Turmeric chia pudding with wild fruit and sea buckthorn

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Revered by the Mayans and packed full of nutrients, chia seeds are the hero of this surprisingly healthy parfait. Layer with berries for a tasty breakfast or afternoon snack.

Rediscovering a mayan super seed

I once spent a month in a Mayan village and was taken into the jungle to see an ancient Mayan ruin, thickly shrouded in vines that had to be hacked aside by my guides. It exuded a very real magic and wisdom. With this in mind, I was enchanted to learn that chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength. How wonderful that we've been able to rediscover this incredible, forgotten food!   

 

Making the perfect parfait

In this pudding recipe, we use chia seed in a fluffy layered parfait. Each layer in this chia pudding brings new pleasures. When taken together they are an utter delight for the taste buds as well as for the body. The very word 'parfait' brings to mind rich animal fats like eggs and cream as well as white sugar, which is what a typical French parfait contains.

Reshaping the recipe using plant-based ingredients and natural sweeteners like maple syrup and raw agave nectar represents an authentic metamorphosis. It's a way of changing our perspective and lifestyle without sacrificing on flavour or enjoyment.   

 Chia is strength

Why would the ancient Mayans associate this tiny seed with 'strength'? Chia seeds are one of the most invigorating foods in this world of ours. Some of this is down to the high levels of plant proteins that they contain. In fact, chia contains many of the essential amino acids we need to function normally.(1)(2) Protein is beneficial for weight loss, too, so this is a parfait that you can feel quite virtuous about! Chia seeds are also high in fibre, which just makes them even better at helping you maintain an optimal weight. Of course, any long-term weight loss will come from a diet based on real foods, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep.   

 

Sister puddings

Here, we have fashioned two types of chia pudding for our parfait. One includes berries, and the other turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries in India as a medicine, and modern science is beginning to catch on to its benefits, too. We layer our sister chia puddings in between more berries and Erbology Tigernut Granola. A smooth cashew cream makes up the final layer.

Lemon zestful

We include lemon zest or lemon juice in all of the layers of this parfait. For us, there is nothing quite as cleansing and brightening as lemons. They are as refreshing to the eye as they are for the palate, too. Sometimes we have to stop ourselves before adding them into every dish and onto every surface!

Something that we did not realise - and you might not either - is that, for vegetarians, it can be hard for the body to absorb iron from plant-based sources (non-heme iron). Citric acid and vitamin C, both contained in lemons, can give your body a boost on this front and help ward off anemia.(3)(4) Yet another reason to love lemons - and to love this parfait.

Cashew cream

  • 2 cups soaked (activated) cashews (soak for at least 2-4 hours)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup raw agave nectar / maple syrup
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3-4 drops vanilla extract and a pinch of salt

 

Wild berry chia pudding

  • 3 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar / maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

 

Turmeric chia pudding

  • 3 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar / maple syrup
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

 

Other ingredients

  • Size: 855 g
  • Serv. size: 70 g

Cashew cream

  1. Place the soaked cashews in a blender with the coconut milk, agave, lemon, salt and vanilla.
  2. Blend well until it becomes smooth enough.
  3. Set aside in a bowl.

 

Wild berry chia pudding

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and chia seeds.
  2. Set aside, whisking occasionally until the pudding thickens.
  3. When the pudding is thick enough, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the berries, mashing with a fork until your pudding has a nice pink colour.

 

Turmeric chia pudding

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and chia seeds.
  2. Set aside, whisking occasionally until the pudding hardens.
  3. When the pudding is hard enough, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Set aside in a bowl.

 

Assembly

  1. In a glass or jar, start layering your parfait.
  2. Start with a layer of the cashew cream.
  3. Then add a layer of mixed wild berries.
  4. Add another layer of the wild berry chia pudding.
  5. Then add more wild berries and granola.
  6. Add a layer of turmeric chia pudding.
  7. Top off with more berries and granola!
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