Desserts do not need to be void of nutrition in order to be indulgent and satisfying. Cacao, cherries and chia seeds are all very nutritionally dense foods that when put together in this easy pudding not only satisfy the sweet tooth but incorporate antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and heart healthy fiber in every bite.
This pudding is inspired by one of my favorite Christmas time treats - Cherry Cordials. I thank my father for instilling in me a love for these decadent treats. Now that I am more of a food for fuel person I wanted to still enjoy some familiar flavors while still achieving my health and wellness goals.
This pudding is a great make-ahead no fuss for Holiday entertaining. You can multiply the recipe easily and make in one large bowl for serve yourself ease - or make in individual ramekins for a single-serve more fancy presentation.
3/4 cups chia seeds (you pay more for white colored chia seeds, so either color - white or black- are fine in this recipe, just know that black seeds will make the color darker)
2 cups almond milk (unsweetened!)
1 whole vanilla bean scraped or 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups frozen pitted tart unsweetened cherries
2-3 Tbs raw cacao powder (unsweetened cocoa powder will work as well)
2 Tbs Pure maple syrup (for a wonderful seasonal twist I use Trader Joe's Bourbon Barrel Aged Pure Maple Syrup found seasonally at Trader Joe's nation-wide)
Add 1.5 C of the Frozen cherries, almond milk, maple syrup and cacao/cocoa powder to blender and blend until well pureed.
Coarsely chop the remaining 1/2 C of cherries
In a large bowl, add chia seeds, the pureed milk cacao cherry mixture and the remaining chopped cherries.
Stir until well combined and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
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