One of my resolutions for 2015 is to create more balance in my life. So much of your twenties is about outcomes: you work hard to get promoted, network to meet your next business partner, date to find the one, exercise to get the body, and so on and so on. These endless cycles of outcome seeking can get exhausting. While I do think it is important to be goal oriented, its equally important to have things in your life that are not driven by this type of motivation. For me personally, balance is making time for creative pursuits and spending time with the people I love. The benefit is beautifully simple, enjoyment.
With this same theme in mind, I bring you a new recipe for chia seed pudding. This nourishing dish provides a number of nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, calcium and omega 3s. As a child of the nineties, this to me is mind boggling. When I think Chia, I think Cha-Cha-Chiaaa!, i.e., crazy sprouts coming out of a ceramic dog or ninja turtle. Who knew what those little seeds were packing! On top of the Cha-Cha-Chia! perks, strawberries are loaded vitamin C, and walnuts add additional omegas, fiber, protein, magnesium and the B6 vitamin. This folks, is truly a recipe for health.
The great news is that healthy can also be addictively delicious. Chia seed pudding has a very similar texture to tapioca that makes it really filling and roasted strawberries are just plain delicious. They have a really deep flavor that make this simple dessert/breakfast (I have and would eat it for either) truly decadent. The recipe for the roasted strawberries is closely adapted from a wonderful blog called Local Haven written by Ashley Marti. She uses them in a gin and tonic (link is to her recipe), which should give you extra incentive to try roasting some berries.
I would recommend preparing this dish the night before you intend to eat it. While there is nothing too complicated to it, the pudding needs to sit for at least 3 hours to gel up, and seems to thicken up even more so if you give it the full 12 hours.
Chia seed pudding with roasted strawberries
Makes 2 adult breakfast sized servings, or 4 dessert servings
For the pudding...
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups coconut or almond milk
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the strawberries...
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
And to top it all off...
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Whisk together chia seeds, almond or coconut milk, honey and vanilla until the honey has fully dissolved. Pour it into a large sealable tupperware, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, ideally over night.
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F and use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a baking sheet. Whisk together maple syrup, the remaining olive oil, sea salt, cinnamon and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl. Toss the strawberries in the mixture. Pour all of this onto the baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast for 35 minutes (P.S. your kitchen begin to smell freaking incredible at this point). Once removed from the oven, scrape all of the contents into a small container to cool.
When you are ready to serve, top each bowl of pudding with a few spoonfuls of strawberries, mint leaves and a tablespoon or two of chopped walnuts.