It’s not your typical recipe for dessert, but Chef Delilah Winder wants you to give chocolate avocado pudding a taste test.
It’s an easy, blender-ready mix of cocoa powder, avocado and coconut milk, plus a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract for flair. The result? A creamy concoction that nutritionally schools the Snack Packs that used to fill your lunchbox.
No artificial add-ons, just fresh and natural ingredients. That’s the mantra that she lives by.
“You need to go the whole food route,” said Chef Delilah, a South Jersey-based culinary wonder woman who previously owned restaurants for 28 years.
Chef Delilah recently partnered with the American Heart Association and New Community’s department of Health and Social Services to host a healthy cooking demonstration dubbed, “Simple Cooking With Heart,” at New Community Commons Senior in Newark.
Margaret Cammarieri, regional vice president of Multicultural Initiatives and Health Equity for the American Heart Association, introduced Chef Delilah and urged seniors to adopt simple heart-healthy habits, such as reading nutrition labels and exercising portion control.
“We have to be open to that,” Cammarieri said.
Before she whipped up a healthy dessert, Chef Delilah addressed important healthy eating topics with the seniors and disabled adults in attendance.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, either, she noted. One cost-saving tip that she recommended to help lower sodium intake is to purchase greens (lettuce, kale, collard greens, etc.) as whole produce instead of chopped and bagged. Packaged and processed foods, even if they are raw, will result in sodium being added as a preservative, she explained.
For Chef Delilah, her relationship with food is part of her heritage. She grew up with the culinary influence of her grandmother and later attended the Restaurant School, set up a shop at Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia and then opened a Southern-themed restaurant, according to a report on BET.com.
When a woman at the cooking demo asked Chef Delilah about whether yellow rice is healthy, the chef’s recommendation was this: “Do brown rice, put turmeric and your doctor will be happy with you.”
Turmeric, noted Chef Delilah, has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
Chocolate avocado pudding recipe
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate to chill or serve immediately.
Source: Modified from allrecipes.com.