Mmmm sweet spring time. Say good bye to those hot oat bowls and hello to light, sunny breakfasts. This parfait has all the trimmings for a gorgeous lazy brunch or quick grab and go meal to take to work.
I had an awakening earlier this month about how I wasn’t eating my weight in chia seeds when I clearly should be, and ever since then I’ve been going pretty hard down to chia town. Ugh, I’m sorry I said that. But for real, chia seeds are incredible. They’re packed with omega‐3 fatty acids, are low in calories, and have tons of fiber, protein, unsaturated fat, and even calcium, which is super important in a vegan diet since you might not be getting enough if you’re skipping the dairy. The fiber in the chia seeds also helps you to stay full longer and regulates blood sugar. AND they’re 19% protein, so don’t worry about making that tofu for dinner tonight, my friend.
The main take away for chia seeds, and the number one reason I was bummed at my lack of chia intake (and please excuse me if my rave goes on too long, you can skip ahead to the recipe) is that these little wonder seeds contain all essential amino acids humans need to thrive. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Amino acids aren’t produced by the human body, so we need to find them in our diet to help our cells repair, to grow, to break down food, and do a whole host of other things. Most foods that contain all nine of these essential amino acids are meats, poultry, fish, and eggs – lame. For vegans, quinoa, soy, and buckwheat have all essential acids as well, but chia are probably the most fun to eat. For a very very very nerdy article about why chia seeds are incredible for literally any use you can think of, check out this Food Science article and geek out like I did.
Aaaaaanyway, here is the much anticipated recipe: To make chia pudding, mix chia seeds with non dairy milk and sweetener and let sit at least 30 minutes but up to the whole night in refrigerator to chill. I often make a whole parfait in the evening and leave it in the fridge until the next day for work, and it’s just as fresh. You could even make a big batch of just the pudding to meal prep and leave in the fridge all week, adding yougurt and fresh fruit the night before you’d like to take it.
Simply layer the fruit and yogurt, and then top with whatever berries you’d like. I picked banana and black berry, but blueberries, coconut flakes, and dried fruit would also be great.
I used 3-4 drops of french vanilla stevia to opt out of the sugar, but 1 teaspoon of sugar or tablespoon of maple syrup would also do the trick.
In the fall, make this with warm cinnamon apples, or even grilled pineapple in the summer with a touch of fresh basil or mint.
Switch the yogurt to nondairy ice cream and enjoy as a dessert.
Layer chia pudding with chopped mango and vegan yogurt.
Top with berries, seeds, or shredded coconut.