Sunday, January 11, 2015

Coconut Chia Pudding

Coconut Chia Pudding: Serving

Recent trips to Fashion Island have introduced us to a tasty application of chia seeds: coconut chia pudding, which we spotted at True Food Kitchen as well as Le Pain Quotidien. True Food Kitchen adorned theirs with banana and coconut chips, and Le Pain Quotidien used a seasonal fruit compote as topping, as well as seasoning the chia seeds with lemon, mango, and agave syrup. Given that our sample of True Food Kitchen's rendition was quite tasty, we thought, why not make this at home?

Coconut Chia Pudding: Ingredients

So that's what we ended up doing. In the process of purchasing coconut milk, we ran into a cool ingredient--coconut nectar--and decided to use that as sweetener instead of sugars or syrups. The Big Tree Farms Organic Amber Coconut Nectar is a decadent ingredient-- it has a very condensed, dark, roasted, and rich coconut flavor which provides great depth of flavor to whatever you're adding it to.

Coconut Chia Pudding: Chia Seeds

Making the chia pudding was very simple. First, start off with chia seeds.

Coconut Chia Pudding: Coconut Nectar into Chia Seeds
Coconut Chia Pudding: Mixed Coconut Nectar with Chia Seeds

Then, mix the coconut nectar thoroughly into the chia seeds, making sure to cover the chia seeds well with the nectar. I do this for the chia to first soak in the nectar, in hopes of getting some more flavor.

Coconut Chia Pudding: Pouring Coconut Milk to Coconut Nectar Chia Seeds

Pour in the coconut milk, mixing the chia seeds as you go so that there are not clumps of the nectar and seeds in the mixture.

Coconut Chia Pudding: Mixed Ingredients

Mix well, and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight, before serving. I usually make this at night in preparation for breakfast the next day. You'll want the chia seeds to have absorbed the liquid so that it can gel and thicken the mixture into a pudding.

The result, along with some crisped up coconut chips, is a rich, scrumptious coconut chia pudding. The key flavor booster is the nectar, which provides the pleasant depth of flavor, while the crisped up coconut chips provide a texture contrast to the otherwise smooth pudding. We like it on yogurt, as well as by itself-- it's a tasty, creamy, coconut-flavored snack.

Coconut Chia Pudding
You'll need:
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons amber coconut nectar
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup coconut milk (1 cup for a looser texture)
  • coconut chips (for garnish, optional)
1. Put chia seeds into a bowl for mixing purposes
2. Pour coconut nectar into the bowl, and mix well with the chia seeds
3. Pour in the coconut milk, stirring continuously as the coconut milk is added to the mixture to prevent lumps
4. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator prior to serving.
5. Right before serving, mix pudding to evenly distribute the ingredients. See if the texture is to your liking-- if it is too thick, add some more coconut milk and taste. If you want a sweeter pudding, add more nectar or other sweetener.
7. Enjoy by itself, or with other foods. (garnish with coconut chips, toasted)

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