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Cherry Berry Coconut Cream Pudding {and the benefits of tart cherry juice}

by Lisa on February 15, 2012

This morning, I thought I’d make coconut cream pudding but sub in strawberry protein powder for the vanilla I have been using. Once I got started, I realized the pudding was going to be white (the protein powder is white), and I wanted it to be pink…

Full disclosure: My first thought was that maybe I could add beet juice. But (1) I didn’t have any, and (2) I’m pretty sure even a tablespoon would have contributed an essence of beet flavor (which was not what I was going for).

Conveniently, I had just bought Tart Cherry juice concentrate for my mom, but had not yet given it to her. So I added that.

And it was amazing. The best coconut cream pudding yet.

Cherry Berry Coconut Cream Pudding

Blend/Mix (I used a hand mixer, but you can do it by hand too):

8oz coconut cream (I use Wilderness Family Naturals 8.45oz tetra pack)
1 scoop strawberry protein powder (you could probably leave this out or use vanilla if you don’t have it) – I use Jay Robb Whey
1-2 droppers full of vanilla stevia (adjust amount to taste…or add another sweetener to taste)
1-2 Tbsp tart cherry juice concentrate

It’s quite amazing right after you blend it, but it’s even better after it has been refrigerated for a while. I am going to use this for a lot of different things—pudding, frosting, filling…

I think the tart cherry goes so well with the coconut cream!

My mom was home this morning, so I neglected my To Do List for a bit and went over for coffee.

I got two reviews from her.

1. The Hemp Seed Breakfast Cookie is AMAZING when it’s sliced in half, toasted and smeared with SunButter.

2. The Cherry Berry Coconut Pudding is AMAZING. (so I gave her the rest, because I’m nice. And I can make more if I steal tart cherry juice from her.).

Side note: I love my new work schedule because I got to spend coffee hour (and a half) with my Mom, and then I spent after school time and dinner with my Dad and Matthew.  I bought him (Matthew, not my Dad) an alien spaceship lego thingy for V-Day, so we spent most of the time putting that together and then fighting aliens. And we played Old Maid.

ANYWAY.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is high in anthocyanins (cancer prevention, antioxidant benefits) and quercetin (cholesterol lowering), but the main reason I recommend it to people is for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Arthritis and joint pain/inflammation is the ailment that most people (I know) use it for. This is such an effective anti-inflammatory that I can’t believe more people don’t know about it! I began telling clients about it in 2008, and ever since, I get emails and people telling me how amazing it is. Often, a person begins drinking it daily, doesn’t really think about it much…and then runs out and is in pain again, and then realizes how great it had been working!  Currently, I would also suggest to people that mixing it with a protein, fiber, or fat will help to slow the blood sugar spike that would occur from the juice alone (mix it into plain greek yogurt with some stevia or add it to a smoothie!). If you’re not worried about the blood sugar spike, you can just mix it with water or juice and drink it.

Around Rochester, you can buy it at Lori’s Natural Foods, or at Schutt’s Apple Mill (in Webster). In its concentrated form, you can keep it in the fridge or freezer (it won’t freeze), and add 1-2 Tbsp to water (or juice if you don’t like the tart flavor) in the morning and drink it. In my opinion, this is a much better solution to inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain than popping liver-taxing ibuprofen everyday!

Sorry about the bad pic...but this is the local brand I buy from Lori's.

Note: You can buy a juice form of it, like Cheribundi (which is also local) or a couple other brands in the grocery store…but you’ll pay an arm and a leg for it, so I recommend the concentrated form! You can buy pills too, but I haven’t had anyone try that yet.

Have you heard of tart cherry juice for arthritis?

How is your week? I am looking forward to being very productive tomorrow to make up for my play day today (I did a little work, but really not much at all).

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  • sarena

    Wow, this sounds amazing! I love finding out the benefits of natural foods. It makes me feel so good to eat/drink things that I know will benefit me. I made a coconut vanilla pudding with protein powder today and threw in some fresh blueberries. It was so good. I made a small batch to try out the protein powder. I really liked it especially with the coconut in it!

  • TxGrThmb

    Is it only for RA or can it also help us with osteo. inflammation too.?

  • Lauren George

    I had not heard of that before. I’ve never tried tart cherry juice either!! My week is going pretty well so far. I’m still sore from this weekend. I think all of the praciticing I’ve been doing to get ready to teach Booty Barre is probably to blame! LOVE IT!

  • http://www.pure2raw.com/ Pure2raw twins

    tart cherry juice for arthritis – never heard about that. love learning something new :) so glad you got to enjoy some coffee time with your mom, those are the best moments!!! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WO3MVKH62XXFP7PDO3U6MET5EY Brianne

     After this and your previous post, I really want to try making some coconut cream pudding.  Have to try to figure out a chocolate version.  And I am interested in the tart cherry juice, as arthritis runs in my family, and I am really hoping to avoid it.

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    HUGE fan of cherry juice for anti-inflammatory. Looks divine lisa. and so creamy!

  • http://fitapproach.com/ Alyse

    I’m loving all your coconut cream puddings. So many flavors to imagine and drool over. 

    I had never heard of tart cherry juice for arthritis or other health benefits, though I quite like the flavor of tart cherry – so much better than super sweet maraschino / other fake cherries!

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com/ cathy@1970kikiproject

    that is awesome that you got to spend time with your mom, and then with matthew and your dad. a flexible schedule DOES have its benefits. not to mention, you were able to enjoy some creative kitchen time!!
    we have monday off here in ontario, and i am debating making your hemp seed breakfast cookie! (or bran muffins, i have to decide. i will not do two recipes, that is too much baking, haha!).
    so glad your new pudding recipe worked out. and  i did laugh that you used the tart cherry juice that was intended for your mom!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Email me your address and I’ll send you some—I bought two cases :-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    In my experience, it helps with any kind of arthritis inflammation. Specifically, I have six people right now drinking it for osteoarthritis (all different body parts affected—mostly neck, knees, fingers, hips…). It actually helps with any inflammation, so I have some people use it for sports-specific injuries or just improved recovery time from hard workouts…

  • http://fitchocoholic.blogspot.com/ Gen

    Yuuum! Cherry + coconut sounds delicious…plus so good for you too!!

  • Heather (Where’s the Beach)

    Neglecting the to-do list to spend some time with your mom is a must! I bet your dad would have liked a spaceship lego thing too ;-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    You’re probably right—I think I’ll buy two lego things next time so Dad doesn’t get left out!

  • http://www.pickyeatingrd.com/ Allie @ PickyEatingRD

    This week has flown by. My to-do list has been completely neglected but with zero meetings today I am going to tackle it! Have a wonderful day girl!

  • http://anediblemosaic.com/ Faith

    This seriously sounds incredible…I’m adding coconut cream (fingers crossed that they have it at my Wegmans!) – and tart cherry juice — to my shopping list right now! 

  • http://thehealthybeehive.com/ Jane

    I have heard of cherry juice for arthritis!  I have gotten Cheribundi before ..  I’ll have to look for the concentrate.  You are totally influencing me — I ordered some coconut cream because your puddings always look so good — can’t wait to try them!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Oh my gosh, you’ll love the coconut cream! I love to refrigerate it first, and then you can eat it right away without waiting for it to chill :)
    I can’t wait to do more experimenting with it!
    On Thu 16/02/12 13:50 , “Disqus”
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  • Anonymous

    I’ve never seen tart cherry juice! I loveeee me some cherries though, so I bet I would really enjoy throwing this in my smoothies. Glad your schedule is working for you :) Week has been great. Today is (as always) my Friday, so I’m thrilled

  • http://www.dairyfreebetty.com/ Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

    I tagged you in a post today!! 

  • http://caitplusate.com/ Caitlin

    Sounds like your work schedule is allowing you to spend lots of QT with loved ones, adore that! So relaxing! And that pink pudding is very cute, very VDay appropriate even if the day is passed!
    My week hit a rut when I got sick, but I’m really feeling so much better and can’t wait to get to tomorrow so I can get back to my favorite Group Step class and then go out to Mexican food and margaritas for a girls night!!

  • Melissa S

    This looks so delicious!!!  Does wegmans or Lori’s sell coconut cream?  I need to pick up some cherry concentrate at Lori’s tomorrow.  I have alot of GI inflammation, do you think it would help with that?  Hope you are having a relaxing weekend!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I don’t know if the cherry juice will help with GI inflammation (theoretically, it should…but I haven’t seen any research or testimonials about that). The two things that are supposed to help are drinking aloe (sometimes you can get the whole leaf at Pittsford Weg, but the bottled kind—Lily of the Desert—works well), and chicken broth made from a whole organic chicken (there’s something in the broth made from whole chicken that is soothing to the digestive tract—I can’t remember what it’s called though).
    I know Weg’s has coconut cream in cans—I think there’s a good one without a bunch of weird stuff added. I would guess Lori’s would too, but I have not looked for it there. If you try it out…let me know how you like it!
    On Sat 18/02/12 17:40 , “Disqus”
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  • Jena

    Lili- why don’t I get these thrive-style posts messaged to me anymore?

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I don’t know my dear. Did you sign up through the email box on the website? I don’t see your email address in the subscription list, and that’s the only way I know how to have them sent!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    P.s. I love you and I can’t wait to see you!

  • Catherine Warren

    Is the mousse the right texture to pipe out of a pastry bag, or would it not hold up? I’m coming up with a menu to feed 40+ people, including several dairy-free people, and am casting about for dairy-free mousse recipes. Thanks!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com/ Lisakthrives

    I think it would work as long as it stayed really cold. You could add a little extra coconut oil to keep it more firm too!

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