Poor Man’s Rich Vegan Chocolate Pudding

This recipe is the result of my quest for a healthier vegan chocolate pudding that is easy AND cheap to make. As much as I love tofu, cashews and avocado, those ingredients are expensive here in Malta (and to be fair, in every other country I have lived). I also didn’t want to fire up the stove top just for a pudding. I don’t know about you, but we always seem to have leftover rice whenever we cook it. So I figured I’ld try to use rice as the base and so leftover rice pudding was born! But not the way you know it 🙂 I made this dessert as healthy as possible without sacrificing a rich flavour and texture. If you are worried about using white rice, read up on how cooling down starchy foods changes the starch into ‘resistant starch’ which behaves like fibre. This pudding tastes even better the next day so that could be an extra reason to wait a little 😉

Ingredients (4-5 portions):

  • 1 cup of cooked arborio rice (any type of bland rice should do)
  • 1/2 cup of whole dried pitted dates
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of cold weak coffee, don’t swap for water because the coffee helps to bring out the chocolate flavour (3/4 cup gives you the best result but if you want it to be less thick increase to 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cashew butter (or any other nut butter, vegetable oil would probably work too)
  • 1 tablespoon of acacia honey (or any other neutral tasting honey or syrup for strict vegans)
  • Pinch of salt


  • Make the coffee, I mixed 1 teaspoon of instant coffee with 1 cup of cold filtered water.
  • Blend the rice, dates and coffee until very smooth in a powerful blender or food processor. If you use a food processor you’ll have to scrape down the sides.
  • Add the vanilla, cacao powder, cashew butter, honey and salt and blend until you get a smooth paste.
  • Portion it out and put it in the fridge to set. It tastes even better the next day!

Storage and tip of the day:

Because I haven’t seen anything like this around I’m not exactly sure as to how long you could keep it in the fridge. My educated guess is that you could keep it for around 5-6 days.

You can also freeze this pudding, thaw it a little and put it in the food processor again for a super creamy soft serve ice cream type of thing. I’ll be working on a proper ice cream recipe based on this one so keep your eyes peeled!

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