Chocolate Covered Banana Chia Pudding
If you spend time here on the reg, you already know that I will shamelessly try just about anything that promises to make me smarter, prettier, and/or healthier. (Except for vigorous exercise. Not into it.) I suffer from self-diagnosed “trend ADD,” and I’m basically every wellness marketer’s dream girl.
As excellent as I am at testing new health and beauty trends, I’m equally terrible at incorporating them into my lifestyle long-term. I find myself perpetually drawn to the latest sexy product or practice promoting glowy skin, shiny hair, and increased overall awesomeness, often leaving a trail of exotic superfoods, powders and tonics in my wake. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. (My mom left me a very long voicemail last weekend about a new “side effect-free pill that expands creativity!!!” urging me to do some research and get my hands on it ASAP before the masses catch on…)
I accept full responsibility for my fickleness, but it should also be said that a lot of trends simply don’t live up to the hype. For example, oil pulling. I was very excited about the crystal clear skin, bright white teeth, and super high energy levels promised by those on the oil pulling bandwagon, but after diligently swishing unrefined sesame oil around my mouth daily for a month, I finally called bullshit. It’s possible that I was slightly less toxic, sure, and my teeth may have been half a shade whiter, but it wasn’t worth almost choking on a mouthful of oil every morning (or being rendered mute for 20 minutes while my roommate made fun of my “oil gargling” on weekends). Luckily, I was able to repurpose my oversized bottle of sesame oil for more practical purposes. Like stir-fry.
Sidenote: I have at least one friend that is a die-hard fan of oil pulling, and I mean no disrespect to oil pulling devotees that are lucky enough to experience its wonders/not ruin their clothing with oil drool in the am. You go, Glenn Coco.
At home LED masks (made me look like Robocop and dried out my skin), juice cleansing (gave me homicidal tendencies), raw food-ism (couldn’t hack it), wheatgrass (tastes like dirt), and so many other fancy wellness wonders have also gone the way of oil pulling after a few weeks. However, there are some “hot” items that have stood the test of time and earned a permanent place in my heart and kitchen/medicine cabinet—Korean sheet masks, kale, quinoa, salt baths, and açai, to name a few. But my most beloved trendy food turned pantry staple? You guessed it…
I’ve been eating chia seeds for years now. The obsession started with this simple vanilla pudding, but then there were televised chia meatballs, and muffins, and smoothies, and oatmeal. (I also sprinkle the seeds on salads, cereal, and yogurt. Duh.) I always have at least one giant bag of chia on hand because it’s super versatile, and I really do believe in its magic. Not only are chia seeds the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids on the planet, I can personally vouch for the fact that they’re extremely filling and provide sustained energy for hours at a time. HALLELUJAH.
I’ve made countless chia pudding creations since the seeds came on the wellness scene, but I restrained myself from posting all of them so as not to appear obnoxiously Gwyneth-like. Howeva, this Chocolate Covered Banana Chia Pudding was too good not to share.
There are lots of reasons to obsess over this pudding, friends. First and foremost, it tastes like a chocolate covered banana, which is obviously delightful. It’s sweet (but not too sweet) and surprisingly rich, so a little goes a long way when it comes to satisfying a chocolate craving. And the combo of coconut milk and shredded coconut gives this treat a subtle tropical flair. (I like to layer it parfait-style with banana slices and shaved chocolate for textural and aesthetic purposes, but that’s totally optional.) Plus, the pudding is packed with protein, potassium, fiber, heart healthy lauric acid, and chia’s signature omega-3s.
But wait, there’s more! The most thrilling thing about this superfood breakfast/snack/dessert is that it’s naturally THICK. Like, actual pudding thick. Traditional chia pudding made with just liquid and chia seeds is on the runny side and usually requires yogurt to give it a more pudding-like consistency, but this recipe gets its awesome texture from pureed bananas. No yogurt necessary, which is great news for peeps that are off the dairy.
If you’re new to chia pudding (yassss, I love introducing you to shit like this), the texture may be off-putting at first—sort of like tapioca, but weirder. Give it a chance. It grows on you, I swear. I found a very excited Logan inhaling a bowl of this stuff on the couch recently, and if the dude can embrace chia pudding, there’s hope for all of you…
Get on board.
Chocolate Covered Banana Chia Pudding: (Serves 3-4)
2 ripe medium bananas
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Tiny pinch sea salt
1 cup light coconut milk (the kind in the can), divided
¼ cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
Dark chocolate shavings
Preparing your Chocolate Covered Banana Chia Pudding:
-Place the bananas, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract, a tiny pinch of sea salt, and coconut milk in a blender. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender a few times if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Stir in the chia seeds and shredded coconut (if using).
-Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. (The pudding will actually thicken in about 20-30 minutes, but it tastes best really cold, so exercise patience and give it some chill time.)
-Give the pudding a good stir. Spoon it into small bowls or glasses. Top with sliced bananas and dark chocolate (or toppings of your choice) and serve.
*If you want to go the parfait route, simply alternate layers of bananas and pudding in the glasses of your choice. (I usually do 3 layers of bananas, 2 layers of pudding, but you do you.)
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