This summery high-protein chia pudding with berries nice cream is a healthy breakfast smoothie treat you can prepare in advance and have ready in 5min.
I love that this recipe feels like a warm summer morning but you can enjoy it year-round if you use frozen strawberries, which are easy to find in the frozen aisles. It also dismisses all the preconceptions about how protein should taste like!
Make it vegan with plant-based milks, I choose coconut milk, and keep your sugar levels at breakfast low if you avoid adding any sweetener, I find that the figs offset the tartness of the raspberries making this combo sweet enough for me.
You can keep it even lower if you use only blueberries or raspberries, though you might have to add a bit of sugar as they can be quite acidic.
About chia and its origins
Chia is one of my most favorite protein base for a breakfast bowl (remember it is a complete protein!).
It is super versatile, smooth and has a desert-like flavor and texture while being super packed with goodies, because not everything that tastes great is bad for you!
I have talked about this superfood before because I love to use it in my breakfast bowl recipes. They are super easy to prepare into a pudding, can be eaten without any cooking and make for an awesome complete take-away breakfast. You can also use the raw seeds as a topping to any smoothie bowl or as added protein boost when blending.
They are considered a superfood because they are particularly healthy for you. They are unprocessed, mostly whole, high in fiber and anti-oxidants and proven to have many health benefits.
Because of their neutral flavor, chia pudding can be topped with anything, from fresh to dried fruits, or with nuts and seeds, and they will always make for a great combination, taste good, be refreshing and fantastic for you. What’s not to love?
But how did it all start and when did they become so famous?
Firstly, chia seeds are not a grain, as the name indicates, they are the tiny greyish seeds of a sprouting plant from the Salvia Hispanica family (like mint).
Contrary to the perception of many, chia seeds are not a new hipster ingredient but a food that has been enjoyed for centuries by the peoples of Central and South America.
The word Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language and it was a revered food by Mayan and Aztec kings well before the Spanish arrived.
Both civilisations were well aware of their nutritional and magical powers and used the seeds in ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. It took a few centuries for the rest of the world to realise they are a nutritional miracle.
The benefits of chia and this recipe
Chia is a beloved ingredient because it is very high in perfect protein (around 20% vs. chicken thighs at 30%), especially for a seed. A perfect protein has all 9 amino acids, something that is key especially for vegans.
These tiny seeds are also high in fiber (35%) which means they have a low percentage of net carbs and sugar, so you will feel full for longer without giving you the spike in sugar of other grains.
As if that wasn’t enough, chia seeds are also high in good fats and omega-3 fatty acids. While fat has a bad reputation, good fats are essential to lead a healthy lifestyle
Because of the omega-3 fatty acids and perfect protein content, chia seeds are high in calories (100gr have 500 calories which is similar to the calories in chocolate), but a small amount goes a long way so a 30-50gr portion of dry seeds is usually enough when combined with fruits or other ingredients.
If their benefits weren’t a reason enough to eat chia seeds, most kitchen-averse foodies love the fact that chia seeds do not need to be cooked. They can be added raw as toppings to anything, from salads to drinks, or left to soak overnight to achieve the pudding consistency.
My preferred method to prepare them is by soaking them in almond or coconut milk (but plain water will also do) and letting them expand in the fridge overnight. This ability to absorb water and become gelish is thanks to their high fiber content and it’s what makes them the perfect candidate for pudding recipes.
Have I convinced you add chia to your breakfast bowls yet? Now let’s quickly look at strawberries, the other superfood in this recipe.
Ask a kid what flavor they want their ice cream and they will likely say chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. We love this fruit ever since we are little.
Ripe strawberries are amazing for you. They are juicy and amazing and just 8 of them has more vitamin C than an orange, who would have said right? As a fruit, they are low in sugar, cholesterol and fat-free and packed with anti-oxidants.
This recipe has just a few raspberries to complement the strawberries and a sweet sliced fig as topping.
What I love about this chia pudding recipe
I love ANY chia pudding and this chia pudding with strawberry nice cream is extra amazing because of the icy topping, who doesn’t want to have ice cream for breakfast and know that they are filling their bodies with a health-boost?
I love putting together breakfast bowls that taste amazing and also also great for you because I am a firm believer that you can indulge and nourish your body at the same time.
This recipe is extra great because of how easy it is to make, even if you only have a simple blender you should be able to blend frozen strawberries or blend ice cubes with fresh ones.
Recipe: Chia pudding with berries nice cream
This chia pudding with berries nice cream is super easy and has just 5 ingredients, you could even make it with less if the chia pudding was made with water or you did away with the fig, which is totally optional but I like the creamy texture that it adds.
Prepare the fruits and chia pudding the night before so you just ned to blend and assemble in the morning. Eat straightaway so you avoid the mess that I made.
Pst! This pudding is also a great dessert, low in calories, adds a sweet creamy end to a meal and will impress any guests. Prepare it in advance and keep it in the freezer but take it out 10min before serving so that the nice cream recovers some of the texture, or blend the nice cream just before serving.
Note that I rarely add sugar to my breakfast bowls and I always use unsweetened plant milks t minimize the amount of sugar I take in the mornings. you can adjust your recipe to be as sweet as you like it to be by using sweetened milk or adding you preferred sweetener to the nice cream when blending.
Enjoy this chia pudding with berries nice cream, a healthy breakfast treat that is vegan, gluten-free, low in sugar, high in complete protein and packed with good fats, what a way to start your day!
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3 tbsp Chia seeds
- 1/3 cup Unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Fig
- 2 tbsp Sliced almonds
- SOAK: Prepare the pudding the night before by placing the chia seeds and the coconut milk in a jar, stir with a spoon, wait for 5min and stir again to dissolve any clumps.
- BLEND: If using fresh strawberries, cut the leaves, keep one strawberry on the side and place the rest in a blender, together with the frozen raspberries, the ice cubes and a dash of water. Usually 1/3 to 1/4 of a cup is enough water, if you add too much the nice cream will become a smoothie instead of a sorbet, so add little by little and blend until enough.
- ASSEMBLE: Place the chia pudding at the bottom of a glass, add a layer of sliced almonds and then top with the nice cream. Cut the figs and slice the strawberry you set aside and decorate. Enjoy straightaway!
Separate pudding from nice cream: You noticed that I included sliced almonds in the list of ingredients although the ones in the topping are only for decoration. In the video, you will notice that I assembled the pudding by placing the slices almonds between the chia pudding and the nice cream. This is to add crunch but also so that the chia pudding does not mix with the nice cream, although I did not succeed because I like my pudding to be quite runny and when adding the nice cream. Alternatively, you can also put the pudding in the freezer for 15-20min so that it become a bit thicker, or you can just make your chia pudding thicker by using less coconut milk. or you can simply let it all become a mess, you will be eating it mixed up anyway 🙂
Sweeten up: I don't like adding extra sugar to my recipes, I believe fruit is already sweet enough and I don't like packing breakfast with unnecessary sugar. however, some might find this recipe lacking in sweetness. Taste the nice cream before pouring into the cup and see if you want it sweeter then add coconut sugar (my favorite), agave nectar, artificial sweetener, honey or maple syrup. You can also drizzle honey on top of the nice cream or between the nice cream and the pudding.
Berry up: You can make this recipe with any berries, just adjust the level of sweetness as above. If you use frozen fruits you will not need to add ice cubes just a dash of water to help blending.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 23gSugar: 20gProtein: 11g
Values may vary depending on ingredients and brands used.
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Possible variations to this chia pudding with berries nice cream
This simple recipe can barely be changed without having something completely different but here are some creative ideas to try:
- Caramel: Do you want to make this a total treat? Drizzle some caramel or dulce de leche on top of the nice cream, it will harden straightaway because of the icy nice cream but it will add just that extra sweetness.
- Boost: The nice cream can be made even better if you add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, hemp seeds, ground flaxseed, maca powder, etc.
- Go nuts: I love nuts, all of them, add some more good fats and all-round healthiness by blending a teaspoon of ground almonds, walnuts or any other nuts, even LSC (linseed, sunflower seeds and chia) into the pudding.
Make this recipe with <250 kcal
The majority of the calories in this dish come from the chia seeds but if you do away with the fig you will get to almost 250 kcal, these tiny balls of creaminess are very high in sugar.