Last updated on May 24th, 2019
I’ve got a case of the Mondays. This recipe comes to you from our bazillion year old laptop that warns me that the startup disk is full when I try to save something and has a noticeable ding just below the keyboard from that time the corner of my iPhone 3 dove into my once-brand new computer (yes, iPhone 3 – that’s how old this computer is). The heavy aluminum dinosaur came out of retirement while my younger, slimmer, faster Macbook Pro got shipped off to the doctor first thing this morning. Sniff Sniff.
Imagine an arthritic old man remotely taking control of your mouse. I’d tell the cursor to open Photoshop, but instead it’d shake a bit before darting across the screen to open up a game of Chess. This willy-nilly behavior went on for three days until last night when the trackpad stopped responding to me entirely and began erratically acting like an Ouija Board instead. After an hour wait to see a genius, my most pathetic “but I’m writing my dissertation” plea wouldn’t speed up the 3-5 day repair. Monday’s trying its darndest to win today.
Luckily I’ve got this trusty dessert to cheer me up. One spoonful of this coconut mango chia pudding whisks me away to a tropical dreamland without a care in the world. Not even the rainbow spinning pinwheel wait cursor taunting me every time I open a new document on my old laptop can take me out of my happy place. Shovels more pudding in my face. Check mate, Monday.
This treat is like a grown up pudding snack cup, except healthy! When you’re using dessert to ward off stress, healthy dessert is always the way to go. Else you wind up in a never-ending cycle of feeling crappy and stressed about how much junk you just ate, eating more, then feeling crappier, then eating more. Welcome to my life. My friend Nicole put it best, “trying to write and I just want to EAT EVERYTHING!!!”
A fortune cookie used to hang from our fridge: “dessert two nights a week is OK.” I think it was trying to be optimistic, but every time I saw it I was like “Pssshhht, dessert 7 nights a week is more like it.” Especially when you swap out nightly scoops for a cup of this tropical mango chia pudding. Rather than loads of sugar, these pudding cups get their sweetness from ripe mango purée and a drizzle of honey. Hello, new favorite nightly dessert.
You can easily adapt this pudding using whatever fruit you fancy. This version pops of coconut, cinnamon, and a hint of cardamom to balance out the sweet mango purée. Mix in some cocoa powder and layer with strawberry purée if you like. Try swapping out the coconut milk for almond milk. Maybe you prefer roasted peaches and cinnamon? Limitless options.
When soaked in liquid, chia seeds puff up to take on the texture of a pudding-gelatin hybrid. For the same reason I’m obsessed with mochi, this chia seed pudding has a unique texture I can’t put down. A smooth jelly with a the occasional ever-so-slight crunch.
Chia seeds are growing in popularity as a superfood that’s high in fiber, omega-3s, and calcium (among a whole host of other benefits). Plus, with how many seeds you’re eating in one cup of pudding, I’m pretty sure you’ll probably most definitely grow a ch-ch-ch-chia pet in your belly. That’s science.
For another two-ingredient mango dessert pudding, check out this recipe from With Food & Love!
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- 2-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons plain coconut milk from the refrigerated section (coconut milk beverage)
- ¾ cup chia seeds
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan adaptation)
- 1 tablespoon grated coconut (see note below)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of cardamom
Coconut mango purée
- 1 large mango, peeled and cut off the seed
- 2½ tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons grated coconut (see note below)
The pudding cups
- 2 tablespoons shaved coconut, toasted
- Whisk together the coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla bean seeds (or extract), honey, grated coconut, cinnamon, and cardamom in a medium bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours). In a pinch, you can freeze it for an hour, whisk it again, then refrigerate for an hour.
Coconut mango purée
- Combine the mango, honey, and grated coconut in a food processor and mix until smooth.
- Refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.
The pudding cups
- Starting with mango purée, layer about 1 tablespoon each of mango purée and chia seed pudding among 6 dessert cups, repeating until all the purée and pudding has been divided. I've used champagne flutes, mason jars, small cups, etc.
- Sprinkle toasted coconut shavings on top of each cup.
- Refrigerate until serving.
Grated coconut: The coconut I use is much more fine than "shreds," but regular shredded coconut will work, but it will just have a different texture. I get mine in the bulk section at the produce market, but I did see some at the major supermarket in the organics aisle where all the Bob's Red Mill products are - this is different for every grocery store, but just grab the one that's got the finest shreds of coconut.
Adapted from Blissful Basil