Happy Friday, everyone!
Today is a beautiful day, and not just for one reason. First, it marks two years since my precious little Eowyn was born. She was rather attached to my uterus and fought with all her might to stay cozied up in my tummy, but after a week of induction efforts, she finally decided to grace us all with her presence. She brings such joy to my heart, and I truly can’t imagine what our family would be like without her. We have loads of fun planned for this evening and weekend, including “meow” cupcakes, presents, and a trip to the zoo. The forecast predicts sun, so I am hoping for one of those rare, gorgeous spring days we sometimes have here in Seattle.
Secondly, today is a good day because I am feeling so much better physically and emotionally than I was at the beginning of the week. The chiropractor really worked his magic during my appointment on Wednesday, and as of this moment, I’m nearly pain free. The ups-and-downs of the postpartum period take their toll, but the clouds are parting and the light is shining through a little more each day.
And finally, reason number three why today has gotten off to a glorious start…this chocolate chia pudding parfait. Call it dessert, call it breakfast, call it whatever you want – all I know is that I am going to start making it on a regular basis! This treat reads decadent, but it is so chock-full of nutrients, including healthy Omega-3s, potassium, and fiber, that you could eat it every day and feel good about the choice.
Layers of frozen banana puree, chocolate chia pudding, and fresh strawberries create a flavor profile that is familiar yet different. The pudding isn’t as silky as might come to mind when considering its typical nature, but the tapioca-esque texture contrasts nicely with the smooth banana. Chunks of strawberry provide a spring-y brightness that brings it all together.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups frozen banana slices (about 1 ½ ripe bananas)
- 1/3 cup milk plus more if needed to blend
- 2/3 cup chopped strawberries
- Prepare the pudding ahead of time by combining 1 cup milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder to remove any clumps, then whisk vigorously until all of the ingredients are incorporated (the cocoa powder is sometimes stubborn during this step, but I find tilting the bowl to the side helps the liquid absorb it more quickly). Place the chocolate chia pudding mixture in a lidded container and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight to thicken. Stir occasionally as it chills.
- Prior to serving, blend the frozen banana slices and 1/3 cup of milk together in a high-powered blender, adding more milk, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to blend. (You may, as an alternative, use a food processor to make a banana puree. In this instance, the milk may not be necessary at all.)
- To serve, place the chocolate chia pudding, banana puree, and strawberries in 2 tall glasses or jars in alternating layers. Garnish with a strawberry on top if you want it to be fancy schmancy.
Tips and Tidbits
- If you are serving this as a dessert (or even if you’re not!), feel free to add in a layer of semisweet chocolate chips. They’ll add richness and a wonderful crunchy texture.
- While strawberries seemed like a natural marriage to me, you could substitute in other fruits according to your taste. Fresh or frozen blueberries or cherries would be tasty!
- I use cow’s milk when preparing this for my own family, but non-dairy milks work just as well, making this an excellent vegan option.
- Serving the chia chocolate pudding in parfait form makes it fun and adds additional flavor, but if you want to keep it extra simple, the pudding is scrumptious all on its own.