I've been (mildly) attempting to curb my pregnancy cravings for chocolate bars and Chick-Fil-A. The other day, I cooked a Whole30 approved dinner (a staple recipe in my house - Cinnamon Beef Stew from Well Fed). But lest you think I succeeded, please know I followed up that healthy dinner with chocolate chip banana bread from the Joy The Baker Cookbook. This banana bread is by no means a healthy, whole-grain bread. It's pretty much cake. Cake that you can eat for breakfast. And dessert. And late at night before bed. Clean eating plus buttery, sugary, chocolatey dessert? I call it practicing balance.
Tropical Chia Pudding is an attempt to swing the pendulum back to clean eating. When you soak chia seeds in liquid, they create a custard-like consistency, and if you're avoiding dairy, blending chia seeds with non-dairy milk makes a great alternative to yogurt. I like to make a batch big enough to have a few days' worth of pudding. Anything to make mornings more convenient (and nutritious), right?
For this recipe, I HIGHLY recommend using Ataulfo mangoes. They are creamier and sweeter, giving them the perfect texture and flavor for chia pudding - no added honey or maple syrup needed (read: Whole30 compliant!). Ataulfo mangoes are pretty readily available (I bought some at Costco the last time), and when I'm at the store and have the option, 10 times out of 10 I'll choose the Ataulfo variety over the conventional Tommy Atkins mango.
Who knew I could be this opinionated about mangoes? But trust me. If you haven't switched to buying Ataulfos, you'll thank me. (Also, I don't really know how to properly pronounce "ataulfo," so I try to reserve mango discussions for the written word only.)
Have you made chia pudding before? Let me know your favorite flavor combinations in the comments below!
Tropical Chia Pudding
Yields about 36 ounces
3 Ataulfo mangoes (about 16 ounce of mango flesh)
1 medium banana, peeled
1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
Peel the mango, and cut the flesh from around the seed. (Yes, this may be the most annoying food to prep, but have no fear. Alton Brown is here.)
Add the mango pieces to a blender along with the banana, coconut milk, and chia seeds. Blend until smooth. The consistency at this point should be similar to a very thick smoothie, or a very runny pudding. It'll firm up a bit more as the chia seeds soak.
Pour the mixture into airtight containers, and refrigerate overnight (or at least three hours). Top with unsweetened coconut flakes, nuts, or additional fruit. Enjoy!
Note: Leftover pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.