Does anyone remember as a kid eating those Jello Pudding Cups that were layered with vanilla and chocolate pudding as a snack? Now I grew up in a house where that Jello Pudding was probably the most processed snack my mom would buy for us, but her and I still talk about some of the foods we used to eat and what we would de differently if we knew then what we know now.
Luckily today we have come so far in the world of healthy snacks, especially as far as kids are concerned, and have plenty of healthy options. As a dietitian I love that people are so energized about food, healthy eating, sustainable food systems, and an overall wholesome lifestyle. But what pains me is when I get calls from my friends and family who are so confused by all the nonsense that is marketed about food and our health today. Now there really is no easy way to seamlessly maneuver through all of the false health claims and pretty packaging, but if there is one thing I know for certain, most of the time if it sounds to good to be true...it probably is.
Except for this chocolate chia seed pudding :)
Now chia seed pudding is not something that is new to the world of health blogging, but it is new to me. Mostly because I have tried time and time again to make a chia pudding recipe that I actually enjoy as much as that good old Jello Pudding from the package...trust me guys this is way, way better!
Most of the time I will read recipes of beautiful, mouth watering desserts that are also health conscious, only to discover that they taste pretty disgusting, and chia pudding was one of those desserts that over the years I have been disappointed by time and time again. But finally I have a recipe that just tastes good (should I even say great?!) This is such an incredible fiber rich, low-calorie, decadent dessert or snack that just works for hitting the sweet spot, and will make you forget that it actually is pretty darn healthy too.
Have I won you over yet? Trust me this one is worth trading in your pre-packaged anything for.
CHOCOLATE COCONUT CHIA PUDDING
serves 4, 6 oz servings
- 3/4 Cup Light Canned Coconut Milk (store in refrigerator until ready to use)
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/3 Cup Chia Seeds (whole not ground)
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cacao Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract or 1/4 Scrapped Vanilla Bean
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1.5 Tsp Cinnamon
- 4 Pitted Medjool Dates
- Optional Toppings: Shaved Coconut, Berries, Dark Chocolate Shavings, Raw Cacao Nibs
- Place canned coconut milk in the refrigerator and allow to cool overnight if possible. This will allow the cream from the coconut milk to separate from the liquid in the can.
- Remove coconut milk from the refrigerator and scoop the white cream from the top of the can. Measure out 3/4 cup of cream/liquid coconut milk (some cans will have more cream than others).
- Next, combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until pudding mixture is smooth and has started to thicken. Note: You also have the option to leave out the chia seeds and simply stir them into the mixture after blending for a different textured chia pudding, much more similar to rice pudding than your traditional smooth pudding.
- Pour pudding into individual serving sizes, or a medium sized mason jar and allow to cool overnight.
- Serve after chilled and top with toppings of your choice. Some of my favorites are cacao nibs, shaved coconut, dark chocolate shavings, all berries, or almond butter.
Note: This is not a sweet dessert and is more in line with a bitter 80% dark chocolate flavor profile. I personally like to add sweetness with fresh berries and shaved dark chocolate, however if you want to add more sweetness I would recommend adding 1.5 tsp of natural maple syrup for a little natural sweetness.