I’ve always been one of those people who really likes Valentine’s Day. I like it all. I like the pink and red and glitter and balloons and chocolates and cheesy stuffed animals and Power Rangers valentines and the candy hearts and the flowers—all of it. I know the arguments against it. It’s just a holiday made up to make the greeting card companies money (maybe). You should celebrate the people you love everyday (totally). Life is about more than just romantic love (absolutely). But keeping those things in mind, I find it really hard to find fault with a day that is meant to celebrate love. I mean, what’s wrong with that? Even when I was woefully (even maybe painfully) single, I still loved Valentine’s Day. A day I get to spread love with wild abandon? Sign me up.
I guess part of my love for Valentine’s Day (or ValenTIME’s Day, which is what I thought it was a kid) is that I have a nice, broad definition of what should be celebrated on February 14th—love of any kind. Romantic love, sure, but also love of your children, of your parents, of your friends, of your pets, even of yourself! Even if you aren’t in a relationship, I urge you to celebrate all the loves of your life this Valentine’s Day.
It probably comes as no shock that one of my favorite ways to show my love for those closest to me is to shower them with delicious, yummy food. I think one of the kindest and most thoughtful gifts I can give to my loved ones is food that nourishes their soul and their body, like this totally decadent, totally rich chocolate pudding—that also happens to be totally vegan and free of any added sugar.
This dessert is intensely rich and chocolately, so much so, I recommend serving it up in small portions in a two-ounce shot glass (like these)—it’s the perfect amount of sweet treat to end a wonderful Valentine’s Day meal, without making you feel like you ate enough sugar to fill a candy factory. I love mini desserts, especially if it’s as rich and decadent as this vegan chocolate pudding is.
The key to getting this pudding so velvety smooth (without any animal products) is a partnership between Medjool dates and Silk® Cashewmilk. By soaking dates in boiling water to soften, and then blending them with irresistibly creamy Cashewmilk, you get a super smooth and luscious pudding—without a drop of cow’s milk or cream. Since I had to give up dairy a few months back, I’ve tried a lot of different types of nut and grain milks, and I have to say, Silk® Cashewmilk is definitely a contender for my favorite of the bunch. It’s creamy and smooth, and has a nice mild taste—it really does work well as a substitute for low fat cow’s milk. I also love that Silk® Cashewmilk is readily available at my local supermarket, so no running to a health food store to pick up specialty milk. I’m so happy to see other non-dairy milks, like Silk® Cashewmilk, showing up in the dairy case!
However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have an absolutely wonderful Valentine’s Day and get to spend it celebrating love with the people you love the most. Enjoy!