This post is sponsored by House Foods Tofu.
Today is my final post for the 50 Plates of Tofu Series! It has been a lot of fun collaborating with House Foods on this creative recipe challenge. I whipped up ten state-inspired, vegan tofu recipes. And today’s final recipe was inspired by Alaska. This was a tricky state! But I chose to make a pudding inspired by “Baked Alaska” because 1) it was a great excuse to use roast vegan marshmallows and 2) because one of my favorite things is a chocolate and vanilla layered pudding. This recipe has a hint of nut butter in it as well. So, peanut butter and chocolate pudding parfaits with toasted marshmallows on top it was!
These tasty Baked Alaska-Inspired Tofu Pudding Cups combine chocolate and peanut butter, flavored silky tofu pudding, along with warm and toasty vegan marshmallows on top. This is an easy dessert that you can make in a flash, with minimal ingredients. And these summertime-inspired, “S’mores-y” flavors are perfection! Kid-approved and a healthy dessert treat.
Dessert every day? Survey time. Raise your hand if you enjoy ‘dessert’ after dinner every night? Ok, so I cannot actually see your response but I am guessing that a bunch of you have your arms waving over your heads. I know I did! And the thing about dessert is that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
“Dessert” doesn’t have to mean decadent. As in consuming a leaning tower of Oreos or a giant 3-scoop bowl of full fat ice cream – or the entire vegan Ben & Jerry’s pint – or a thick slice of double fudge layer cake. While those are certainly worthy treats from time to time, dessert can very easily be something you treat yourself with every night – and feel good about.
Dessert can absolutely be a healthy habit! For me, it gives me a happy feeling as I wind down at the end of the day, and prepare to get calm and sleepy for bed. And while it may sound eye-rollable to some, I get freaking excited about a giant bowl of strawberries after dinner. I often eat fresh fruit after dinner as a TV-watching snack. After years of being vegan, I crave things that are a bit on the healthier side.
In my teens and early twenties, I’m 36 now, I used to try and restrict myself way too much with sweets. I would force myself to buy the “diet” desserts even though I craved the real stuff. And that never ended well. I would eat diet-y desserts for days, weeks even – and then eventually end up blowing that by eating very large portions of the stuff I was actually craving. It was a bad cycle of restrictive eating. Habits I will never return too because they messed with my mind, body and soul. But from those experiences, I learned that restriction and dieting, for me, do not work.
I also learned that healthy eating is very closely linked to self esteem. And if you can grow to love your body as it is (not how society or Instagram) wants it to be – you will slowly just eat in a way that supports your body and it’s dietary needs – instead of punishing it or trying to always chase the “eat as little as possible” train. Trust me, that never ends well. Eat breakfast, eat when you are hungry, eat to keep your body thriving. At least, that is what works for me.
For me, the key to dessert (and actually all day eating…) is listening to my body. For treats and desserts, I will eat basically anything vegan. It doesn’t have to be ‘healthy.’ Full fat ice cream, cookies, refined sugar vegan treats. Whatever looks amazing. I’m game. (And vegan food can be SO incredible these days!) But the cool thing is that after 15 years of being vegan and learning how to nourish myself all day long with healthy-delicious plant foods, my cravings actually lean towards the healthy stuff. And here on the blog I have loads of dessert recipes that I can pull inspiration from. But when I DO crave the ‘regular, not-healthy-ish’ desserts, (like, oh yes I DO want to try that frosting-swirled vegan cupcake!) for me, it is about portion size.
I try to watch portion sizes with decadent things. In the end, I trust that I won’t crave super decadent desserts every single night, so when I do want a big portion of one, I just do it. Especially when eating out at a cool restaurant with amazing desserts or at a friends party or celebration or just as a treat.
Botton Line of Desserts. I guess some people just have a dessert habit and others don’t. I know that I DO. So I have tried to find healthy options to fill those after-dinner sweet cravings. For me, it works!
So yes, I absolutely treat myself after dinner, pretty much every night.
Some desserts can include:
* Bowl of full fat vegan ice cream with sliced banana or berries (the amount varies for me – sometimes one small scoop will do – sometimes two large scoops are a must.)
* Giant bowl of fresh berries and maybe a vegan yogurt an hour later
* A few mini sized cookies
* Splitting a vegan maple donuts from Whole Foods with my husband
* A portion of a decadent dessert I may be testing or have made for the blog
* A watermelon or banana nice cream smoothie bowl
* A slice of healthy-ish vegan carrot cake. One of my favorite desserts!
* Chocolate. dark chocolate. (OR in the cooler months, hot cocoa with vegan whip on top)
* Pudding! Like today’s recipe.
* Cold cereal. Weird? Well sometimes I love cold cereal with berries as dessert. It’s a comfort treat to me!
* More fruit… I am a fruit lover. So a few peaches, giant apple, giant berry bowl, other tree fruit and more — all very worthy after dinner treats for me.
…those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. But YES I personally think that if dessert makes you feel good, which for most people it does, there is no harm in having dessert every single night. I actually think that depriving yourself of something you love is worse than skipping it.
What are some of your favorite after dinner treats? And do you eat “dessert” every day? Let me know in the comments!
And when I say “dessert” I am usually referring to after-dinner style eats. But “treats” can happen at any hour of the day, obviously. My husband has swiftly taught me that sometimes you just have to eat the cupcake before dinner.
So, anyways….. I guess I’m in a ramble mode after a very long and lovely Memorial Day weekend. It was full of sunshine, cleaning, movies and lots of tennis. I hope you had an awesome weekend too!
Catch up with all ten of my tofu recipes here!..
1 – California Avocado Toast
2 – Southwest Tofu Burrito with Avocado
3 – Creamy Cashew Tofu Pot Pie
4 – Gooey Butter Cake
5 – Cherry Tofu Parfaits
6 – Southwest Tofu Quinoa Bowl
7 – Salt and Pepper Tofu Skewers with peanut sauce
8 – BBQ Tofu Corn Kale Ranch Salad
9 – Beer-Battered Tofu Tacos
10 – Baked Alaska Inspired Pudding
Follow along on the House Foods Facebook Page.
disclosure: this post is sponsored by House Foods Tofu‘s 50 Plates Series, but all opinions are my own.
Baked Alaska-Inspired Tofu Pudding
- 1 package House Foods Tofu, soft
- 6 Medjool dated, pitted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple or agave syrup
- ⅓ cup peanut or almond butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Also: 2 teaspoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 6 large vegan marshmallows ( I used Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows, Dandies is another vegan brand)
- bamboo skewers
- Soak the dates in warm water for five minutes, to soften. Drain water.
- Add all the pudding ingredients (except the cocoa powder) to a blender. Blend from low to high until smooth.
- Pour out half of the pudding, into a small bowl. Add the cocoa powder to the pudding still in the blender. Blend until combined. Pour the chocolate mixture into another side bowl. Place both bowls in the fridge or freezer to chill. You want them to chill just until they are thick and firmed up to a mousse-like state. (About 40 minutes in the fridge or 25 minutes in the freezer).
- When the puddings are fully chilled, scoop the vanilla pudding into serving cups. Followed by the chocolate layer. (Place back in the fridge while you work on the marshmallows.)
- Roast your marshmallows on your stovetop. Roast in sets of two, on your halved bamboo skewers.
- Grab the fully chilled, layered pudding cups. Add the toasted marshmallows on top of the puddings to serve.