Dairy-Free Orange Chocolate Pudding


When I first started following a Plant-Strong Diet, I thought I was doomed to a life of denial. So many of my beloved foods like bacon, ice cream, cheese and anything with sugar were off-limits. How could I possibly live like that?

At first, I couldn’t. I cheated over and over again, especially on sugar! I can’t tell you how many late night trips I made to Albertson’s for Ben & Jerry’s those first few months. Binging so much got me worried that I’d give up, so I signed up for a plant-based dessert cooking class.

I went to the class with low expectations. I didn’t think it was possible to make yummy goodies without sugar, butter or cream. And the little hope I had plummeted as I watched Certified Holistic Health Coach, Katherine Nilbrink, put an avocado, dates, cocoa and an orange into a blender. This didn’t look appetizing to me – avocados were for guacamole, not sweets.

Once blended, the concoction looked similar to pudding, but I knew what it was made out of. Samples were handed out and I tentatively tried it. To my amazement, it was good, in fact it was delicious! It tasted just like sugar-laden, dairy cow chocolate pudding.

This was a turning point for me. It was when I realized that a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be about denial. And it’s not about denial for me anymore. I’ve discovered so many delicious plant-based recipes that I eat better now than I ever did before. I love eating plant-strong now.

Because this Orange Chocolate Pudding was important in my plant-strong transition (and because it’s so yummy)I’ve asked Katherine if I can share her recipe. She said, “Sure!”, so here it is.

Chocolate Orange Pudding


4 avocados (this can be replaced with l package of silken tofu)

¾ cups cacao powder

1 cup pitted medjool dates, soaked in water for 20 minutes

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. orange zest

1 orange, peeled



Mix in food processor or blender until really creamy. I let it just blend for a LONG time – this adds some air to it and makes it even more ‘fluffy’. Add water as needed for desired texture.


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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30 Responses to Dairy-Free Orange Chocolate Pudding

  1. my1sthalf says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Sounds delicious!

    • Hey, thanks for your comment! I have no doubt that you’ll love this pudding – it’s soooo good! For a lower fat version, you can replace the avocados with silken tofu. I was on a pudding kick for awhile and ate the tofu version for 10 days in a row and worried that it might be causing me to gain weight. When I weighed myself, however; I’d lost weight! I certainly couldn’t have gotten away with losing weight on 10 days in a row of Ben & Jerry’s!

  2. ediblevie says:

    I love making avocado pudding/mousse, I’ve never added orange though what a great idea!

    • It’s soooo good with the orange! It gives it a nuance that makes it special (especially if you put the orange zest in it). Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it!

  3. Oh, this sounds so yummy and healthy as well. I will have to try this.

  4. charanyaram says:

    Yum and way healthier 🙂 I love orange in choc 🙂 Thanks Celeste 🙂

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  6. run4joy59 says:

    I will definitely give this a try…I’m a huge avocado fan…they’re so darn good for you and pretty tasty too. I’m adding the dates to my shopping list right now…

  7. Poppy says:

    Celeste do you add the entire orange? Peel and all? I am hopeful of this recipe – the one I tried was simply avocado, cocoa and a little maple syrup, I think the orange and vanilla will make it so much better! 😀

    • Hi Poppy! Thanks for asking about the orange – I’ll have to clarify that on the recipe. It takes a peeled orange and just a teaspoon of the zest from the peel. Thanks for asking about this and good luck!! Let me know how it turns out for you! Celeste 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        That’s great, thank you for clarifying that. I’m really excited to try this, waiting for avocados to appear in my weekly veg box then this is top on the list! 😀

    • Oh great Poppy! I hope you like it!! Celeste 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        I finally got round to making this at the weekend. I was nervous because the first avocado chocolate mousse I hated but, honestly, I absolutely loved this! The dates and orange make so much of a difference. The first ‘recipe’ I tried was simply whizzed avocado and cocoa and was not at all nice! The dates made it taste almost toffee like! 😀 I’m going to try the tofu version next time as it’s cheaper! So glad to have got over my avocado mousse aversion!! THANK YOU!!!

    • I’m so glad you gave avocado mousse another go Poppy! I first tasted this recipe at a plant-based dessert class I took just after going vegan. When I saw the presenter put avocados in the blender I was sure I’d HATE this pudding. When I tasted it, however; I was amazed at how good it tasted. I’m really glad you liked it!! 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        I can imagine you’d feel that way seeing it for the first time! I was worried my mind would force myself not to like it just because of how gross I found the first one but I didn’t even have to tell myself to clear my mind of the last one, as soon as I tasted it, there was just no comparison!

  8. That does look delicious! It’s amazing how versatile plants can be – dates are particularly good for making ‘sweet’ things without the need for sugar! I’ve used them for a few varieties of bliss balls and they are so delicious!

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  10. stacilys says:

    Hey Celeste. This looks delish. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to give it a try and not tell my husband (hehehe). He thinks I don’t eat like a normal person. Sometimes he asks me if there’s any normal people food in the house =).

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