I don’t post many recipes here. While I have grand ideas about all the recipe testing I’m going to do in my spare time, the reality is I’m more of a recipe follower than a recipe developer. So I get very excited when I actually have one to share with you. This chia pudding was inspired by a vending machine. That’s right, a vending machine. In a hotel. In Chicago. I unexpectedly discovered and then delighted in the Pineapple Coconut Chia Pudding created by Farmer’s Fridge and I did my best to create my own version of it.
Let’s first talk about the fact that I ate pudding. I’ve been honest about my texture issues before. Cream pies, cottage cheese, and oatmeal are not things I like to willingly put in my mouth. But for some reason, on this morning in Chicago, chia pudding sounded appetizing. I can’t explain it. And now I’m a total convert.
Now granted, I have upped the texture quotient here. It’s not a big bowl of mush. It’s a bowl of thick, creamy sweetness completely overtaken by the crunch of chia seeds, the burst of juicy pomegranate arils, and the satisfying chew of oversized coconut flakes.
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup coconut milk (I used Chaokoh brand)
- ¼ cup yogurt (I used Fage 2% Greek plain)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1½ cups pomegranate seeds or arils
- 1 tablespoon large shred coconut
- In a quart-sized liquid measuring cup or medium bowl whisk together pineapple juice, coconut milk, yogurt, vanilla, salt, and honey until smooth.
- Then whisk in chia seeds.
- Pour into 3 small jars or bowls and refrigerate several hours until set.
- Top each serving with ½ cup pomegranate arils and 1 teaspoon coconut.
The nutrition facts are outstanding for a breakfast. Just 250 calories, 7 g protein and 10 g fiber, not to mention 15% of the Daily Value for calcium. And a note about the sugar…one of the most misleading values on labels is the sugar. Currently it includes both added sugar (like corn syrup, honey, or actual granulated sugar) and natural sugar (like fructose from fruit, lactose from milk). A new label, expected in July of 2018, will add a new line called “added sugar” to separate this value from the total sugars. Though some companies are ahead of the curve and have already switched over. So while my recipe contains 21 g of total sugar, it only has 4 g of added sugar. The rest is coming from the yogurt, pineapple juice, and pomegranate.
These 8 oz. jars may look small, but trust me, it’s a filling portion. The full recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups, so each of the three servings is a generous 1/3 cup of pudding before toppings are added. But if you feel like you need more to be satisfied in the morning, just divide the recipe into two servings instead. The nutrition facts would still be pretty fabulous and you’d bump from 250 calories to just 375 per serving.
Other possible recipe modifications would be varying the fruit on top. Pomegranates are seasonal of course (October through February), but I know the pudding would lend itself to pineapple (as in the original inspirational recipe), but I think also berries, banana, or mango. I’m going to give it a go with thinly sliced cranberries too!
I just looked back to see when I last posted a recipe. Turns out it was July; 5 long months ago. Let’s hope you think this extra creamy, red and white, vending-machine-inspired recipe has been worth the wait.
How do you feel about mushy foods? Have you made a convert of yourself with a particular recipe? I’d love to hear about it.