The 8 Superfoods Chocolate Pudding

It’s been a while since I’ve posted…not because I haven’t been busy in the kitchen really – or even on the computer. It’s just that the two, along with the camera, haven’t been connecting lately. I guess that’s kind of my fault, huh?

It’s so easy for me to just get in the kitchen and “go with it” and I don’t think about blogging until later…when it’s usually too late.

And then there’s the recipes I try that aren’t even worth the pixels…or the megabytes on the hard drive. I’ve done a few of those lately. We have a lot of frozen bananas that need to be used up, so I’ve been experimenting. Hemp crackers sweetened with banana, Coconut cookies sweetened with banana, banana ice cream floats using vanilla water kefir… All VERY interesting experiments, but not anything I found favorable enough to share with you, my readers.

You’re welcome.

Anyhow, this recipe was a last minute accident. See, I made a smoothie for breakfast the other morning and had too much to drink at one time (EDIT: there was too much smoothie to drink at one meal :P ), so the smoothie remaining in the blender got doctored up with chia seeds, cocoa powder and honey. That went in a jar in the frig for an afternoon pre or post workout snack.

The end result was this delicious, nutrient dense, healthy chocolate pudding.

IMG_9648

Your children/family will never guess there are greens in this! I bet you wouldn’t either if you weren’t putting them in yourself. I think you’ll like it!

First let me tell you just a little bit about some of these power foods you are about to use…

IMG_9633

Baby spinach – I can’t tell you how many “Top 10 Superfoods” lists there are out there, but spinach seems to make it on to every one of them.  Packed with calcium, iron, folate, vitamin K, vitamin A and  beta-carotene, spinach is the king of healthy greens (though kale is fighting for it’s popularity status). I wonder how much Popeye the Sailor Man had to do with that… Did you know sale of spinach went up 30% during the decade the Popeye cartoon came out?

IMG_9678

Chia seeds are full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, phosphorus and manganese. These seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, so are very filling. Aztec Indians used to eat chia seeds for energy boosts and even used them as currency since they were so valued.

IMG_9651

Raw honey is one of the healthiest sweeteners available to us. Honey is a great source of the following vitamins: B1, B6, B12, C, E and Biotin. It also has anti-oxidant properties that help get rid of free radicals that destroy our cells. On top of that, it’s antibacterial. Eating local raw honey can also help fight against allergies. Cripple Creek Farms in Guthrie is where I get ours. You can take your own glass jars and Randy or Teresa will fill them for you. They are also working on opening their farm up for bee and goat dairy tours. Can’t wait!

IMG_9662

Blueberries are another nutrient packed food that makes its way on to many of the “top 10” lists. Like chia seeds, they fight free-radicals with their anti-oxidant properties and host numerous vitamins and minerals. Native Americans once called them “star berries,” because the five points of blueberry blossoms make a star shape. I like that!

IMG_9666

Cocoa powder/dark chocolate. While I can still argue that coffee is unhealthy, I’ve made up my mind about dark chocolate. No ifs, ands or buts about it, dark chocolate is definitely healthy. It lowers high blood pressure, is a potent anti-oxidant and makes people happy. So there ya go!

IMG_9657

Coconut oil is a healing oil. It is antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing. It’s good for just about everything and I’m always learning about other ways that it makes life better. In fact, my Mom recently sent me a link to a blog that uses a paste of coconut oil and baking soda to take sticky labels off glass bottles so they can be reused for storage containers. I’ve been using it since.

IMG_9674

So you want the recipe?

1/2 c. yogurt or milk kefir

1 handful baby spinach

2-4 T. chia seeds

1/2 avocado

2 T. honey, or to your taste

1/2 c. frozen blueberries

4 T. cocoa powder

1 T. coconut oil

IMG_9686

Chia Pudding with Mango, Strawberries and Coconut

Today was perfectly beautiful. The breeze was cool, the sun was warm…everything is so green from all the rain we’ve been having. It was one of those days that make you wish you could stick it in a bottle and save it for a stifling August afternoon.

No, I’m not even going to think about August. August doesn’t exist – not here, not now, not for me.

Instead, I’m going to think about Chia Pudding.

I mentioned this in my last post and I wonder about your reactions…did it sound terrible? Or are you just waiting for the recipe?

I hope you want the recipe because that’s what I’m giving you this fine evening. It is so SO good. And after you taste it you will never believe that it has no dairy, no gluten and no processed sugars.

It is so easy… and fast…and it looks good too.

Gee, it sounds like I’m trying to talk you into something, but I know you already want the recipe so here it is.

Chia Pudding with Mango, Strawberries and Coconut

1 8oz. package pitted dates

1 – 13.5 oz. can coconut milk

13.5 oz.  water

2 t. vanilla

1/4 c. chia seeds

1 carton strawberries, de-stemmed, washed and diced

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/4 shredded unsweetened coconut

Combine dates, vanilla, coconut milk, water and chia seeds in a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined – it won’t be quite smooth, but you’ll want the dates well blended – pour into a bowl and chill.

EDIT: Some people have had trouble with the pudding coming out too watery. I recommend, 1 – chilling your coconut milk before using and draining the watery liquid (simply poke a hole in the solid cream and drain over the sink), or 2 – going easy on the water until you can gauge what the consistency will be. Keep in mind that the chia seeds absorb the liquid, so it thickens as it chills.

Variations –

Christy commented below and left some great ideas – “I used dried figs, goji berries, apricots and prunes for the fruit ( it gave the pudding a beautiful apricot color),I also added a few dashes of cardamom.”

To satisfy a chocolate craving, add 1/8- 1/4 c. cocoa powder.

For a “less mess/less dishes” variation, use maple syrup or honey in place of the dates and water and stir together with a spoon. 

Anyone else have tasty variations? I’ll post them here. :D

Toss together fruit and coconut. Serve atop the pudding and garnish with mint leaves if you like.

Oh! And isn’t this bowl so cool? My sister, Sage, made it. I have such talented sisters. I hope someday to have an entire kitchen furnished with Sage’s pottery and Tera’s glass.

Anyhow, do let me know what you think if you try this recipe out. I think you’ll like it.