Berry Delicious

There are certain foods I keep coming back to and always have within my reach. These are foods that are healthy and make me happy.

Depending on the season, I can never say no to cauliflower, kale, carrots and beets in the winter and heirloom tomatoes, berries, peaches, cucumbers and melons in the summer.

As for pre-packaged foods, I always have on hand a big bottle of Calafia almond milk (the unsweetened variety with the green writing), a can of full fat, organic coconut milk (365 brand from Whole Foods), a dozen pastured eggs from Parker Creek Ranch, Mother Culture Greek yogurt, nuts and chia seeds. And a lovely bar of dark chocolate. Or two.

Since it is now officially summer, we've switched to mostly cold, room temperature or luke warm foods and we are still loading up on the fabulous chemical-free strawberries from Engel Farms at the farmers market. Berries are a wonderful snack or dessert as they are low-glycemic and still have the ability to fake out our craving for something sweet.
Having come home again with a few pints of these ruby-colored summer gems last Sunday, I longed to make another batch of a chia seed pudding I made last week. It disappeared quickly, and that generally means that it is worth sharing. The fact that it is dairy-free and only uses a bit of honey is a plus, but do you know what a great addition chia seeds are to your diet?

To start, they are a superfood and known to boost energy, aid in digestion, stabilize blood sugar and even lower cholesterol. Additionally, they are high in fiber, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, help fight belly fat and contain 1/3 of our daily requirements of phosphorous.

That should definitely get you interested in eating more chia seeds...

Over the years, I have featured several chia seed pudding recipes (in order from most recent to older: Giada's favorite, chocolate and the classic kind), as I am always up for a good-for-you and easy-to-make dessert or snack.

The best part of "cooking" with chia seeds means no cooking is required. This is a perk in the summer when you don't want to heat up the kitchen.

All you need is a blender to whip up this healing summer treat that everyone will love. Consider it a contemporary take on strawberries and cream.

Buen provecho!
Strawberries and Cream Chia Seed Pudding
The Cowgirl Gourmet thanks thekitchn.com for this brilliant idea which I slightly adapted

Print recipe

Who doesn't love pudding and who doesn't love strawberries and cream in summer? Combine this with chia seeds and everyone will flip for this lovely summer treat.

Serves 4-6

1 (13 1/5 ounce) can coconut milk, full fat and organic
1 pound organic strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
Scant 1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup chia seeds
Berries, such as strawberries or blueberries, for garnish
Whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, optional as garnish
Hemp seeds, optional as garnish
A drizzle of honey, optional as garnish

In a blender, place the strawberries and the coconut milk. Add the vanilla and honey. Puree until it turns a beautiful pink color and mixture is smooth. Taste and add a bit more honey if needed.
Place the chia seeds in a large bowl, pour the strawberry-coconut milk mixture on top and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 10 minutes and whisk again.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

Before serving, stir the pudding. The longer it sits, the thicker it will become...if it is too thick, whisk in a little water or coconut water until you reach the desired consistency.
Spoon into individual cups or bowls and garnish as you wish with berries, whipped cream, hemp seeds and/or a drizzle of honey.
Note: The original recipe calls for adding 3/4 teaspoon of lime zest...now that I have made the recipe twice, I like it better without the zest. but you should try it both ways and decide for yourself.
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