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Posted May 22 2009 11:44pm

It's been chilly here: biting, hand-numbing cold. Or at least it feels that way when I take Henry for his walks. We live on the top of a very large hill -- almost a plateau, so when we go for a walk, we're met by the windiest of winds. He doesn't seem to mind it; he almost bites at the air with his mouth, but I need a little comfort after those experiences, so I turn to pudding -- my favorite comfort dessert.

It's not difficult to convert gluten-free and dairy-free. In fact, you could probably take most any "normal" pudding recipe and add a bit more cornstarch than normal to substitute for the thickness that naturally occurs from using cow's milk. If you end up using almond milk, I'd recommend cutting down a little bit on the cornstarch because it's a bit thicker than the rice milk.

Chocolate Pudding (gluten free, dairy free)

1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 cups chocolate rice, or almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan mix the dry ingredients together, then turn the heat to medium and add the milk. Whisk the mixture until it thickens and bubbles slightly. Take off the heat and add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Eat warm, or pour into a separate dish(es) and chill. Add a dollop of ricemellow before serving to keep it vegan and up the sweetness.

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