A Cooling Summertime Recipe | Coconut Rose Chia Pudding
There are certain edible favorites that bring comfort in the midst of each season — a warm mug of something spicy in the fall, a nourishing pot of something to dip fresh baked bread into through the winter, and drippy, tender fresh ripe fruits in summer.
I’ve alluded a couple of times this month to a coconut rose chia “tapioca” pudding that I’ve been indulging in this summer as a not-too-sweet cooling treat. It’s creamy, it’s ever-so-lightly-floral, it’s refreshing, it’s quick and easy to make, it’s vegan [if that applies to you], and as a bonus, it’s actually pretty good for you too.
And I’ve got my recipe here to share with you — tested, tried, and very much approved!
I’ve made variations of this recipe over the years with the addition of cacao powder, which is also delicious if you’re a chocolate lover. As all of my favorite recipes are, this one is flexible and allows for the addition or substitution of whatever creative flavors you can dream up. Perhaps consider making the recipe as it’s shown here first to get familiar with the desired consistency, and then let the imagination of your taste buds go wild from there!
Made with chia seeds, coconut milk, rose water pure vanilla extract, and naturally sweetened with honey [or maple syrup as a vegan option], this tasty treat is suitable for breakfast, dessert, or a midday reprieve from the hot summer sun. Top it with juicy berries [my favorites are strawberries and mulberries] and a drizzle of chocolate if you’re feeling decadent.
Coconut Rose Chia Pudding
4 servings | preparation time: 10 mins | total time: 4 hours 10 mins
✷ 1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
Creates a luscious, creamy texture. I prefer to use full fat coconut milk for a richer, dessert-like texture but lite works also.
✷ 4 tablespoons chia seeds
These itty bitties are packed with fiber [5 grams in just one tablespoon] and, similar to tapioca pearls, swell when combined with liquid, making them perfect for creating puddings like this one.
✷ 1 tablespoon raw local honey [or maple syrup for vegan option]
This part can be adjusted to taste. If you like it a little sweeter you may wish to add more.
✷ 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
I’ll be honest, I probably use more like 1 full tablespoon because I love the flavor of vanilla and the way is complements the rose. Start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste if you wish.
✷ 1/8 teaspoon rose water
This is a culinary rose water. I personally love the Nielsen-Massey brand, pictured below. Also, believe me when I say that a little goes a long way. The heavenly scent of roses may tempt you to use more but I’ve found that any more than 1/8 teaspoon begins to taste too perfumey.
✷ a small pinch of salt
For enhancing the flavors of all the other elements.
✷ 4 ramekins [4 oz mason jars work too]
If making a larger batch or you plan on storing the pudding in your fridge for a few days, you can pour the whole batch of pudding into one, larger container that has an airtight lid.
✷ small pot
✷ can opener
✷ measuring spoons
✷ small baking tray
Combine all ingredients in the small pot and gently warm on the stove over a low flame until the chia seeds begin to swell and the pudding texture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow pudding to rest in the pot until cool enough to handle. This rest time allows the chia to continue swelling and become more jelly-like in texture.
Cluster your ramekins on a small baking sheet and portion the pudding evenly into each one. The baking sheet will allow for easy transfer to the fridge. *Alternative option to pour off into one larger container with an airtight lid. Larger container storage may take longer to cool/set up than smaller portions.
Leave to set up and cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Test by giving a ramekin a gentle shake — you want to see a little wobble when they’re ready.
Top with fresh berries and enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Note: While heating the ingredients is not necessary to swell the chia seeds, I find that it quickens the process and makes them more silky and tender like a true tapioca pudding. If you prefer to skip the heating step, simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl, cover with an airtight lid and refrigerate overnight. Pudding may require some additional stirs while it sets up to keep the chia seeds evenly distributed.
May this simple recipe bring you cooling relief and sensual pleasure this summer. Enjoy!