Hey, hi! Welcome to the very last Friday of January 2016!!
Like, whoa! How is January already over?? Complete craziness, but I have to say it was a great month. Super busy, and super cold, but filled with yummy (HEALTHY) eats!
I know this may seem odd, but I feel a little more refreshed and inspired to keep chugging along now than I did a month ago. After Christmas, I think I was just BEAT, but something about this last month and all the colorful veggies…and dark chocolate, has me feeling kind of excited and energized. What about you guys? Are you ready to enter February? Ready for the Super Bowl? Excited for Valentine’s Day? Ready to be one month closer to spring?!?
Speaking of spring, have you guys started thinking about spring break yet? I am seriously thinking that after I get my wisdom teeth pulled at the end of March I may just need to get myself to Florida to bask in the sun for a little bit. My brother Kai really wants to go for his Spring Break, and I wouldn’t mind spending some time with my grandma, so I might try to see if that’s a possibility. But with 5 children and 16 grandchildren – 7 of them from our fam – my grandparents always have a lot a visitors around Easter, so they might just be BOOKED.
I LOVE Florida! What about you guys? Any fun plans yet??
And since we’re just chatting here, I’m really curious to know what the highlight of your month was? For me, it was getting to spend this last week with Asher. I mean, I got way less work done, but it was SO worth it. I don’t know why, but littler Asher was just so excited to get to hang out with me, and that is without a doubt the best feeling ever. I am so glad I made an effort to carve out time and do fun things with her. It really made me realize that I need to make a point to do this once a month or at least once every other month. Before I know it she’s only going to want to hang with her friends and she’ll think I’m totally lame. I dread that day. 🙁
Another major highlight for me this month was creating all these healthy recipes. I know I’ve already touched on this topic this week, but seriously, these have been some of my favorite recipes, and these banana and chocolate chia cream pie parfaits might just be one of my favorites.
They are literally what banana cream pie dreams are made of. Light, soft, fluffy, chocolatey perfection.
And then bonus – they’re healthy too! Actually, they’re more than healthy, they’re like superfood status healthy. Chia seeds, bananas, buckwheat, cacao, dark chocolate, oats and nut/coconut milk.
AND they are so simple! It does take a little chill time for those chia seeds to do their magic, but other than that, they’re quick, easy and simple. Oh and of course delicious!
Now that is legit.
If you’re unfamiliar with chia seeds, you should familiarize yourself with them now. They are an amazing, teensy tinsy little seed that really packs in the nutrients and creates one KILLER make-shift vegan pudding.
When you add chia seeds to a liquid, they begin to soften, plump up and become gel like (but in a good way). Honestly, it’s like magic, AND chia seeds are packed full of protein and healthy O-mega 3’s. You see, pretty cool, right?
SO… to create this fun pudding parfait, I used chia seeds to thicken up the base. It works SO well. For the chocolate pudding, I blended the chia seeds into the pudding for a more creamy texture, but for the banana pudding I left them whole for a little texture variation… and because I love the look of the chia seeds in the white cream.
I know, I am so weird.
Chia pudding is really simple to make, you just mix all the ingredients (in today’s case almond milk, coconut milk, chia seeds, maple or honey and a little vanilla) in a bowl and let them chill in the fridge until they are thick and creamy. For best results I like to let the pudding sit overnight, but honestly, sometimes I only wait an hour and the pudding is already thick enough to eat…what? Hey, waiting is HARD.
To finish these parfaits, I caramelized some raw buckwheat groats and oats with a little maple, and a little salt. DELISH. They are the perfect toppings along with some fresh banana slices, chopped chocolate and dried roses. You don’t have to include the dried roses, but I personally love them, not only for looks, but they taste great crushed over top of the bananas.
Pretty, healthy and SO YUMM! 🙂
Yes, please! Here’s to healthy pudding and a Friday night snuggled up in blankets!! <–aka my perfect Friday night!
Banana and Chocolate Chia Cream Pie Parfaits.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond/coconut milk or your favorite milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup OR 4 pitted + chopped medjool dates
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut Banana Cream
- 1 can full fat canned coconut milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 vanilla bean seeds removed
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- 2 ripe bananas sliced
- 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cup raw oatmeal
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- chopped chocolate + dried roses for topping
Chocolate Chia Pudding
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Cover and let sit, preferably overnight, in the fridge or for at least 4 hours.
Once the pudding has thickened, add it to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. The pudding will not be as thick as traditional pudding, but should not be soupy.
Coconut Banana Cream
Combine the coconut milk, chia seeds honey, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour, stirring twice until thickened OR let sit in the fridge overnight until thickened and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the buckwheat, oats, maple and coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt. Toss well to combine, making sure everything is evenly coated. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the buckwheat + oats are toasted.
Divide the chocolate pudding between 5-4 serving glasses. If desired add a layer of mashed banana to each glass. Top with a layer of the coconut cream pudding. If not serving right away, cover and chill in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (if chilling this long, leave OUT the layer of mashed banana and swirl it in before serving). To serve, top with sliced banana, caramelized buckwheat, dries roses and chocolate. EAT.
FYI, that spoon…not even close to big enough. I switched to a soup spoon immediately after taking these shots. Love me some pudding!