Yum, peanut butter & berries, is there anything better? Well, yeah, maybe, but this combo is still one of my classic favorites. This recipe is an easy make ahead breakfast or snack, with a little pre-planning, you can have a delicious and satisfying light meal ready to grab and go for those mornings or afternoons when you just have no time to prep.
I have been a fan of the mighty chia seed for some time now and enjoy them almost daily. I love chia seeds stirred into my yogurt, mixed into a bowl of berries and in quick breads and muffins like my Lemon Chia Tea Cake. What I have not been a fan of, not even willing or interested in trying…is one of the many recipes for chia puddings flooding the blogosphere and pinterest. Why? I don’t know, just the thought of gelatinized goo just never appealed, even though I know one of chia seeds greatest features is that they DO gel up, but for some reason, I really, really like the little crunchy bite of chia seeds before they get all wet and gooey. That was, until a few months ago when Dana at the Minimilast Baker posted her Peanut Butter & Blueberry Chia Puddings and oh my, they looked so delicious I just wanted to dive into my computer screen and eat one immediately!
So by the next day, I dove right into my kitchen and made up my own version and then I made them 3 more times in the next couple of weeks and then made some more, because they were that good! Now, of course I did change up Dana’s recipe just a bit to suit my own tastes. I used both homemade almond and coconut milks, since I’ve been making those for several months now with great delight (see tips for making your own at the end of the recipe!). I also prefer raspberries and blackberries with peanut butter to Dana’s blueberries and…since I was new to the whole gelling chia world I decided to use a tad less chia seeds in my cups then the original just to get my feet wet, but I think my combo here is just perfect and I hope you agree!
And one more note of encouragement to any of you out there who have not yet discovered all the wonders of chia seeds…even my daughter Skyler, who has had for a long time a strange “fear” of chia seeds, LOVES these chia cups! So go ahead, give it a try, they are nutritious and delicious…
Peanut Butter & Berry Chia Cups
Author: Jen Jones of SweetGreenKitchen.com
Adapted from the Minimilast Baker’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Chia Pudding
Gluten free, dairy free, vegan
Makes 4 servings
1 cup Raspberries – fresh or frozen
1 cup Blackberries – fresh or frozen
1 Tablespoon Natural Cane Sugar
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
Peanut Butter Chia Cups:
1 ½ cups unsweetened Almond Milk – I use homemade
½ cup Coconut Milk – I use homemade OR 1 cup of each milk if you prefer more coconut flavor
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla – alcohol free if available
4 pitted Dates – chopped
4 rounded Tablespoons Peanut Butter – I use natural unsweetened
4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
Pinch of Sea Salt
6 Tablespoons Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
4 8-ounce jars with lids or jelly jars or 6-8 custard cups if you like smaller servings
Berry Compote: In a small saucepan add berries and sugar. Cook until bubbling, break up the berries with the back of a fork. Turn off the heat and add in the lemon juice and chia seeds, stir to combine. Set aside to cool. The berry compote will thicken more as it cools.
Peanut Butter & Chia Blend: In a blender, add in almond and coconut milk, vanilla, dates and peanut butter. Blend until combined. Add in chia seeds and salt and quickly pulse to combine.
Assemble cups: In each of 4, 8-ounce jars (I use empty Bonne Mamman jelly jars), add in 2 spoonfuls of the cooled berry compote. Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set. Next add 1 ½ Tablespoons Oats to each cup. Next pour in the blended mix to fill each cup equally. Top with another spoonful of berry compote plus a fresh blackberry or raspberry if you like and a sprinkle more of oats. Cover and chill overnight. Chia cups will keep in the fridge 3-5 days. Enjoy!
Never made your own almond or coconut milks before? You can simply buy the boxed version at almost any supermarket these days, But if you’d like to venture a homemade version, I encourage you to give it a try. There are about a million recipes you can find online, just do a quick search, but here’s a quick tutorial:
Homemade Almond Milk – soak about 1 cup RAW almonds plus a good pinch of sea salt, in a bowl or jar full of water, overnight, give or take 8-12 hours. After 8-12 hours or so, drain and rinse. Then add your almonds into a blender with about 3 1/2 cups water. Blend, blend, blend. Set up a nut milk bag or doubled up cheesecloth over a strainer set over a bowl, then pour your blended almond milk through and let the liquid strain through into the bowl. Once it has strained through, twist and squeeze the bag or cheesecloth to fully extract out all the liquid. What you’re left behind with is one bowl of perfect almond milk and a bag full of nut pulp. You can dry out the nut pulp and add to other recipes, store in the fridge or freezer.
IF you don’t have a nut milk bag or cheese cloth, you can use a gold coffee filter, some people have success with a french coffee press (but I did not!), but it will take a little more time. Also, note if you only have a smaller blender, such as a Nutri Bullet you’ll need to either half the recipe or blend in 2 stages, not a big deal, but will obviously take a little extra time. I find this is quickest to make in a hi-speed blender, but really any blender will do.
Homemade Coconut Milk – this is even quicker and easier than the Almond Milk! Soak 1 cup of unsweetend shredded coconut in 2 cups of hot water for about 1 hour. Then pour into a blender (no draining or rinsing required) and add an additional 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water plus a pinch of sea salt (I use pink Himalayan) and blend away. Then strain through a nut milk bag, following instructions as above.
*Note, I like to pour my coconut milk into a wide mouth jar, after chilling for a little while much of the cream will float to the top and can either be stirred back into the milk before using or what I do is skim the cream off the top and use it for spreading on toast or mixing into a berry bowl, so yummy.
Store your plant milks in the fridge, they’ll keep 3-4 days. Other uses besides the chia cups here, add to smoothies, mix with your favorite cereal or granola, use in pancake or muffin batters, etc!