Raise your hand if you love dessert! In the final installment of this series, we are serving up three ways to sweeten your summer. 

To beat the heat, we vote for homemade ice pops. The hard part is in choosing: Will you make blueberry or fudgy wudgy? Decisions, decisions.

For more fruity goodness, consider the parfait, a mix of mashed fruit (your choice) and whipped yogurt, layered in a glass like a tower. As my husband likes to say, “Everybody loves a parfait.”

And for chocolate lovers, you need to stop what you’re doing and make this pudding right now. Inspired by my efforts to make stovetop pudding a zillion years ago when I was about 8 years old, and um, the bowl exploded, I came up with this recipe that you can make in the blender. 

Just remember; sweets are treats and should be thought of as such. Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

On this week's menu: Chocolate blender pudding, ice pops and yogurt and fruit parfaits.

Check out last week's recipes and videos:

Homemade chicken strips

Beans and rice

Zucchini Boats

Chocolate blender pudding

Traditionally, chocolate pudding is a custard cooked on the stovetop and made with eggs, milk and cream. But for this blender version, we are substituting all of those ingredients with silken tofu.

Kool Tidbits

  • Tofu is made from soybeans and is also known as bean curd.
  • There are many different kinds of tofu, from extra firm to silken. For puddings, dips, smoothies and purees, we use silken tofu, which has a soft, creamy texture.

Tool Kit

Medium saucepan; heatproof bowl; stirring spatula; measuring cups and spoons; food processor or blender.

Tips

  • If you don't have a heatproof bowl that fits snugly on top of a saucepan, use a microwave to melt chocolate.
  • You can find silken tofu in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or in shelf-stable boxes. They both work for this recipe. 
  • To make the pudding a little bit spicy, you can add a pinch of ground cayenne along with the cinnamon.

Chocolate Pudding

Makes six 1/3-cup servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
  • 12 ounces silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened milk of choice (coconut, cow's, soy) 
  • For garnish: 1 1/2 cups berries of choice 

Directions:

Melt the chocolate: Pour a few inches of water into a small saucepan and place a metal bowl that fits snugly on top, yet without touching the water, to make a double boiler. Break the chocolate into smaller pieces (if using the bars) and place in the bowl. Over medium-low heat, allow the chocolate to completely melt, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir and blend. Remove the bowl from the heat and let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes. 

Plan B: Place the broken-up bar chocolate (or chocolate chips) in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 90 seconds, until melted. Stir to blend. 

Place the tofu (and any liquid) in a food processor or a blender. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and blend until the tofu is creamy smooth and the sugar crystals are undetectable. Add the melted chocolate and blend, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl, followed by the milk. Blend one last time; the mixture should be well integrated, creamy, and maybe even a little fluffy. 

Transfer the pudding to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. The pudding is best when chilled. Serve in small bowls, topped with berries. 

Leftovers will keep for a few days. The pudding may separate slightly, easily remedied by a few stirs.