We’re fresh off of Thanksgiving break and now officially in the midst of holiday season. If you love the winter flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger and haven’t made chia pudding yet, I highly recommend you to give this recipe a try. We’re post-Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, but why not make your pie into a pudding and add some almonds for a crunch. It’s simple, satisfying and delicious when topped with coconut whipped cream. For all you vegan pumpkin lovers out there, it’s vegan too!

 

 

The recipe is very simple and chia seeds take the leading role. Chia seeds have been increasingly gaining popularity over the years, not only in cooking and baking, but also in drinks like kombucha. They’re popular for a reason; these small seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (an anti-inflammatory), fiber, protein and some minerals like calcium and zinc.

While some plant proteins are incomplete, chia seeds are a complete protein, meaning they contain all the nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are simply the amino acids we (humans) cannot synthesize ourselves. We need to get these nine essential and non-essential amino acids (ones the body can synthesize) daily to help with muscle growth, enzymes and hormones production (to name few).

 

 

This recipe has only five ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to prep. Make sure you use a blender that’s sealed tight or else you’ll have pumpkin pudding all over your kitchen (Like me! Whoops. It only happened once, I swear 😊). The main reason to use the blender is to get the dates combined well into the pudding. I like using natural sweeteners like dates to sweeten recipes. You’re welcome to adjust the date content or replace it using maple syrup or agave. You can also omit it if you’d like!

If you make this in the evening and put it in the refrigerator to set overnight, it’s a good time to put your coconut milk in the refrigerator to chill and harden. Full fat coconut milk will be best! You’ll use only the solid coconut milk and reserve the liquid for later use (smoothies or soup are good options). You’ll blend this coconut milk with powdered sugar and vanilla extract to make a delectable topping. It’s wonderful.

 

 

Once you’re ready to serve, top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream. If you want to experiment with other toppings, I’d suggest a pinch of sea salt, pomegranate seeds, walnuts or slivered almonds. They’re all good choices and taste great together! Enjoy!

~ Leah

Pumpkin, Almond and Chia Seed Pudding with Vanilla Coconut Whipped Cream

If you’re looking for a Winter inspired dessert, this pudding will be right up your ally. The chia seeds create a pudding texture and the slivered almonds and a nice crunch. The vanilla coconut whipped cream is a decadent topping and great addition. To enhance the flavors, top with a pinch of sea salt and enjoy!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Author: Leah Golden, MS, RD
Recipe type: Dessert, snack
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free
Serves: 5 servings

Ingredients:

Pudding

  • 2 C unsweetened almond milk (you can use any nut milk)
  • 1 ¼ C pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 5 fresh medjool dates (pitted)
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 T chia seeds
  • 4 T slivered almonds

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight (use solidified coconut milk only, set aside the liquid for later use)
  • 2 T powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Optional Toppings

  • Sea salt
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Slivered almonds
  • Dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In blender, add the almond milk, pumpkin puree, medjool dates. Blend until well combined.
  2. Add chia seeds and pulse a couple times.
  3. Pour mixture equally in five small jars. Distribute slivered almonds equally among jars and mix to combine.
  4. Put jars in refrigerator to set for minimum of three hours. Ideally leave in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Once pudding it set and ready to eat, make the coconut whipped cream.
  6. Put bowl in refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes before making whipped cream. Pull out chilled coconut milk and bowl.
  7. Transfer solid coconut milk from the can to the chilled bowl and set aside liquid for later use.
  8. Whip coconut milk with hand mixer for about 45 seconds until creamy.
  9. Add ½ tsp vanilla extract and 2 T of powdered sugar and blend for about 60 seconds until smooth.
  10. Add more sugar to desired sweetness.
  11. Pull pudding out of the refrigerator and top with a dollop of coconut whipped.
  12. If you’d like to enhance the flavor, top with a pinch of sea salt and enjoy!