Strawberry Chia Pudding

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It’s only May and it already feels like the middle of summer in Florida.  Don’t worry, I’m not complaining, instead I’m loading up on summer foods.

Whenever the weather heats up, I always crave chia overnight oats, fresh fruit, big saladssmoothies, and for dessert? Ice cream.  During the hot summer months, I eat ice cream by the bowl full (usually at least 2 bowls).  Sometimes I don’t even bother with a bowl, I just grab the carton and a spoon and plop my butt on the couch.

This summer I’m attempting to kick my ice cream habit by eating healthier desserts.  Thursday night the craving hit.  What to do (insert puzzled, frightened face here)?  I knew I wanted something cold and fruity and luckily, I had a half eaten container of fresh strawberries in my fridge that needed to get eaten a.s.a.p.  I also had an entire bag of chia seeds – the beauty of chia seeds is when stirred with water, juice, or milk, they gel up and thicken, creating the most delightful pudding-like texture. No heat required! Always a bonus during summer months.

Strawberry Chia Pudding

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8oz (half container) fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Place strawberries, nondairy milk, agave, vanilla, and lime zest in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more agave if desired.
  2. Place the chia seeds in a large bowl, pour the strawberry mixture on top, and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 10 minutes and whisk again.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days (I left mine in overnight – this was the hard part because I wanted it then but I knew the wait would be worth it). Stir the pudding before serving. The longer it sits, the thicker the pudding will become; if you find that it is too thick, whisk in a little water or add a little more milk.
  4. Spoon into individual cups or bowls and garnish with more strawberries or bananas.
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This pudding is loaded with protein and fiber from the chia seeds and folate and Vitamin C from the delicious strawberries.  Making it the perfect (and healthy) temporary replacement for ice cream.  Hey, I never said I’m giving up ice cream, I just said I was going to cut back. We can’t all be perfect. ;)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

 

 

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