Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding (Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free)
Apparently, we’re officially in a heat bubble, which seems to be weather scientist’s way of saying, “it’s too damn hot.” It hit almost 100 degrees yesterday, which means that walking outside in NYC kind of feels like walking into a sealed off bathroom after someone’s just taken a long, hot shower. Hot. Muggy. Miserable to breathe.
Needless to say, not a lot of cooking has been happening around here. My attire has swung toward super easy (read: un-styled curly hair, loose, flowy dresses, flip flops whenever possible) and my food has slipped steadily in the same direction. There have been days this week where my dinner has been raw cheddar cheese mushed onto tortilla chips and dipped into salsa (I call these the Too Hot for Nachos Nachos, and you shouldn’t knock them until you try them). Along the same lines, this strawberries and cream chia pudding has become my staple breakfast.
It’s so freaking easy. Blend, pour, let sit, and you’re done. It takes maybe 3 working minutes, and it’s so cold and creamy and smooth when you take it out of the fridge to eat it that your hands might literally begin to spontaneously applaud. The taste is like the best strawberry milkshake you’ve had – if you were a strawberry Nesquik child like me, this harkens back to that. Plus, it’s pink! (Some) science (somewhere) has proven that kids are drastically more likely to eat healthy food if it’s pink.
And woo boy, is this baby healthy. Chia seeds are one of those trendy superfoods that actually live up to their hype. They’re packed with protein and are made of almost 40% fiber, which makes them one of the most fiber-rich foods in the world. It means you’ll be full well-through lunch time, while at the same time soothing your gut with chia’s gelatinous coating and helping to scrub any waste from your intestinal tract. They also contain good fats and antioxidants that will make your skin glow. Paired with Vitamin C-rich strawberries, which boost collagen production (read: no more wrinkles) AND immunity, and antiviral, antibacterial, fat-burning coconut milk, you’ve got yourself a summer health and beauty elixir.
- 1 cup hulled, halved strawberries
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat and lite both work well; you can use other types of non-dairy milk as well, the results may just not be as creamy)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes before draining well
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- Blend together all ingredients except for chia seeds until very smooth. Spoon chia seeds into a large jar or container with lid, then pour strawberry milk mixture over. Close the jar lid and shake well to evenly distribute the chia seeds, or simply stir until all chia seeds are well distributed throughout strawberry milk. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (I just do it overnight, so it's ready to go when I wake up in the morning) in the fridge. Top with additional strawberries, if desired, to serve; serve cold. Makes 2 servings that will keep for up to one week in the fridge.