mango chia pudding

You have a lot of versatility with this recipe. Don’t have the berries handy? Just use more mango, or pears or peaches.

Chia (Salvia hispanica) is fun food!  Man has been eating chia since the Common Era, in other words, way before chia pets were popular in the 60s.  The word “chia” comes from the Mayan word for “strengthening,” and Aztecs used chia to relieve joint pain, for energy, and in religious ceremonies.  Today we know that chia seeds are a rich plant source of omega-3’s, and three tablespoons of the seeds yields 200 mg of usable, absorbable calcium.  High in fiber?  Absolutely.

The seeds are absorbent and become soft, silky and somewhat jelly-like when moistened.  Unlike tapioca pudding which needs to be stirred and stirred, or a rice pudding that needs to be baked, this pudding takes about 5 minutes to make on a stove-top, so it’s perfect for summer.

Mangoes are a summer fruit, and my favorite variety is Tommy Atkins (TA) because TA are the meatiest.  A ripe mango has a heavenly aroma and is slightly soft to the touch (think ripe peach!).  Juicy and also rich in fiber.  Why does the ingredient listing call for white chia seeds?  Black chia works just as well, but the lighter, milkier color of the white goes better visually in this recipe.

Serves 6

½ C whole white chia seeds 2 C peeled, diced mango (2 mangoes)
2 C whole milk or full-fat coconut milk, or milk substitue 2 C raspberries
1/3  C maple syrup   2 C blueberries
1 C water 1 Tbsp lime zest
1 Tbsp vanilla extract 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
pinch good salt (Celtic, Real™, Himalayan) mint as garnish, optional

In a large saucepan, combine chia, milk, water, vanilla, salt and maple syrup.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking from time to time, for about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and refrigerate pot for 10-15 minutes.  I promise that chia will jell up and be tender after this quick and easy process!

Prepare fruit by peeling and cutting mango into bite-sized pieces (watch our TV show, Eat Well Be Happy, episode 111 to see Tom cutting a mango).  Toss diced mango with berries and lime zest and lime juice.  Put ½ C fruit into each of six pretty glass parfait glasses, water goblets or little glass bowls.  Cover fruit with about ½ C chia mixture.  Top chia pudding with remaining fruit.  Serve immediately slightly warm or cover and refrigerate until cold, about an hour.  Garnish with mint.  Yum yum yum….