Banana Chia Pudding With Maple Roasted Coconut

Happy Friday! It’s almost the weekend, and I’ve got your lazy Sunday breakfast all planned out already. Please, no, there’s no need to thank me, I don’t mind at all.  Invite me over- I’ll plan out your whole life for you! I don’t have a problem, I swear!

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Have you had chia pudding before? It’s a little weird, only because the seed that formerly grew an Afro on your favorite terra-cotta pet is now your breakfast. It’s fine though, because chia pudding is totally delicious and super healthy. These days chia seeds do a lot more than just become a cute fuzzy pet; they’re full of calcium, omega-3s, protein, fiber. They are also pretty incredible because they’re super absorbent and turn into a gel when mixed with any liquid(hence pudding) that is great for egg substitutes in vegan baking and making hearty breakfast bowls like this one.

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If you’re new to chia seeds, here’s what you need to know: they are flavorless, so make sure you load them up with all the things you love. I flavored mine with coconut milk, vanilla, and mashed banana for sweetness. Chocolate and peanut butter would naturally be a close second for my favorite flavor combos. Chia seeds might seem like a very expensive health food purchase, but considering a serving is only 2 Tablespoons, you’re getting a lot of mileage out of a bag of chia seeds. 

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Chia pudding is a great alternative to yogurt (don’t worry yogurt- I still love you) and despite its dessert-y name, it’s perfect for breakfast. It can be loaded up however you like your oatmeal or yogurt, and can easily be made days in advance for a quick breakfast on-the go. The only thing some people are wary of is the texture. Your chia seeds are going to plump up and become little black pearls suspended in a thick, creamy liquid. If you’ve ever eaten tapioca before, it has a very similar mouth feel. I love it, but if textures freak you out, go ahead and blend up the pudding before you eat it to make it a more smooth, creamy consistency. 

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My favorite part about this breakfast, though, was the coconut. Hands down. The fact that I didn’t eat the entire pan of it before I took the photos is truly a miracle. These coconut chips are simply roasted in the oven with maple syrup and sea salt. Nothing about them seems special, but they are absolutely the best thing I’ve eaten all week. Crunchy, buttery toasted coconut with a concentrated smoky-sweetness from maple syrup, and a slight salty finish from the sea salt? Forget the chia pudding- these coconut chips are where it’s at! Make them for your friends and neighbors as a gift, bag them up and tuck them into Easter baskets, quadruple the recipe and hoard them all for yourself  keep them around the house for quick snacks and breakfast toppers. 

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Okay, just kidding. Make the chia pudding AND the coconut chips so you can enjoy the creamy banana-sweetened chia pudding with the crunchy-salty-sweet coconut and the tang of fresh raspberries. A batch of my favorite Basic Granola wouldn’t hurt to throw on top, either. Whatever you do, let me know by commenting below or sharing a picture with #bakedgreens on Instagram. I can’t wait to see your chia breakfast bowls in action!

Banana Chia Pudding with Maple Roasted Coconut
Serves 4
A simple, nutrient-dense breakfast you can make ahead and grab for quick breakfasts on-the-go or lazy mornings around the house.
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Chia Pudding
  1. 1/2 cup chia seeds
  2. 2 cups coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
  3. 1 ripe banana, mashed*
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple Roasted Coconut
  1. 2 cups unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
  2. 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  3. A pinch of sea salt
For Chia Pudding
  1. 1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (or storage container with a lid) and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, then stir once more and transfer to the refrigerator.
  2. 2. Allow chia seeds to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight before serving. Extra pudding lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Maple Roasted Coconut
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl combine coconut, maple syrup, and salt. Stir gently to combine, getting all coconut chips covered with maple syrup.
  3. 3. Pour onto sheet tray and spread out the coconut to form an even layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Watch them closely, as they will go from perfect to burnt in just a few minutes. Mine were perfect at 12 minutes.
  4. 4. Allow coconut to cool completely, then use a spatula or your hands to gently break it into clusters and store in an airtight container. These can keep for a week at room temperature.
Assembly
  1. 1. Divide chia pudding into 4 dishes (heaping 1/2 cup each), and top with coconut and fruit. If you're packing this to-go, keep the coconut in a separate container so it doesn't get soggy before you eat!
Notes
  1. *The banana is the only source of sweetness in the pudding itself. You may add 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey for a sweeter breakfast. Or, if you don't like banana, leave it out and use 2-4 Tablespoons of either sweetener.
Baked Greens http://www.bakedgreens.com/

 

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I’m predicting a quadruple batch of maple roasted coconut in my near future. 

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