Aloha Meatless Monday friends! Big thanks to my friend, Meg Bollenback, who is guest co hosting for me today with Tina Muir. Please check out her lovely recipe and show her some love. The linkup will work the same and Meg will be checking out your recipes today. How fun!
Hi everyone! I’m Meghan and I am so excited to say hi to you and guest post for Deborah today! I blog over at Meg Bollenback and have enjoyed participating in the Meatless Monday link-up for many months now. So many great recipes are posted each week, and I am really happy to share in the hosting duties today.
I thought I’d tell you a little about myself before I get into today’s recipe. I live in Alexandria, Virginia (not too far from Deborah!) and am an absolute food and cooking lover at heart. Always have been, always will be. I love so many things about food, particularly how it helps me show love to those I care about, how it reminds me of different travels I’ve been on, and because it calms me down. I feature recipes that range from meatless (I’m a huge veggie lover), to easy one-pan dinners, to Chinese and Taiwanese favorites that I’m learning thanks to my fiancé and his mom in my Wok This Way series. You can check out my recipe box on my Eats and Treats page. My goal is to show that cooking with whole foods and making dishes for yourself or family can be a simple and relatively quick task. Making a healthy meal or dish isn’t as hard as many people think!
Besides cooking, I really love learning about and supporting the local and sustainable food movements. About a month ago, I announced that I’m writing a storybook/cookbook about the local food and drink scene of western Loudoun
So, let’s get into today’s recipe! I have to thank my sister for turning me onto the idea of chia pudding; she’s recently adopted the habit making it for breakfast and has told me for a couple months now how easy and delicious it is. After making this one, I have to agree with her! I loved this recipe for three reasons:
- It only took a couple minutes to prep (though it did need to chill overnight, or for at least 5 hours).
- By prepping it in a jar, I was ready to take it with me in the car in the morning on my way out to do book interviews in Loudoun.
- It’s a cool breakfast! Literally – it’s chilled! This is super appealing to me right now because the east coast has become a thick, insurmountable brick wall of humidity. I often feel the need to stick my face in the fridge for a moment to wake up in the morning.
From a health perspective, I like eating chia seeds because they contain a great dose omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. This kept me full all morning after eating it, and I liked the pudding-like texture.
I also like that this recipe is easy to customize in terms of toppings. The flavor of this pudding is similar to angel food cake and that inspired me to use various berries and cherries that are plentiful in farmers markets right now. If you’re not a fan of berries or cherries, not to fret! At the bottom of this recipe, I list out some other topping ideas that I think would be delicious to try with this as the summer goes on and melons and other fruits start to come into season.
Vanilla-Almond Chia Pudding with Berries and Cherries
Makes 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: At least 5 hours or overnight
¾ cup of vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 to 3 tablespoons chia seeds (use more for a thicker pudding-like consistency, use less for a soupier consistency)
2 to 3 teaspoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 strawberries, sliced
¼ cup blueberries
5 or 6 frozen cherries
1 or 2 fresh mint leaves, optional
In a jar that has a lid or bowl, combine the almond milk, chia seeds, agave syrup, vanilla and almond extracts. Close the lid on the container and give it a good shake! If using a bowl, just stir to combine everything together and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill in the fridge overnight, or for at least five hours. This time allows the pudding to set. You can also prep your berries in a separate container and leave them to grab in the morning.
When you’re ready to eat or take with you in the morning on your way to work, school, wherever your daily adventure takes you, just add the berries and cherries on top of the pudding. Top with a mint leaf if you have it available – it complements the sweetness from the berries really well.
Additional topping ideas for summer:
– Fresh or frozen watermelon chunks with a spritz of fresh lime juice
– Cantaloupe and honeydew melon chunks with chopped pistachios
– Slices of peaches or plums (would be great to add blueberries to this, too!)
– Slices of banana, strawberry, coconut flakes and mini chocolate chips (why not?)