After ignoring the chia pudding trend for a number of years, I’m firmly on the bandwagon. Coconut chia pudding is creamy, delicious and incredibly satisfying. Requiring only 3 ingredients and some chill time in the fridge, coconut chia pudding is my favourite companion for a pint of ripe strawberries. Especially when I can’t resist buying local strawberries anytime I see them (anyone else have this problem?)! The red and white pairing makes Coconut & Strawberry Chia Pudding perfect for celebrating Canada’s 150+ years.
Convinced chia seeds were a health food trend that would fade away like other superfood fads, I didn’t give them a lot of attention. I also thought chia pudding would be a flavourless watery excuse for pudding. But, I’m happy to admit I was very wrong! On a whim inspired by the health-conscious expats in Bali, I tried a coconut chia pudding at one of the plentiful cafes in Canggu. Paired with fresh mango, I couldn’t get enough of the rich, silky pudding. Seriously, how could something simple be so tasty?
When I returned home to Canada I realized chia seeds were actually pretty affordable for a superfood. I’ve been playing around with them a lot, making chia seed jams, using them to thicken sauces, and adding them to overnight oats. However my favourite use is a simple coconut chia pudding. A bit of Internet research shows chia seeds are super good for you, in addition to being responsible for all those green-haired chia pets.
Although the mango chia pudding I had in Bali was tasty, I couldn’t think of a better accompaniment at home than fresh, Vancouver Island strawberries. I never knew how flavourful strawberries could be until I chanced upon a pint of local strawberries while living in Victoria. There’s something magical about strawberries grown on the Island. When ripe, they’re ruby red to the middle, and have an incomparable concentration of strawberry flavour. I think Coconut & Strawberry Chia Pudding is the perfect combination of tart, sweet, & silky. With no cooking required and short preparation time, it’s the easiest summer dessert I can think of (or breakfast if you’re feeling indulgent).
If you’re worried by the high fat content of coconut milk I have a few ideas:
- Water down the coconut milk or use low-fat
- Substitute almond milk or low fat dairy milk
- When serving, fill the middle of the bowls with fruit (I used a bit of pineapple) or extra strawberries so that each layer should need just a couple spoonfuls of pudding
- Or, just embrace full fat coconut milk and treat yourself! (This version tastes the best).
Gluten free almond tuiles are an elegant garnish and add a nice element of crunch to any pudding-based dessert. I’ll go into more detail on these in a different post, but wanted to include the recipe here as I’ve featured them with my coconut chia puddings. They’re completely gluten free, using nutty buckwheat flour in place of white flour. I was really happy with how they turned out, even using my new favourite magic ingredient, aquafaba. If you don’t have time for almond tuiles, the coconut & strawberry chia puddings will still be delicious and already have texture variation from all the fresh fruit.
I intended to publish this recipe on Canada Day because of the contrasting red and white colours, paying homage to our national flag. Although I didn’t quite get it done on time, I think it’s still relevant on this Canada Day long weekend and especially as Canada celebrates 150+ years of history this year. I like to remember, amongst all the celebrations of Canadiana, that this is a colonial holiday. Canada’s history is actually quite dark, based on unkept promises and betrayal (even cultural genocide) of the First Nations of this land. Although reconciliation is moving forward, and Canada has become known as tolerant, diverse country, there’s still a long way to go.
I feel very lucky to call Canada home. Leaving the country for nearly 2 years made me appreciate the immense amount of privilege and wealth we have here. I love our wild and expansive lands, and the diverse group of people that inhabit them. I can’t wait to spend more time exploring my own country!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, enjoying the summertime! Coconut & Strawberry Chia Pudding is a perfect accompaniment for watching those spectacular sunsets, just saying… But, remember to make the pudding at least 4 hours before enjoying.
Coconut & Strawberry Chia Pudding (Vegan and GF)
Coconut Chia Pudding
- 1 400 ml can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups ripe strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp can sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2-3 cups ripe strawberries (reserved for presentation)
- Whisk all Coconut Chia Pudding ingredients together. Transfer to a glass container. Store covered in the fridge for 4-6 hours, stirring periodically to make sure the pudding sets evenly.
- Mix together all strawberry sauce ingredients. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Optional: Puree the strawberry sauce together and simmer over med-low heat for about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving with chia pudding.
- Serving presentation: Halve or thickly slice reserved strawberries. Place a large spoonful of chia pudding at the bottom of 4 glass jars or bowls. Line with strawberry slices. Place a couple strawberries or other fruits in the middle of the jars. Cover with a layer of chia pudding. Add a layer of strawberry sauce on top. Again line the jars or bowls with strawberry slices with a few more pieces of fruit in the middle. Top with another layer of chia pudding.
- Garnish puddings with a small spoonful of strawberry sauce and sliced fruit. To be extra dramatic, add a Gluten Free Almond Tuile to each pudding.
Gluten Free Almond Tuiles (Vegan)
- 4 tbsp aquafaba*
- 1/2 cup almonds (ground fine in food processor)
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup sliced, natural almonds
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, beat or whisk aquafaba liquid until frothy, about 1 minute. Add all other ingredients to the bowl. Beat or whisk everything together until well combined, 1-2 minutes.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, drop rounded spoonfuls of batter onto the sheet. Evening space 6 tuiles on the cookie sheet. Slightly spread batter out into a small circle. Don't be too fussy though, as they'll spread a lot more once in the oven. Sprinkle a few sliced almonds on top of each tuile.
- Bake tuiles for 7 minutes, until just starting to brown on the outsides. Flip the tray around and bake for another 2 minutes, until most of the tuiles are golden brown, but still a bit pale at the centre.
- Allow tuiles to cool on the tray until starting to firm up, about 1 minute. Gently transfer to a cooling rack.
- Repeat baking process with the remaining tuile batter. Give the batter a quick whisk before making each batch of tuiles. Use a fresh piece of parchment paper after making 2-3 batches.
- Store tuiles at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.