This week I’m sharing a super simple sugar free pudding recipe. It’s only 4 ingredients, sweetened naturally with dates, and uses sweet potatoes as the base.
Wait… did I just say sweet potatoes? Yep, the base of this sugar free pudding is sweet potatoes! Using the natural sweetness of dates and sweet potatoes combined, this vegan pudding recipe doesn’t need any additional sugar added to it. Which means it’s sweetened by only natural ingredients (nothing processed, like refined sugar). I’ve made desserts out of vegetables before with success, so I thought I’d give it another try. When steamed or blended they can make for a pretty smooth consistency. When I invented this concoction up I really didn’t know how it was going to turn out, so I was surprised by how much I liked it!
Sweet potatoes (and beans) are often used in Asian desserts, which is where part of the inspiration for this came from. I’m also always trying to think up new ways I can use fruits, nuts, and vegetables to satisfy my sweet-tooth in a healthy way. In the end, I think this sugar free pudding recipe turned out great, and so I’m excited to share it today!
Not only is it sugar free pudding though, it’s also vegan chocolate pudding! It’s made using only 4 ingredients, and it’s actually got quite a bit of good nutrition packed in it too. I’ll be going over all of the nutritional information throughout the post as well. So keep on reading if you’re interested in a healthy chocolate pudding recipe!
How To Make Sugar Free Pudding
First begin by removing the skin from your sweet potatoes. Usually when I cook with fruits and vegetables I like to keep the skin on. After all, it’s where all of the best nutrients are.
Since this was my very first time trying a dessert with sweet potatoes though, I wanted to make sure the final outcome was as smooth as possible. One of pudding’s defining characteristics is its smooth texture, so I wanted to prioritize that when making this dish.
Sp for my sugar free pudding recipe I decided to remove the skin first. Next, you’ll want to steam it somehow until it’s cooked. You can do this by boiling it, steaming in a pan, or by using the microwave.
You’ll know it’s done once your sweet potatoes are “fork-tender”, meaning you can pierce them easily with a fork.
Making Sugar Free Pudding With A Microwave
I can be pretty lazy sometimes, so I just nuked it in the microwave. If you do it this way just make sure to poke it with a knife on all sides first or it may explode in the microwave. I’ve actually never had this happen to me yet (and I cook potatoes in the microwave all the time). I think it’s because I’ve read in enough places that this is a real thing that happens, and I’m too scared to find out! So I always poke my potatoes with lots of knife holes before putting them in.
Depending on the size of your sweet potatoes, anywhere from 6-9 minutes in the microwave should do. Just keep checking it after the time is done to make sure it’s tender/soft enough. You may need to microwave for more time, and you may not.
Pro Tip #1 for this sugar free pudding recipe: Microwaving in stages may be the way to go for you. So for example, microwaving it first for 5 minutes, then for another 2-3 minutes afterwards. This is what I do. If you microwave for a full 9 minutes straight, sometimes the outside edges of your potatoes can get hard, and we don’t want that to happen.
Whatever method you choose, once you’re done cut your sweet potatoes into large chunks. Now, it’s time to blend.
Blend Your Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Ingredients
The final step is to blend all your ingredients together. Which are:
That’s it! Only 4 ingredients is all you need to make this healthy chocolate pudding recipe. See below for exact measurements.
Sugar Free Pudding Pro Tip #2: Blend In Batches
Just like with the microwave, blending the ingredients in batches makes for a much smoother overall consistency. I made my sugar free chocolate pudding in 2 batches total. I have a Vitamix Blender, which is pretty powerful. But this final mixture ends up being pretty thick. So even with a strong blender or food processor, blending in stages may be the way to go.
The first time I made this (when I was still experimenting with the recipe) I tried blending everything all at once. The mixture was smooth-ish, but really not what I wanted. There were still some sweet potato chunks mixed in with the pudding. So I had to empty out my blender bucket, and blend the batch again in stages.
The Final Product? Healthy Vegan Chocolate Pudding
The second time I made this I did it half-and-half, and it came out smooth just like how I wanted. It was the perfect chocolate sugar free pudding of my dreams!
Check out the photo above to see what everything looks like blended before and after. And sorry in advance for the potato-quality photo that it is (ha!).
Disclaimer: The photo on the right is actually what the final mixture looked like when I tried to do it all at once. One batch.
Like I said above though, I recommend doing it in stages. Half the ingredient amounts, then the other half.
Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Nutritional Information
Ok, now that we’ve gone over the ‘how’ of this sugar free pudding recipe, let’s talk a bit about the ‘what’ and ‘why’.
What is the nutritional information? Why do I consider it a healthy pudding?
Vegan Chocolate Pudding Made Healthy With Sweet Potatoes
There are only 4 ingredients in this sugar free pudding recipe, so that alone is a health reason in my eyes. But I’ll go over the 3 main ingredients one by one just to be thorough.
First, there are the sweet potatoes. 1 cup of cooked sweet potatoes equals 6.6 grams of fiber, 65% of your daily value for Vitamin C, 50% of your daily value for Manganese, 769% of your DV for Vitamin A, and more. It’s also extremely low in fat. So if a low fat chocolate pudding is what you’re looking for, this is it.
You’ll see a lot of recipes online that use avocados for chocolate pudding. Avocados are great for you as well! And I think those recipes are worth a try too. But if you’re trying to watch your calories and fat intake, then swapping avocados for sweet potatoes in your pudding recipes could be for you. Both add a richness and thickness to the final pudding mixture, and both offer nutritional benefits. I think it just comes down to what you’re looking for in a healthy chocolate pudding recipe.
Sweet potatoes are also antioxidant powerhouses. You may or may not know this, but you can usually tell a food’s antioxidant content by its color. The more vibrant the color, the more antioxidants! It’s nice that nature gave us that easy to spot color-cue.
So kale will have more antioxidants in it than ice berg lettuce. Blueberries will have more antioxidants than honey dew melon. Sweet potatoes will have more antioxidants than regular potatoes, etc. Always look for the deeper and richer colors in plant foods if maximum nutritional benefit is important to you!
If you’re looking for more discussion on the health benefits of antioxidants, and what they do for us, check out my recent post for a celery and cucumber juice recipe! There’s a lot of great nutrition information in there.
Vegan Chocolate Pudding Made Healthy With Dates
Next up on the list to talk about is dates. I’ve talked about dates many times before, and why they are my go-to ingredient for sweetening a dish. As with many things, it comes down to the fiber. When we eat foods that are naturally high in sugar (such as fruit), that are also naturally high in fiber, the fiber acts as a buffer for us. It makes our bodies release the sugar into our bodies slowly, over time.
This is the direct opposite of what happens inside us, if we were to eat a processed sugary food item that has no fiber. For example, a Starbucks sugar-bomb coffee drink, ice cream, or pre-packaged cookies and other baked goods from the store. In that scenario, we see a massive spike in our blood sugar, which can be very damaging to our bodies in the long term if we eat foods like that regularly.
That’s why when it comes to homemade desserts (like this one for sugar free pudding), I always try to use a sugar source for sweetening my recipes that has a lot of natural fiber. Good examples for this are dates, vegetables, and other whole fruits!
Occasionally, I’ll also use either maple syrup or back-strap molasses as a sweetener. I won’t go too much into the details in this post why, as I’ve already written about it quite a bit. Instead, I encourage you to check out my post about giving up sugar in my diet to learn more!
Vegan Chocolate Pudding Made Healthy With Cacao Powder
Did you notice how I spelled that ingredient up above? Cacao (kah-kow) powder, not cocoa (koh-koh) powder. Truth be told, BOTH of these powders are extremely nutritious. But I started relying on cacao a bit more often recently. I’ll explain why, but first, allow me to explain the difference.
All of the chocolate products we eat are derived from cacao seeds, which come from the cacao plant.
The difference in these two powders comes from how those seeds are processed though, before being ground into their powder form.
To make cacao powder, the raw beans are processed and ground at low temperatures. The final product ends up containing a much higher amount of enzymes, minerals, and nutrients. It tastes more bitter than cocoa powder but offers more nutritional benefit and is considered more natural.
The process used to create cocoa powder entails applying high heat to raw cacao, which destroys some of the beneficial nutrients it contains. This gives the final form a more pleasing taste to most people though. Cocoa powder bought in stores also often contains added sugars.
Both have nutritional benefits. Pure (no sugar added) cocoa powder for example has 11.9mg Iron, 429 mg Magnesium and 1311mg Potassium. Those are some good numbers!
On the other hand, raw cacao contains 126% more Iron, 149% more Magnesium and 136% more Potassium. Now those are great numbers. Cacao also has a much higher antioxidant value – another bonus.
Which One Should You Use For Your Sugar Free Pudding Recipe?
Honestly, I think using either one is good! So long as you can find a version that has no added sugar in it. You can find versions of these at your local health store (some regular stores will carry no-sugar versions), or you can buy cacao powder or cocoa powder online.
A Truly Simple, Easy Sugar Free Pudding Recipe
Well, that pretty much sums up this post! First we went over the steps to make this sugar free pudding recipe. Start by removing the skin from your sweet potatoes. Next steam or boil them somehow. Finally chop them up, add them to a blender with the rest of your ingredients in batches, and blend.
Storing Your Healthy Chocolate Pudding Recipe
You’ll probably want to transfer all of the mixture out of your blender bucket and into a container, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
You can eat it straight after blending, but the pudding may be slightly warm from the sweet potatoes being cooked just minutes before. If warm vegan chocolate pudding is your thing then eat it right away! I actually like this recipe warm or cold. But if you like your sugar free pudding cold, then you’ll want to refrigerate it for a few hours before eating.
Jazz Your Sugar Free Pudding Recipe UP!
I made my serving of pudding fancy by adding fresh raspberries on top and chopped cocoa nibs. Other ideas are chopped nuts, more berries, peanut/almond butter, shredded coconut, chia seeds – get crazy with it!
Fun fact: When I set out to make this recipe I actually wanted to create a vegan whipped cream recipe to go along with it.
Well, my sugar free pudding recipe turned out great! But my experimentation with homemade whipped cream was… a failure, lol. I need to work on it some more, I wasn’t happy with the outcome on my first go around with it. But I plan to keep experimenting with it though, so hopefully I’ll release a healthy dessert recipe in the near future that includes it!
Well, I hope you liked this post about my recipe for sugar free chocolate pudding. I think this just about wraps it up! If you’re skeptical about using sweet potatoes for a dessert, I just say give it a try! I was surprised by how great it turned out. And I look forward to incorporating sweet potatoes in more dessert recipes in the future.
It’s healthy, naturally sweetened, low in calories, low in fat, and full of good nutrients for you.
Besides being healthy, I think my actual favorite thing about this sugar free pudding recipe is that it takes less than 10 minutes to make. My lazy self loves quick and easy recipes, and using the microwave for this recipe definitely qualifies as lazy to me! Haha.
Anyways, I hope you like this recipe and if you do try it please leave a comment below! I’d love to know what you think, especially if this is your first time trying sweet potatoes in a dessert recipe too! 🙂
Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding
- 2 medium/large sweet potatoes
- 1 cup dates
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes, then steam/boil them until they are cooked. Once cooked, chop the sweet potatoes into large cubes.
- Add half of all the ingredient amounts above to a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth.*
- (Optional) Store in a container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to cool. Serve with your favorite toppings.