Creamy and decadent yet good for you, this Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding is a sweet way to celebrate at breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
The Food: Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding
Blending is the key to achieving a mousse-like texture in this deceptively indulgent Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding. Topped with whipped coconut cream and garnished with extra chocolate and dried roses, this simple recipe feels special and celebratory.
The Brunch Menu
Cornmeal Spelt Waffles with Roasted Beets
Fresh Fruit, Nuts & Syrup (for waffles)
Bright Citrus Salad
Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding
Chocolate-Covered Almonds… just because!
The Personal: For the Love of My Female Friends
If I could go back and offer my younger self some loving advice, it’d be not to compete with other women. Mid-20’s Quelcy was quintessentially competitive, in all the ways society has shaped women to be. If a woman was pretty, I assumed she wasn’t smart. If God forbid, she was both pretty and smart, I immediately wanted to hate her. I thought I needed other women to fail in order for me to succeed.
It was a mindset rooted in comparison and scarcity. Worse yet, it was a mindset that dimmed my light, but with great care, intention, and guidance, my hard edges continue to soften. Reflecting on the last five-plus years, I am so grateful for the deeper friendships with the strong females in my life. As we’ve entered our thirties, there has been such a beautiful opening and vulnerability, a desire to truly see and hear each other.
This rosy brunch, a precursor to the COVID crisis, was a celebration of a few of the female bonds in my life. It was a celebration of what makes each of us unique and a celebration of what we share. It was my effort to look at my calendar, and my photos, and my posts to see if my values matched my life. Was I defining myself with work, or was I making time to foster relationships? Was I taking action, or was I falsely relying on “someday” and “sometime?”
The whole world changed after we gathered at this table, but these moments still serve as compass-like reminders. Is my arrow pointing toward the friendships and relationships I value? Am I listening? Am I supporting and encouraging? Am I seeking the support I need from the people I trust? Or, am I succumbing to the narrative that I must work to prove my worth?
There is more than enough to go around. May we trust that, may we celebrate that, and may we remember to share.
The Fluff / Julep’s Corner:
Possibly my favorite female of all…
You Might Also Like: Chocolate-Quinoa Cruncher Parfaits
Were you allowed to eat sugary cereal as a kid? If so, this recipe from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook is a way to harken back to those sugar-fueled cartoon mornings without the sugary crash. You start by cooking quinoa with raw cacao, then baking the quinoa for a bit of a crunch.
The resulting texture is similar to granola but not quite as crunchy. This milder crunch works best as a parfait, which you can conveniently prepare ahead of time to take some of the stress out of brunch. You can also pair it with a dairy-free yogurt if planning a vegan menu.
Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 3/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 1/4 cups nut milk
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt
- 14 oz (1 can) unsweetened coconut cream, chilled
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dried food-grade rose petals
- cacao nibs or chocolate curls
To Make The Pudding:
- In a bowl, whisk together the chia seeds, milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- Transfer the chilled chia seed mix to a blender and blend on high power until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice while blending. Taste and add more maple if a sweeter pudding is desired. Cover and chill, ideally for at least 2 hours, until ready to serve.
- To Make The Whipped Topping:
- Scoop the thick coconut cream from the can, and set the liquid aside (it’s a great addition to smoothies or curries, so don’t pitch it). In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined and soft peaks form.
- To Serve:
- Divide the pudding between six small glasses or bowls. Top each with a dollop of coconut cream, and if desired, garnish with dried rose petals, cacao nibs, and a fresh strawberry.