Many months ago I posted a chia pudding recipe here and there’s also many, many varieties floating around the internet. Why? One reason may be because it’s a bit trendy. Just like quinoa was a few years ago. And perhaps the other reason is that it is one of these really “handy & portable” foods.
To be honest I don’t make chia puddings on a regular basis, but over the past few weeks I’ve had some serious kitchen and recipe creation inspiration, and this was one of them. (More to follow in the coming weeks as I get time to re test, style and shoot!).
Since I am such a sucker for pretty and colourful foods, when I spotted these gorgeous looking plums, I just had to buy them. A couple where consumed as straight up snacks whereas the rest formed the topping to this lemony chia pudding. However, if you can’t find any plums that look good I think some stewed apples would be equally good too. Might even try that version myself next time, since I’ve been gifted plenty of them!
I have tried a few various liquids to let the chia seeds gel in, but I keep coming back to full fat coconut milk. I just find that it gives the best consistency, compared to other nutmilks. The creaminess reminds me of ris a´la malta, a cooked rice pudding which has then been blended with whipped cream which is usually served cold on Christmas Eve, or as in my family, when I was a child we on Christmas Day. Always made from the leftover rice pudding from the night before.
So… This pudding may get you into the festive spirit (!).
The best thing with this dish / breakfast / snack is that it can be pre-prepared and if you make the chia pudding in a jar then it is easily transportable too.
Lemony Chia Pudding with Stewed Plums
200 ml full fat coconut milk – if you milk is separated you may have to gently heat it first
2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
juice + zest of 1 lemon
4 small plums, stone removed and quartered
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
Place the coconut milk, chia seeds, lemon juice and lemon zest in a glass jar or in a kilner jar. Mix the seeds and zest into the liquid to make sure that they are evenly distributed. Set a side. You may want to give it another stir after about 10 min, when the seeds have started to expand.
Store the chia pudding in the fridge until ready to eat.
To make the stewed plums; Place the destoned and chopped plums in a small saucepan. Simmer the plums on low heat. Stir on occasion to make sure that they don’t burn. You may need to turn heat down even further.
Keep simmering until the fruit is completely soft and has broken down. This will take about 25-30 min. Add maple syrup to taste. Allow the fruit compote to cool before serving it with the chia pudding.
* My tip is to make the stewed fruit and the chia pudding the night before you intend to eat it. It may take a little forward planning, but once you have that, making this recipe is a breeze. Just stew the fruits at the same time as you are making dinner and assemble the pudding before you go to bed. Then you can get take a few min extra snooze time with clear conscious then next morning…! You can of course serve the fruit compote warm too 🙂
This recipe has sat in the draft section for some time. Turns out posting it now, is good timing still, because it could easily work as a nutritious addition to your menu over the holiday season.
You may have heard of chia puddings by now. You may even be a big fan of them. If you haven’t you are missing out of one of the easiest, nutritious snack/dessert /breakfast ever! I remember a few years ago when these tiny little seeds appeared on the shelves in the health stores and no one had really heard of them, let alone knew what to do with them… These days they are big news! Turns out they are a good source of plant based omega 3 essential fats. They are also high in fibre, potassium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.
The seeds come from a desert plant, Salvia Hispanica, grown in Mexico and these tiny super seeds apparently featured on the menu of the famous Aztec warriors. In fact the word “Chia” supposedly means strength. When they first appeared this side of the world one of the many marketing claims was how it could help with weight loss. This may be true in some sense, but of course it’s highly unlikely that it would help anyone shed pounds all on its own. Weight loss is a lot more complex than just take one magic substance, unfortunately and the sooner we stop buying in to that concept the better (But that’s a topic for another day…)
I think in those early days, no one really had any clue how to eat them or how to make them taste nice. Thing is they swell a lot in any liquid you leave them in, and when they do, turns out they don’t look all that appetizing… The very first time I tried chia seeds it was a tsp of seeds soaked in plain water, just swallowed down. Not the most exciting thing I’ve ever eaten to be honest. Obviously times has moved on – enter Chia Pudding! I’m not sure who originally came up with the bright idea of serving the little guys this way but let’s just say it’s genius! Their ability to gel makes for a nice consistency and when you eat them in this way they can actually help with constipation rather than hinder it.
I have tried lots of different types of chia puddings at this stage but using a good quality full fat coconut milk is by far my favourite. It even reminds me a little of the Christmas dessert we have back home, rice pudding, well actually more like the cold version of rice pudding; Ris á la Malta.
Here you have a slightly healthier version made with just two ingredients: Chia Seeds and Coconut Milk. I’ve chosen to top this pudding with some winter spiced berries. Here I used the blackberries we picked back in the autumn. Grateful for the abundance back then and for the freezer now! If you, like me, live in the Northern Hemisphere where berries are not in season, then use frozen ones. I’d imagine blackcurrants or blueberries could work to. And if you live some where were it’s berry season, well then make the most of it and use fresh ones!
Coconut Chia Pudding – With Winter Spiced Berries
For the chia pudding:
200 ml full fat coconut milk – organic if possible
2 tbsp chia seeds (whole seeds)
For the berry compote:
1 cup blackberries – fresh or frozen
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1-2 star anise (depending on size of the star)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
To make the pudding; mix coconut milk and chia seeds together in a small bowl. Make sure it is well mixed together and stir a few more times over the next five min, to remove any lumps, as the seeds start to absorb the liquid. Then move to the fridge and let it set over a few hours.
To make the berry compote; place the frozen (or fresh) berries in a small sauce pan. Add in maple syrup, ground cinnamon. Gently toss the berries in the maple syrup and spices until evenly coated. Add in the star anise. Bring it slowly to a simmer and let it simmer away for about 10 min until fruit is soft and the compote is fragrant.
Serve the chia pudding in small bowls with topped with the warm spiced berry compote.
N.B This dessert (or even breakfast!) is very filling and not very sweet. You can omit the maple syrup if you are looking for an even lower carbohydrate load.
P.S. I hope you don’t mind me throwing in a picture from the beautiful autumn we had. Worth a reminder of brighter days to come as the longest day of the year fast approaches.
Summer has arrived! Well almost. I’ve been told that 1st of May is officially the first day of Summer. But in reality I think 1st of June is more like it… This past week(s) has been pretty crazy with lots of things to do, places to be and many exciting opportunities and projects coming my way. There is so much excitement and anticipation in the air right now, I find it a little tough to stay grounded at times. Wise from previous life experience, I am mindful not to burn out, which can so easily happen. I’m sure we have all been there… Even when it is positive stress, it can still become to much. Not good.
So what to do? Well, eating well is certainly top priority since we need even more resources to draw from when life is extra busy. However, time is usually a factor, so eating well on the run is an art in itself, I think. OK, so by now you have probably figured out that I love breakfast, like to keep it simple, have a slightly sweet tooth and enjoy spending as long as possible in bed in the mornings. So as much as I like porridge, it’s takes a little too long for my liking. Smoothies are more in line with my time schedule, but not always suitable. Enter Overnight Oats. In a Kilner jar. This is the ultimate breakfast on the run. It takes no time at all to assemble the night before and is easily portable. Goodness in a jar. Extra time in bed. What more can you ask for when life is in full flight?
This recipe is the taste of Summer, with both strawberries and rhubarb in the same dish. I can still remember the big leafy rhubarbs we had growing at home in the garden at the back of the house. Me and my brother used to pick the tender stalks to chew on. Scrunching our faces from the tartness. I can still vividly recall those fond childhood memories every time I eat fresh rhubarb.
This dish has another Swedish element to it as the idea of adding Earl Grey tea to the compote came from a Swedish cookbook I got as a present this Christmas. Earl Grey is my favourite black tea. It has such a comforting feeling and the aromas of bergamot gives a depth which “normal” black tea lack. At least that’s what I think.
Originally I planned to pair this rhubarb compote with a different partner, to share with you. But after using some leftover compote I had made last weekend, with my breakfast earlier this week and loving it so much, I decided to this combination was worth sharing instead. And surely you don’t mind another breakfast recipe?
Have a taste of Summer. Make it portable. Take time to savour it. Visualize all the possibilities which lays ahead in the weeks and months to come. We are almost there. Spring has sprung. Get ready for the next season ahead 🙂
A little note about this recipe; The rhubarb compote will make about four servings. You can pair it anyway you like really. It’s equally nice hot or cold. The compote will keep in the fridge for a few days. Personally I like the addition of chia seeds to my overnight oats as they help soak up the liquid and create a nice creamy consistency. That they are little power houses of nutrition is an added bonus. Use a plant based milk if you wish to keep the dish dairy free and use gluten free oats for a gluten free breakfast option. There isn’t much sugar in this recipe. I have only used honey to stew the rhubarb which also gives them an amazing flavour. No sugar added for the strawberries. If you do find the whole thing a little tart then adjust to your own taste preferences.
Overnight Oats with Earl Grey Infused Rhubarb Compote
For Rhubarb Compote:
4 stalks of rhubarb, washed & roughly chopped
2 tbsp raw clear honey – preferably local
1 Earl Grey tea bag
4 cardamom pods
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste – or vanilla extract
1 tbsp arrow root powder
100 ml water
For Lime Marinated Strawberries:
200g strawberries, washed and halved
juice of 1/2 lime
For Overnight Oats:
Approx 1/2 cup rolled oats, preferably organic – use gluten free if necessary
1 tbsp chia seeds
Milk of choice – enough to cover the oat mixture
Start by marinating the strawberries. Add strawberries and lime juice to a bowl and toss until the berries are well coated in the juice. Place the bowl in the fridge, covered, until you want to use them.
To make the Rhubarb Compote: Add the chopped rhubarb to a large heavy based saucepan. Add in the honey and stir until the rhubarb is well coated. Stew them gently on a medium heat until yo have a creamy consistency of rhubarb deliciousness. It will take about 30min. Once your compote is almost smooth, remove from heat. In the meantime make your tea by putting the tea bag plus the cardamom pods in a mug. Add about 100ml of boiling water. Cover the mug with a small plate and let the whole thing infuse for about 5 min. Take out the tea bag and pods before adding the tea to the rhubarb compote.
To thicken the compote mix 1 tbsp arrow root powder with 1 tbsp water in a glass, into a thick paste. Add the arrow root paste to the rhubarb compote and stir until it has thickened up. It will take about a minute. Add the vanilla bean paste in last thing and give the whole thing another whirl. You can serve the compote as it is, warm with anything creamy or keep it plain. To use it with your overnight oats for the following day, let it cool completely before you add it to the Kilner jar.
I have found using a Kilner jar the very best for practicality, so getting one is well worth the investment. Start by adding the rhubarb compote as the bottom layer. The add your rolled oats, plus chia seeds. Pour your choice of milk on top of the oats until just covered. Give the whole thing a twist with a spoon to get the chia seeds to spread evenly amongst the oats. Close the lid and store your jar in the fridge overnight. In the morning, just take the jar from the fridge and top with your lime marinated strawberries. Indulge having a dessert for breakfast. If you are on the run – simply grab and go for a date with Summer later.