Perth is enduring one of the coldest winters we’ve had in years. I normally tolerate colder weather well but this year, I feared that age had finally caught up with me. Was I ‘feeling’ the cold more? Was I on that trajectory of needing to move to a warmer climate after retirement? Not quite. Perth is indeed just that whole level colder in 2016. Perisher cold! Where are my thermals?
Oddly enough, the opportunity to create a ‘summer snack’ recipe for Nuts.com came as an unexpectedly welcome challenge. Maybe I just needed to get my mind out of the cold zone and think warm? At any rate, I was very happy to do something other than make hot food and drinks for a change.
I randomly chose some ingredients from a given list (all available via Nuts.com) and came up with something that was suitably summery but not ice cold that my fellow southern hemisphere foodies couldn’t enjoy it too. I’ve made chia puddings before but this time I wanted to pair it with something seasonal: cherries! Yes, I’m fully aware that they are not seasonal in Australia now, and I do prefer to eat seasonally, but I always make an exception for USA cherries. They just scream warm weather :)
Cherries are naturally amazing on their own but I chose to add some Goji berries to jazz things up. I didn’t want chocolate to overwhelm the fruitiness of this pudding so I reserved the raw chocolate and cacao nibs for the base of the cup along with pistachios, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and crunchy crumbs. Any leftovers of this mixture is awesome to use as toppings for breakfast or plain yoghurt ;)
I have to say that I think I succeeded in making something that was decidedly a summer snack but didn’t make me shiver in my bones eating it during winter. I can’t wait to serve these Chocolate Cherry Chia Cups in the coming summer, especially when entertaining friends in our new house.
Chocolate Cherry Chia Cups
- 3 Tbsp Chia seeds
- ½ cup Coconut Milk (I used a light coconut milk)
- ½ cup spring water
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla (pod, extract, paste, as preferred)
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pits removed and diced
- ⅓ cup Goji berries
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup (or to taste)
- 2 digestive cookies (gluten free, sugar free if available)
- 1 Tbsp cocoa nibs
- 20g raw chocolate (optional)
- 1 Tbsp pepitas
- 1 Tbsp pistachios
- Chia pudding must be prepared half a day in advance at least so I recommend doing this the night before. Add Chia seeds, coconut milk, water, vanilla and agave syrup in a bowl. Mix well and cover, refrigerating overnight. Check consistency of chia pudding. It should not be watery, however if it seems too firm for your liking, add a little more water and stir. Keep in fridge.
- Place diced cherries, Goji berries and agava syrup in small bowl, stir and set aside. If you prefer a compote style fruit topping, allow the mixture to sit for at least half a day in fridge. Goji berries will soften and cherries will be less tart.
- In a food process or Thermomix, place all Crumb ingredients in bowl and process until medium to fine (one a couple of seconds on Speed 3 for Thermomix).
- To prepare, place 2 tablespoons of crumb in bottom of glass cup or a serving jar. Place chia pudding on top of crumb, then layer some fruit on top of pudding.
- Garnish with whole nuts, nibs or choc coated nibs.