Have you ever had a fudgsicle? It’s a chocolate-flavored popsicle, with a pudding-like consistency, and I used to beg my parents to buy them at the grocery store when I was a kid. I developed the recipe for these vegan avocado and cacao paletas with those fudgy popsicles from my childhood in mind. As an adult, I like to give things a healthier spin when I can and since I have a vegan in the family, I wanted to make them in a way that she could enjoy them with me, which meant they couldn’t have any dairy. These are similar to my avocado popsicles, with a few tweaks to make them vegan-friendly. The avocado gives the popsicle a creamy, silky base, and coconut milk mixed in helps the popsicles freeze consistently and stay together when you remove them from the mold.
This vegan banana chocolate smoothie recipe is a creation I’ve been drinking over and over again for the last few weeks. I love experimenting with Mexican ingredients that aren’t necessarily always in traditional Mexican dishes. Cacao has been harvested and consumed in its raw state by ancient cultures such as the Aztecs and Mayans in Mexico as well as some other Latin American countries for centuries. Today, it’s easy to find a variety of raw cacao powders commercially available and made by different brands; it’s often sold in health food stores and it’s easy and inexpensive to buy online as well. Raw cacao powder has plenty of health benefits in addition to the rich flavor it provides to any dish. It’s packed with antioxidants, and has high amounts of nutrients and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese.