A lot of people ask what the secret is in the rich creamy chia pudding that I make. I respond to them, "aside from a lot of love, the secret is to use pure coconut milk”.
Many people confuse coconut milk beverage for pure coconut milk.
The beverage is a compilation of additives such as sugar, vitamins, minerals, gums, natural flavors, lecithin, and carrageenan. Used for milk substitutions in cereal, coffee, etc. it is often a blend of water and coconut cream.
Pure coconut milk, made with coconut milk as the only ingredient, is usually found in cans in the Asian food section of your grocery store. If you have a favorite local Asian food market, you may find pure coconut milk in aseptic packaging.
The variety I buy to make my famous chia pudding is 100% pure coconut milk from cans that have a BPA free lining.
There are no added gums, carrageenan, preservatives or sulfites. This makes a big difference in not only the health of you and our environment but also in taste and texture.
Pure coconut milk is rich, thick, and creamy, and makes the best base for chia puddings.
To make coconut milk from scratch, combine unsweetened coconut flakes (buy sulfite-free) with water in a blender. Blend well then strain off the chunks.
Here is a recipe and how-to guide for you.
This is a delicious and pure food filled with healthy fats and valuable nutrients, but won't work the best for chia puddings.
For the creamiest coconut milk chia pudding, use store bought pure coconut milk!
On a side note, while you can make chia pudding with a variety of plant based milks, you won't have the same results. Pure coconut milk is thick, creamy, and rich.
Many plant based milks are formulated "beverage style" with additives. They are also more watery.
Again, the secret to the creamiest, richest, chia pudding is to use pure coconut milk.
So now that you know my secret to the best coconut milk chia pudding it's time to make your own. Here is a basic coconut milk chia pudding recipe:
VANILLA CHIA PUDDING (makes 2-3 servings)
1 (14oz) can full fat pure coconut milk (My favorite brand is Aroy-D)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Optional: shredded coconut, fresh fruit, granola to top
Add pure coconut milk to a mason jar (with cover) and whisk until blended and smooth. Add vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, and whisk.
Add chia seeds and immediately whisk until fully incorporated. Chia seeds clump fast so work quickly in this stage. Put the cover on and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning add shredded coconut, fresh fruit, and granola. Indulge in this perfect chia pudding parfait and enjoy!
CHEF'S NOTE: If you don't use full fat pure coconut milk you may need to increase the chia seeds to thicken the pudding. Full fat pure coconut milk is so thick already that the chia seeds are not thickening it, rather they are just adding protein and more nutrients.
NUTRITION NOTE: I have never been afraid of fat and have maintained a healthy weight my whole life. The fat in coconut milk is fuel for your brain and energy for your body. You need healthy fat to live a healthy life. Having said that, if you have gallbladder issues you may want to stick to another plant based milk and double the chia seeds to thicken. It will still taste good, but the texture will be different. As well, if you suffer from IBS you may want to reduce the serving size to a FODMAP Friendly amount.
Now that I have divulged my secret I look forward to hearing your stories of making your own coconut milk chia pudding and what fun flavors you come up.
Post comments and pics below!
For all you banana bread fans who either want to cut down on the amount of wheat you are consuming or are gluten intolerant, here is a DELICIOUS recipe I created for you:
2 cups Gluten Free flour blend (I used Trader Joe’s, but also recommend King Arthur's)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 organic eggs (try substituting 6 T water plus 2 T ground flax meal to make vegan)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (try coconut oil also)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed bananas (if you are able to find apple bananas try 4 of these!)
If you want to learn more about gluten free baking then join me at my upcoming class at Frinklepod Farm in Arundel, Maine on Sunday, November 18 from 2-5pm. REGISTER HERE. Space is limited!
If you want more recipes on gluten free baking, check out my past blogpost that contains mexican chocolate chip cookies and sundried tomato basil muffins. Bye Bye wheat, hello yum!
One word to describe my breakfast today, YUMMY! Have you ever thought of eating chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast? Well I do, quite often, but just didn’t know how to justify it on days other than Valentine’s. Today, it is officially justifiable!
I created a smoothie which in just one small serving has 6 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, and an abundance of antioxidants, vitamin C & E, calcium, iron, and other minerals.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hal-leeee-lu-jah! OK, I know I am bit overexcited about this one, but at first sip it literally tasted like I just pureed a chocolate covered strawberry. So for something to be this healthy and taste so divine is definitely exciting.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie – makes one small serving
1 cup frozen strawberries (grab fresh strawberries from the farmers market & freeze)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 heaping teaspoon pure cocoa powder (use raw cacao if your a purist)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or to taste)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour in cup. Drink and smile.
Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash
Here is a recipe I created that will make your morning more glorious…If you want to sub spelt flour for the all purpose flour, go for it! Or maybe sub coconut oil or applesauce for the vegetable oil. You could also experiment with lessening the white sugar and subbing with a bit of maple syrup or honey. As usual, I encourage you to play with your food, be creative and have fun!
And of course make every morning, glorious!
Stacey’s Morning Glory Muffins
2/3 cup raisins
2 cups organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons water & 1 Tablespoon flaxmeal (or add one more egg)
2 organic eggs (or flax eggs: 2 Tbsp flaxmeal, 6 Tbsp water, let sit till thick)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 – 15oz can of crushed pineapple, drained. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice
Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash
In a recent cooking class I used the dried powder of a root called Maca to enhance the malty caramel notes in a raw truffle. Ok well I also used it to boost the libido of those who ate the truffles too, tee hee.
When I told my students this their eyes lit up and they all acted like giddy teenagers. Of course they all wanted to know more about this interesting plant that only grows naturally in the mountains of Peru.
Maca is a vegetable that has been used as a food and medicine by Peruvians for thousands of years, over a 100 years in Chinese medicine, and is now rising in use in the global market...and for good reasons. It is thought to be an adaptogen herb that boosts libido and fertility, reduces the stress response, balances hormones, aids in anemic conditions, and is an all around tonic.
The root of the maca plant is the part primarily used and is dried into a powder. This powder is creamy yellow in color and has a malty flavor to it. The way Westerners use it is to add it to smoothies, shakes, raw desserts, porridge, and baked goods. The Peruvians generally would boiled it, ferment it, and make a porridge.
Whether the Western way of just adding the dried root powder works as effectively as the boiled and fermented version is something for you to simply experiment with and see. I have personally experienced and heard from clients that the dried root powder has worked great. All happy clients for sure!
If you are interested in learning more about this plant here are some good reputable sources. This article from the University of Michigan is short and sweet. But if you want solid info and research data, check out this article from the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health.
If you are already sold and want to explore this amazing plant's tonic and balancing properties, then go to your local health food store and purchase a quality brand of maca root powder. Again you can add it to your favorite smoothie recipes, hot oatmeal or quinoa porridge, raw truffles, or protein shake. Or check out The Maca Team website for a database of recipes and ideas.
And comment below if this herb brings you any magic ;)
Love and vitality to you....
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.