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homemade chia seed mousse - yummy and healthy!

Chocolate + Vanilla Chia Seed Mousse with Summer Berries

The first time I made chia seed pudding, I was amazed. I mixed these little black seeds with some almond milk, a few spices, some sweetener, and after a few hours in the fridge, out came a tasty pudding that reminded me of healthier version of a tapioca or rice pudding.

Ever since then I find myself making chia seed pudding all of the time because of how easy it is, and I love to experiment with different flavor combinations. But it was not until recently, when I was looking for a totally different way to prepare the pudding, that I decided to take it one step further and turn it from a pudding to a mousse.

A few months ago I made a chia pudding with cardamom and honey poached oranges. It was fancy, and one of my favorite flavor combinations to date, however, I saw a picture of my fancy chia seed pudding floating around Pinterest, when I noticed a comment that made me laugh. Someone said under my photo “That looks like an alien!” which I found hilarious, because … well … they were right.

Chia seed pudding does have a bit of an alien look to it. Although it’s looks do not bother me one bit, it does sound like something a four year old would think and say, and since I want all kids to love chia seed pudding I thought that I should take it back to the drawing board. The solution, with just one added step, was to blend the chia pudding until it became a mouse-like consistency that is not only prettier, but has a silky smooth texture that is so tasty.

The best thing about chia seed pudding is that it is super healthy for you. I’m sure you know that chia seeds are the new rage amongst super foods, and for good reason. They are a great source of omega3s, fiber, and antioxidants. For this recipe I also used some cacao powder, which gives the pudding a hint of chocolate flavor and a big boost in antioxidants.

Cacao powder, which is essentially chocolate in it’s purest form, is very good for you. Be sure you’re using cacao power and not cocoa powder because cocoa powder is processed and does not contain the same health benefits.

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I absolutely love this recipe because it is so versatile. You can eat chia seed mousse for breakfast, for dessert, or for a snack. It can be prepared in five minutes (before it set in the fridge), and with just one more quick 5-minute step, you can turn it into a mousse.

For moms on-the-go, this is an easy snack to pack and take with you. You can make it and store it in a mason jar with a lid, which is my favorite trick for packing food for on-the-go.

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Feel free to change up this recipe any way you wish. You can keep this recipe as chia pudding, or take it one step further and make it into the mousse. You can add more or less sweetener depending on your tastes, as well as experiment with different fruit and flavor combinations.

I used currants for my version because I found a gorgeous pint at the farmers market, but feel free to use any kind of berry that you like. Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries would all work great. Local and in-season is always best.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate + Vanilla Chia Seed Mouse with Summer Berries

makes: 2 servings

  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut, rice or almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or currants all work great)

*I made this is one in a 16oz mason jar, which also doubles as a storage container for taking this on-the-go. If you do not have a mason jar handy, any 16oz jar (or larger) with a lid will do. Of course, if you want to skip the jar all together, you can make this in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and then instead of shaking the pudding (as directed below) you will just stir everything with a spoon.

In a mason jar or a small bowl, add in the cacao, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and chia seeds. Pour in the milk and give it all a quick stir using a spoon. If you are using a jar, cover the jar with a lid and shake vigorously for a few secondly until the contents are well mixed. Place it in the refrigerator for an hour and then give it another quick shake or stir since the contents usually tend to settle to the bottom.

After a few hours, the chia seeds to expand which will make the mixture thick and pudding-like. It needs about 5-8 hours in the fridge to set and become thick, although you can leave the pudding in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve (about 3-4 days).

If you’d like to make the mousse: After the pudding has thickened and set (after at least 5 hours), place the mixture into a blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds until the seeds are pureed. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. You can serve it immediately, or if it needs to thicken a bit place it back into it’s container in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to serve.

To serve: Give it a good shake or stir and place it into a serving bowl and add the fruit of your choice on top. Or, you can also eat it right out of the jar!

 

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Jodi Moreno is a Natural Foods Chef, Photographer, and creator of the blog What's Cooking Good Looking where she shares her healthy, clean, seasonal recipes and photographs. She's passionate about showing people that vegetables can play a main role on the plate.

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