If there’s one candy bar that I did not enjoy as a kid, it was the almond joy. Mainly because I wasn’t a coconut fan, I’d just shovel all of my mini almond joys from Halloween to my sister who would gladly have them while I’d rob her peanut butter cups and Reese’s pieces. What can I say? I was practically made for the chocolate and peanut butter life.
With that being said, as I found that coconut products became more and more popular–mostly from the popularity boom in coconut water and coconut oil–I started warming up to the old fruit/nut/seed/drupe/whatchamacallit, especially when I started using coconut milk to substitute for my old cow’s milk staple. Somehow, almond joys reappeared in my Tumblr feed….but healthified and completely clean. I don’t know how it happened, by my mouth started salivating.
Recently when I tasted one of Arman’s healthy almond joy cookies, I immediately felt some kind of revelation. Almond joys were actually not as nasty as my eight year-old self would think! I knew that I had to somehow find a way to incorporate the same almond joy theme into my sweet potato kabocha pudding collection. I mean, I could only do chocolate pudding and peanut butter pudding for so long, ya know?
Something that I’m also NOT a fan of in the supplement industry, in alternative to the candy bar industry, is fruit-flavored protein powder. I don’t know why, but the idea of faking a fruit in a supplement when you can just enjoy the whole fruit or from the juice of a fruit sounds pretty futile to me. Hence instead of staying true to the classic almond joy, I used a sample of vanilla protein powder I got from Natural Products Expo West and combined it with a bit of coconut water and coconut flakes on top. If you are absolutely interested in getting the full flavor of here are some coconut flavored protein powders available online.
With this pudding, I can now say that I’m getting closer and closer to being a fan of almond joys! The texture is so thick and spongy that it’s almost like diving into an under-baked vanilla cake that has a strong, powerfully rich solidified dark chocolate coating on top. Get a few coconut flakes in the bite and BOOM. Almond joy win.
Oh and I did cheat. The chocolate coating is made of PB2 and cocoa powder. Yep, I am all about that chocolate and peanut butter life. 😏
RECIPE (Almond Joy pudding)
- 1 medium-large or 1 large Japanese yam (you can use any sweet potato, but the dense texture of the Japanese yam is what really brings out the thickness of the pudding)
- 1 cup of cooked kabocha
- 1 scoop of vanilla or coconut flavored protein powder
- 3-4 TBSP fresh coconut water (more or less depending on how thick you want it to be)
- Sweetener to taste (opt.)
- Toasted coconut flakes (opt.)
- Opt: chocolate chips, almond pieces, etc.
RECIPE (chocolate coating)
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- 2-3 TBSP powdered peanut butter; I used PB2
- For a peanut free option, you can use melted coconut oil, maple syrup, or just melt a dark chocolate bar on the stovetop!
- 6+ TBSP water
PROCEDURE (Almond Joy pudding)
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor or strong high speed blender until completely smooth. If necessary, add more coconut water or plain water while scraping the sides to mix everything together.
- When finished, place the pudding in a serving bowl and let chill in the fridge to expand as you prepare the chocolate sauce.
- Optional step: after you add the chocolate sauce, you can microwave the pudding in one-minute intervals for 3-4 minutes in total if you want a warm pudding! You may have to let it cool for another minute or two to let the chocolate harden again before you add the toppings.
PROCEDURE (chocolate coating)
- Slowly mix all ingredients in a small bowl or large tea cup.
- When ready, carefully spread on top of the pudding.
- If using the stovetop, place the dark chocolate in a wide bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add a little bit of water or coconut oil to the melting mixture to thin out the chocolate sauce.
Are you a fan of Almond Joys? Do you also despise fruit-flavored protein powders?