No Chia Pet jokes here, friends, just the facts about a healthy chocolate breakfast or anytime pudding. If you like a thinner pudding, add more nondairy milk. If you like a sweeter pudding, add more maple syrup. After eating 2 to 3 gelatos a day in Italy for the last few weeks, I turned to this recipe to help me transition back to more normal eating. I hope you will enjoy this simple to make pudding too. Even if you haven’t liked the consistency of chia puddings before, I hope you will try this one. Don’t skip the stirring, waiting, stirring steps. It where the magic happens.
Chocolate, Date, and Coconut Chia Pudding
Makes 3 to 4 servings
- 2 ounces / 60 grams pitted Medjool dates (about 4 large) or an equal amount of another variety of date
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml very hot water
- 1 1/4 cups / 300 ml almond milk or coconut milk beverage, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 26 grams dried shredded coconut, divided, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons / 12 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
- 1/4 cup / 40 grams chia seeds, white or black
- Put the dates in a small bowl. Pour the water over the dates and set aside for 15 minutes or until very soft.
- While the dates soak, purée 1/2 cup / 120 ml of the milk, 3 tablespoons of the coconut, the cocoa powder, and the salt in a blender. Add the remaining milk and the maple syrup and blend for 30 seconds.
- Add the dates and any soaking liquid and blend until mostly puréed (some small pieces of dates are fine).
- Pour the mixture into a 2-cup measure. Add enough additional milk to equal 2 cups / 480 ml, if necessary.
- Mix the chia seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the coconut in a medium bowl.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the chia and coconut and whisk vigorously. Repeat twice at 5-minute intervals. Wait 10 minutes and whisk again.
- Refrigerate the pudding for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days ahead. Whisk a few times, when you think of it, to prevent clumps of chia in the pudding.
Whisk the pudding and serve in small bowls sprinkled with toasted coconut.
The pudding can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to two days. Whisk before serving.
The photo by Annie Oliverio shows this pudding dressed up with cream. I’ve done the same by layering the pudding with the Cashew Cream in Vegan Chocolate. You could make the pudding even more of a serious dessert by drizzling some chocolate sauce over the top too. What do you think?
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, (Running Press 2013). Photos by Annie Oliverio.