Zen Chocolate Almond Pudding

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Seems like at least half the foods I loved as a kid are off-limits to me now that I don’t eat dairy. One of those is chocolate pudding. I’m not talking about fancy, gourmet pot de crème. I’m talking about those little plastic pudding cups that my mom used to put in my lunch box. What I loved about that pudding, besides its convenience, was how silky smooth it felt on my tongue. And, well… chocolate.

Shopping at Sprouts recently, I found Zen Chocolate Almond Pudding (Made with Almond Milk), a dairy-free, soy-free version of those little pudding cups. Now, let me just rant for a moment about the overuse of the word “zen” these days. It’s used on everything from massage parlors to energy drinks to medical marijuana dispensaries. Usually, when I see the word “zen” on a product, I avoid it on principle. But I had to try the dairy-free chocolate pudding, no matter what it’s called.

I’m pleased to report that despite its unfortunate packaging (which also features an illustration of a panda), this pudding rocks. It’s nice and chocolatey and, once you stir it a few times with a spoon, smooth as silk. There’s no detectable almond flavor to it. And you can’t beat the convenience.

Just a note to vegans: Before you eat this pudding, you have to eat your meat. ‘Cause, as Pink Floyd taught us, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”

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