For this month’s Healthy Treat, contributor Jennifer Little of Sugar Photography helps us kick off summer with a banana chocolate chia pudding. Not only is it easy to make — no baking is required — but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse: Chia seeds contain three times the antioxidants of blueberries, double the calcium of a banana, triple the iron of spinach, double the quantity of protein than most seeds and more omega-3s than salmon. And as usual, this treat is vegan, gluten-free and contains no refined sugars. Now that’s a perfect dessert!
A native of Central America, chia seeds are part of the mint family and have been used for generations. Recently, they’ve turned into a favorite among the health conscious. And thanks to the hit book Born To Run, which claims the Tarahumara Indians consume the seeds on their epic desert runs, many marathon runners swear by them.
For this recipe, you can either make your own almond milk (see below) or use organic almond milk from the store. Either way, this dessert is not only healthy and delicious. It might even make you run faster. Happy summer! • Ulrica Wihlborg
Fresh Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds
- Boiling water
- 1. Place raw almonds in a large bowl. Cover generously with boiling water and soak for 1-2 hours to blanch almonds.
- 2. After soaking, using very little pressure, you can pop the nut out of the skin, leaving the almonds blanched.
- 3. Rinse the almonds thoroughly under running water.
- 4. Place almonds in a blender and cover with two cups of filtered water. Blend for two minutes.
- 5. Gather a glass bowl, strainer and a cheese cloth. Line strainer with the cheese cloth and pour blended almonds over the cheese cloth. When the almond milk has drained, squeeze the excess milk into the bowl. You will be left with two plus cups of almond milk.
- 6. Use the milk within 2-3 days.
Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding
1 cup almond milk
4 dates, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1 pinch Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1. In a blender, mix almond milk, chopped dates, chopped frozen banana, sea salt and cocoa powder until smooth.
- 2. Pour into a jar or bowl and stir in chia seeds. Refigerate overnight.
- 3. Serve with a layer of strawberries and several spoonfuls of chia pudding. Top with strawberries, fresh bananas, pistachios, shaved dark chocolate and a dash of sea salt.
- 4. Enjoy!
Photographed and styled by Jennifer Little of Sugar Photography © 2014. To see more of Jen’s beautiful work, follow her on Instagram at @
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