Everybody needs a little “sweet” in their lives.
A wiggly puppy. A kitten who curls up on your lap to purr themselves to sleep. A newborn baby who causes you to simply stare at them for hours on end. These all have the requisite sweetness for me.
There’s another “sweet” that calls to me often. It’s the sweetness I can taste on my tongue. A delicious dessert I can relish without guilt or remorse—that’s a sweetness I love.
I’ll admit it, I have a sweet tooth.
I got curious about where that phrase came from, so I did some googling. I learned that the phrase has been used in English for hundreds of years, since the late 14th century, in fact. It comes from “toothsome,” an even older word meaning “delicious.” This sense of tooth standing in for taste gave rise to the phrase sweet tooth, or “particularly enjoying sweet tastes.”
So what does having a sweet tooth say about one’s personality, you ask? Okay, maybe you didn’t ask, but check out this interesting study.
There was a research article that appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology sometime around 2011. Here’s what it said:
“In one study, 55 college students rated their liking of 50 different foods from the five major taste types: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy. They also answered questions about their agreeableness.
A liking of sweets was linked with a higher level of agreeableness, meaning a tendency to be friendly, cooperative, and compassionate.
In another experiment of 55 different undergraduates, students were randomly given a sweet food (milk chocolate), an unsweetened food (a bland cracker), or no food. Then they were asked to volunteer their time to help a professor.
Students given something sweet to eat were more willing to help another person compared to the other two groups. Perhaps a sweet tooth reveals more about your personality than you realize.”
With this good news about the benefits of enjoying sweets, where’s the rub?
If you’ve been at all observant for the last few decades, you’ve noted the ubiquitous evidence that refined sugars and flours are not good for you.
So here’s the dilemma: how can we enjoy indulging our sweet tooth with something guilt-free—something that’s actually good for us?
No worries, my friends, Mama K has the answer—Vegan Lemon Pudding.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A food processor with an “S” blade
2 large ripe avocados
2 large juicy lemons
6-8 large medjool dates
A splash of pure maple syrup (optional)
Now, before I tell you how to make this, I want to sing the praises of medjool dates. These are the plump brown beauties that taste like sugar. They are sweet and dense and wonderfully fibrous. They’re an excellent source of phytonutrients that can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and regulate your hormones, and their high fiber content makes them good for your heart health.
Here’s how to make your pudding:
1. Boil some water and pour it over your dates. Let them soak in it for about five minutes. This will soften them so they will blend more easily.
2. Peel the avocados and lemons. Cut the avocados into 2” chunks and put them into your food processor.
3. Cut the lemons into quarters and remove all the seeds. Set aside.
4. Remove the dates from the water and quarter them. (Smaller pieces are good too—depending on how sharp your S-blade is.) Make sure you’ve removed all the pits and the hard little brown tail that lives at one end of the date.
5. Put the dates into the food processor with your avocado and push the button to blend. Keep blending until the avocado-date mixture is smooth. You may still see a few minuscule brown specks of dates throughout. That’s okay.
6. Now put the lemons into the mix and blend thoroughly.
7. Taste your pudding.
Is it sweet enough for you? If not, you can add a splash of pure maple syrup. (I’m not talking about that processed stuff you pour on your pancakes.)
Is it lemony enough? If not, you can squeeze the juice of another lemon into it and turn the food processor on for another whirl.
8. When you’re satisfied with the taste, spoon your pudding into two bowls. I like to sprinkle a spoonful of hemp seeds on top to add a little crunch and a little protein. You can eat it right away or put it in the fridge for later. Mine never lasts more than about five minutes.
This pudding is delicious and healthy. Avocados are superfoods, packed with nutrients and healthy fat. Lemons contain high amounts of vitamin C and other plant compounds, aiding in weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues, and even cancer. And, I’ve already told you the wonders of medjool dates.
So, enjoy! And know that you are feeding your sweet tooth something satisfying and perfectly healthy.