Easy mango chia pudding

It seems like whenever I let myself feel a little like a rock star...or, what I really mean is, like a supremely together, organized person...even for a flicker of a second, it's like the universe steps in and delivers a well-timed punch lest my head get big. Big picture, it all works out. I recover, and glean some sort of lesson, eventually. But there is a part of me that wants to tell the universe, please don't bother with insignificant me. Truly, over-confidence is not close to one of my dominant traits. I'm good enough at knocking my morale down a peg or two all by myself. I promise I won't mistake myself for Wonder Woman.

mango_chia (1)

Only last Friday, I was marveling with Felix's pediatrician at how well my body had been handling too little sleep for 6-months straight. Running was going well, the house was somehow decently tidy, work was getting done, and most amazingly of all...I had not gotten sick! A sniffle here and there, yes. A couple of days with a sore throat and some congestion, but nothing close to debilitating. Saturday, WHAM. Chicken pox EVERYWHERE. My scalp was like a giant blister, and I had eruptions in my ears, on my eyelids, EVERYWHERE.

Thank, thank, thank goodness, my mom and dad had arrived for a planned visit Friday afternoon. The gratitude and some guilt will last forever. They bought groceries, supplies, and a bouncer for Felix, who came down with the cruddy bug too, but fortunately only mildly. My mom went wild cleaning, cooking, and baby watching. She made me a bunch of meals to last the week after their departure, and two saucepans' worth of tapioca pudding. We all have our comfort foods when we're sick, be it chicken soup, ginger ale, or toast and tea. For me, tapioca pudding is right up there. Not the sickly store-bought kind, but homemade tapioca pearls made with almond milk and just a bit of coconut sugar.

mango_chia (2)My pudding is definitely a whole lot less "bad for you" than the kind behind the deli counter. At the same time, I'm kind of hard pressed to qualify it as nutritious. More like fairly harmless. (Although, I have read that tapioca can boost lactation, which IS highly desirable right now, as long as the antiviral meds last.) Chia pudding, on the other hand, delivers a pearly, creamy consistency similar to tapioca, along with the amazing power of chia seeds, including omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, calcium, fiber, phosphorous, plant protein and more. (Isn't it high time we waxed on a little about this again?) Chia seeds have been associated with preventing blood sugar spikes, fighting belly fat, improving mood, building brain health, and just about any desirable health benefit you can name, it seems.

Chia pudding is simple and forgiving, if the beaded texture works for you. Any fruit or milk combination will probably do. I was really tempted to try coconut, but almond is what we tend to have most of. Mango works really well, being sweet and creamy itself.

Is this dessert? That depends on your concept of what constitutes "dessert". For me, no, it isn't. But it is a really nice, tasty, refreshing snack. Really nice. Today, nearly pox free, it made the perfect  light refreshment after a much needed run. And it's SO EASY! You scoop some seeds in some almond (or coconut, or your choice) milk, whisk with a tablespoon of honey and some fruit puree. Then you let it sit in the fridge, at least 4 hours, but better overnight. If the fruit puree seems too much, forget about it. Add some chopped fruit later. It'll still be good. You can make it without using the stove top, and if you like it can be your comfort food when you're tired but on the mend, and mom has left the building.

Mango chia pudding serves 2

  • 1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup mango puree (about 3/4 cup peeled, cubed mango)
  • *optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, extra diced mango to top/mix in)
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate, at least 4 hours or overnight.