Tropical Chia Seed Pudding

in Recipes

When I returned from Thailand after living abroad for five months I was on a tropical fruit kick. In Thailand, I had chowed down on the most deliciously ripe pineapple, fresh mango, mangosteen, and jackfruit everyday. Don’t even get me started on jackfruit. I’m obsessed. Why isn’t it grown in Arizona again? Must be a desert problem.

Anyways… mango. Let’s talk mango. In Thailand I watched mango grow and ripen right before my eyes as I walked past little mango trees in front of homes throughout my village. When it was golden and ripe I stared (yes stared) at the fruit eagerly awaiting its arrival to the evening market. The town I lived in, Mukdahan, had a wonderful market every night where people from the surrounding areas of the village would set up shop with their delicious foods. Once mango was ripe and ready to go, it became a night market staple. Old women would sit behind tables overflowing with piles of golden mango, passing out plastic bags to any onlooker who stopped in front of the mouthwatering display. (This was obviously me.) I would eagerly fill bags of glorious mango while the old Thai woman stared at the psycho blonde getting too excited about fruit, and pay around three American dollars for mounds of mango. Life was good.

As you can see, I was on a mango kick. Upon returning to the United States I needed to get my fix. You better believe I did. And continue to do so…

This chia seed pudding has mangooo! Vitamin A rich mango, fiber rich mango, potassium packed mango, glorious juicy mango. It is so delightful and may even evoke thoughts of Thailand, night markets, and old Thai woman too! Well at least it does for me…

On to the pudding! Chia seed pudding is one of my favorites. I love making it in a big batch and letting it sit in the fridge to use later in the week as a quick and versatile snack or meal. If you’ve never tasted its wonders, you’ll find that chia seed pudding has a texture similar to tapioca and rice pudding. You may love it or you may loathe it, but I’m all over the stuff. If you’ve never tried, now is your time. The night markets of Thailand are calling!

So, those crazy little seeds. Because they can absorb up to 12 times their weight, chia seeds magically turn into a creamy pudding when liquid is added to them. They are incredibly nutritious for your beaming bod too. Chia seeds are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which do a whole host of important functions for your ticker, including reducing inflammation and decreasing blood pressure. Chia also contains calcium, which promotes strong and healthy bones, and fiber for a smooth moving digestion system.

Tropical Thai pudding goodness awaits you. Bon voyage & Sawatdeeka!

Tropical Chia Seed Pudding

Makes 2 small servings, or 1 large serving

1 cup coconut or almond milk, unsweetened
¼ cup plus 2 T chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T honey
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2-3 ripe mangos, depending on how much mango goodness you want
1 banana

Combine coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla, honey, and coconut flakes a bowl. Whisk to combine completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until mixture begins to resemble a thick pudding.

Once chia pudding has set, make the mango/banana layer. In a food processor or blender combine peeled and chopped mango with banana. Blend until smooth and creamy.

In small glasses, layer chia seed pudding with mango/banana mixture. Top with extra coconut, mango, and almonds if desired. Enjoy!

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