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Cherry-Chocolate Bread Pudding

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February 12, 2013 | Issue 438

Sweet Treat for Valentine’s

Bread Pudding

This week, we’re talking chocolate: sweet, dark, cancer-fighting decadence. This recipe for bread pudding combines the goodness of whole-grain bread with health-promoting compounds in chocolate and cherries. Dark chocolate is packed with flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. Cherries get their dark red hue from anthocyanins, currently being studied for their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 176 calories, 4 g fat (2 g sat fat), 31 g carbohydrates,
5 g protein, 3 g fiber, 232 mg sodium.

  • 3/4 cup dried tart or sweet cherries
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or water
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2½ cups refrigerated plain coconut milk*, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, at least 60-63 percent cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
 *This is an unsweetened refrigerated coconut milk beverage with ~50 calories per 1 cup.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In small bowl, soak cherries in apple juice or water to plump them. Drain well, and set aside.
  3. Stack bread slices and using serrated knife, cut off crust. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; making about 7 cups.
  4. In large mixing bowl, combine cocoa, sugar and salt. Add 1/3 cup of coconut milk, and whisk until smooth. Add remaining coconut milk, and whisk to combine well. Add eggs, egg whites and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Add cubed bread and drained cherries, mixing gently until all bread is moistened. Set mixture aside to soak for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Coat 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Stir mixture again to evenly distribute cherries. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Sprinkle on chocolate chips and almonds.
  6. Bake until knife inserted in center of pudding comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool on rack until just warm. Cut pudding into 12 pieces, and serve. Or cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Serve this bread pudding cold or at room temperature.

Grocery list

Dried tart or sweet cherries
Apple juice or water
Whole-wheat bread
Unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Brown sugar
Plain coconut milk*
Egg whites
Vanilla extract
Canola oil cooking spray
Dark chocolate chips

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Did You Know?

Foods with high sugar content, like soda, cakes, and candies, tend to be high in calories but generally do not keep you feeling full for very long. Avoid excess weight gain from these foods by limiting portion size, substituting fiber-rich sweets like fruit and slowly savoring the treats you do eat.

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