Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

It’s fall, so that obviously means pumpkin in everything! I love fall and I find fall foods deeply comforting and grounding. I can eat pumpkin and squash soups for days, but sometimes I crave a sweet treat and since I can’t do ice cream I have to get a little creative. Chia pudding is ridiculously easy to make and it’s pretty healthy too (although I suppose that is determined by what goodies you add). Here is my fall take on chia pudding: Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Why should you eat pumpkin chia pudding? Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins, including Vitamin A, C, E, and K. It is also high in iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and dietary fiber. Boom! That’s a lot of goodness packed into one veg. Chia seeds are an excellent source of healthy fat and dietary fiber and provide calcium, phosphorus and manganese. Coconut milk, if you’re buying the pre-packaged beverage kind, like Silk Brand, it is fortified with other vitamins and minerals. If you’re going with the natural stuff, perhaps you’re hardcore and make it yourself or are blessed enough to have fresh coconuts at your disposal, your coconut milk won’t be fortified with vitamins and minerals, but it still remains a healthy source of fat. Remember that not all fats are bad for you. Our brains need fat to function.

vegan dessert

Ingredients for Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk beverage (not the canned stuff… it’s way too high in fat)
  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup (or 1 teaspoon maple syrup and one Medjool date pitted and minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice blend or make your own (ground cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine your chia seeds and coconut milk. Allow the chia seeds to soak 5-10 minutes.
  2. With an immersion blender, give them a quick spin.
  3. Add your pumpkin, maple syrup (and date if you’re using one), vanilla and spices. Spin again.
  4. If your impatient, you can eat it now, but it’s best after it has had a chance to set in the fridge for 30+ minutes.

**If you’re kapha, cut your coconut milk with water or extra pumpkin.

Smoothie bowl: 101

Smoothie bowls. They are everywhere. Or at the very least, posted up on every foodie-nutritionist instagram/blog. So, here I am telling you that, yes, you should make them. And yes, I am totally down with this food fad.

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Here’s the thing I really like about the smoothie bowl craze, it’s a process (if you want it to be). Now, I’m not saying they are hard to make, I am saying that you intentionally pick out your ingredients, blend, pour, and decorate with all the goodness you can find. Have you ever heard of mindful eating? For me personally, making these delicious, nutrient dense bowls of vibrant color are the epitome of mindful eating. Consciously deciding on the flavors and colors, arranging the toppings in an artful pattern, and then enjoying and being grateful for the fact that you get to consume such goodness. Amen to that!

Anyways, let’s get down to it.

First off, you need a base. Now, with my smoothies I tend to add a bit more coconut water, but with smoothie bowls it’s nice to leave them thicker so that they hold up everything on top. I more often than not use all frozen fruit in order to achieve that thickness and I always use coconut water as my liquid. I also try and add some sort of superfood to my base such as spirulina, maca, camu camu, probiotic, fish oil…you get the idea. Spirulina makes a deep and intense green which adds to it’s amazingness!

Smoothie bowl base ideas:

Green: kale (fresh or frozen), frozen banana, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, spirulina, ginger, coconut water.

Acai: acai (you can buy frozen packets at health food store; near the frozen fruit!), frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, water.

Purple: Kale (frozen or fresh), maca, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, frozen bananas, coconut water.

The options are really endless. You can find young coconut meat in the frozen section and add that with coconut water, raspberries and banana and you’ve got a gorgeous, vibrant pink base. Really, it’s all about experimenting!

Now onto my favorite part…toppings.

I more often than not buy these in the bulk section at my grocery store, but lately I’ve been seeing the brand nutiva popping up at target for SUPER cheap and they have great hemp seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, mulberry, and chia seeds. When it comes to the fruit, I like to mix both fresh and frozen fruit for texture. Fresh banana and frozen raspberries are a favorite combo of mine.

Some other great toppings: Hemp seeds, bee pollen (local source!), pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, granola.

And last but not least, a new favorite thing of mine to do is adding a nice swirl of almond butter on top. You achieve so much texture with creamy, crunchy, and soft when you add something from each of these categories. The next thing to do is to get after it and be creative with placement, which is super fun 🙂

Some inspiration:

Let’s here your favorite combinations for post yoga fuel!

Kelsey Bushong

Kelsey Bushong

Kelsey is a stay at home mother to two young boys, Silas (3) and Felix (1.5). As someone who always loved to cook, Kelsey really dove into health and wellness during her first pregnancy. Going back to school after Felix was born, Kelsey altered her plan from Nursing to Nutrition and was accepted to the National College of Natural Medicine this past Spring to complete her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition. With her studies being heavily guided by ancient Ayurvedic practices, Kelsey is most interested in how food can be used as medicine and how diet and diseases relate. She hopes to spread the idea that clean eating and wellness are very much achievable for everyone and cooking clean and healthy does not have to be difficult!
Kelsey Bushong

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