My grumpy inner child (I think her name’s Myrtle; she doesn’t come out often) longs to dismiss Valentine’s Day as the Madison Avenue-produced frenzy of fluff I know it to be.
But the strength of my testy convictions is curiously and invariably out-muscled each Feb. 14 by my softer, squishier side. Hence I’ve spent the morning constructing homemade valentines (I love a paper doily) for my son’s nursery school mates.
Let’s face it: how could a winter’s day dedicated to the sanctioned consumption of chocolate be all bad?
My suggestion for V-Day 2008? Stick with the chocolate theme, but maximize its inherent healthfulness. Yes, you read correctly. Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and magnesium, as well as anandamide, a neurotransmitter that targets the same brain structures as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. (Don’t get too excited—to make a substantial impact on the brain’s own natural anandamide levels, experts estimate you would need to eat several pounds of chocolate. It’s more likely that chocolate works indirectly to produce a “high”)
The recipe of the day is a high protein chocolate and coffee pudding, that will give you incredible energy and stamina for a Valentine’s Day workout, an extra-long run, or perhaps (ahem) some romantic activities.
You don’t need anything but a spoon come serving time; except, perhaps, a paper doily valentine beneath each cup.
- 2 medium, ripe Haas avocados, peeled and pitted
- 2 large, very ripe bananas, peeled
- 1/2 cup all-natural chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (feel free to leave this out)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Process until blended (stop to scrape down sides of blender once or twice). Beat at least 1 minute longer, to incorporate air, until light and fluffy.
- Transfer mixture to 4 ramekins, smoothing tops. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Category: dessert, high protein snack