Chocolate Orange Parfaits

Happy Halloween! Will you be celebrating in any way today? Are you dressing up for work? Have you made any special treats? Ironically, I'm going to the dentist today. What are the chances this was the only day I could get an appointment, lol.

As a child I absolutely loved Halloween. I planned out my costume well in advance and couldn't wait to go trick or treating. Once I got my big bag of candy I would sort it all out on baking trays, organizing each kind of candy so that I knew how much of each I had. I started eating whatever I had the most of and savoured the special ones - and believe it or not, I was able to stretch out my loot over many months. See? I always had a great love for sweet things - I'm so glad I can make healthy versions now!

Today I have a dessert recipe to share that's a slight deviation from the normal Autumn fare. I wanted something that reflects Fall and Halloween, but not with pumpkin. I'm pumpkined out for a while. So instead I went for orange and chocolate! A classic combo no matter what time of year.

Orange Chocolate Halloween Parfait

If you're wondering why I used carrot juice and not orange juice, it's simply for colour. Otherwise the pudding would be a much more pale yellow colour. Feel free to skip the carrot and use orange juice if the colour doesn't matter to you.
Use more or less coconut sugar depending on the sweetness of your oranges, and if you don't have any orange essential oil, just use enough orange zest to get the taste you desire.
This recipe makes 2-3 parfaits.

Orange Pudding

1 1/4 cup packed orange segments (remove any seeds)
4 tablespoons carrot juice*
1/2 cup cashews
3-4 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange zest, to taste
4-6 drops orange essential oil**
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend the orange segments, carrot juice, cashews, sugar, and vanilla until smooth in a high speed blender.
Add the zest, essential oil and coconut oil. Blend again to incorporate. Taste and add more orange zest/oil if needed.

*To make a small amount of carrot juice, finely grate carrot on a microplane and squeeze through a nut milk bag or with your fingers.
Alternatively, if you're already making fresh juice, juice a carrot first.

**I used Young Living essential oil

Chocolate Pudding

1/4 cup pitted, well packed dates
1/2 - 2/3 cup water
1 medium/large avocado
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cacao powder
3-4 drops stevia

Combine all ingredients except the stevia in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Taste and add a few drops stevia as needed.

Chocolate Crumb

1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cacao powder
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1 scant teaspoon water

In a food processor grind the pecans, hemp seeds, cacao, coconut sugar and salt into crumbs.
Add the water and pulse several times to incorporate.
Sprinkle over the parfait.

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays

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