates and about half a cup of water. Process, adding a bit more water if necessary to achieve that thick and creamy consistency.

The original recipe called for only 2 avocadoes but with all of the health benefits that avocados have I wanted to increase this if possible. Also, despite the fact that dates contain only natural sugars, they contain a TON of sugar and I'm still careful not to overdo. I make up a batch of this, split it in half and we eat it over two days, crazy slow and savoring each delectable bite. We think it's super sweet and tasty, but remember we are sugar free here and so our taste buds are more sensitive to the sweet stuff. As of yet I have not been able to cultivate a passion for avocados. Quite frankly, I find them tasteless and boring. I know, some people think I'm crazy when I say that, but I love tons of flavor and these little green fruits just don't have it. But here are some of the reasons I'd like for them to be a part of our diet:

Avocado health benefits ~
helps regulate cholesterol
heart healthy
helps regulate blood pressure
good for the eyes
helps prevent birth defects
act as a "nutrient booster" allowing your body to absorb other nutrients
high in fiber, Vitamin B, folic acid, postassium and Vitamin E
high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind!)

And so I'm off, Jordan needs a last minute run to Micheals (she has the same continual creating disorder that I do) and then it's back to work. I know the clock is ticking but I'm still thinking I'd like to spend the afternoon curled on the couch, crocheting and watching a Christmas movie... :)

Peace & blessings ~ Melinda