Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple Pie Chia Pudding with Coconut Whipped Cream

For the past two months I've been slowly incorporating more and more raw food into my life.  If you've been following me on Pinterest, you may have picked up on that based on all of the raw recipes I've been pinning.  Now, of course, a raw meal can easily be as simple as some sliced carrots and celery with a handful of almonds, or a giant salad of romaine hearts sprinkled with sunflower seeds and chopped pecans.  I, however, have the heart of a cook.  I crave adventure, fun flavor combinations, and variety.

Recently I've been playing around with the ancient energy food: Chia seed (I've always had a love for tapioca pudding -- this is the raw answer to that craving).  I am so fascinated by the ability the charcoal colored seed has to swell up and surround itself with water -- essentially turning itself into a pearl-filled pudding with nothing more than a soak in some liquid.

Yesterday I came up with this tasty "Apple Pie" inspired pudding that can serve as breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack.  Dessert for lunch -- what could be better?

If you like tapioca pudding, I think will love this!  Not only is does it taste delicious, but the Chia seed (rich in Omega 3 fatty acid) and coconut cream (full of dietary fiber, good fats, potassium and vitamin C among other things) are energizing live food that will give a great boost to your day.

Apple Pie Chia Pudding (raw recipe)

Apple Pie Chia Pudding with Coconut Whipped Cream

Approximately 360 calories.  Click here for a complete nutritional analysis.

Free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy.  Can also be nut free if pecans are omitted from topping.

(NOTE: The can of coconut milk for the Coconut Whipped Cream needs to chill in the refrigerator overnight, and the Chia pudding needs to set up for at least 20 minutes before eating, so take that into account before starting this recipe.)

Makes: 1 serving

Chia Pudding
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
2 tablespoons Chia seed (I use this one -- best price I've found on Amazon)
A pinch each of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon diced dried apples (and some finely chopped or grated fresh apple, if you'd like)
Splash of maple syrup, honey, agave nectar or Stevia if needed

Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can coconut milk (I like Taste of Thai brand -- your results may vary with other brands)
splash maple syrup, honey, agave nectar or Stevia
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Freshly grated nutmeg
Finely chopped pecans
Finely chopped dried apples

To make the whipped cream:
Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.  (Haven't tried putting it in the freezer for a shorter time period, but if you have success with that, let me know.)  Open the can of chilled coconut milk, and you will find that the top has solidified into a thick cream.  Scoop cream off the top, leaving the watery part for shakes or some other use.  Add to taste: maple syrup (my favorite!) or your sweetener of choice.  Add vanilla if desired.  Whip with a fork or a whisk until fully combined.   Put cream back in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.  It will get thicker the colder it gets.

To make the pudding:
Combine milk, Chia seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried (and/or fresh) apples.  Taste for sweetness and stir in a little bit of your sweetener of choice if needed.  Allow it to set up on the counter for 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator if you'd like to leave it longer (I've done this the night before to have it ready for breakfast).

Apple Pie Chia Pudding (raw recipe)

To assemble:
Give the pudding a good stir with a fork, breaking up clumps.  Top the pudding with a few spoonfuls of the coconut whipped cream.  Sprinkle with the toppings.  Enjoy!!

Apple Pie Chia Pudding (raw recipe)

If you have a favorite way to eat Chia seed, let me know!

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