These chai-spiced chia pudding parfaits with persimmon puree are infused with warming cinnamon, garam masala, ginger, and black pepper and layered to create a simple and stunning breakfast or snack.
A few weeks ago, I stopped by a local coffee shop and indulged in one of my favorite wintertime treats—a chai tea almond milk latte. Chai has long been one of my favorite flavors and I tend to drink it most often around this time of year. I love its unique blend of warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger plus the extra kick from unexpected black pepper.
As I was sipping on my tea, I decided that I needed more chai in my life. At first I thought about making a chai-spiced oatmeal, but as I was rustling around our pantry (and by pantry I actually mean our small lazy Susan cabinet – #tinyapartmentproblems). I came across a brand new bag of chia seeds.
I could totally make a chai-spiced chia pudding.
I know what you’re thinking, chia pudding isn’t exactly a novel concept—and you’re right—BUT these chai-spiced chia pudding parfaits with persimmon puree still deserves some serious props.
Don’t deny it.
Also I double dare you to try to say chai-spiced chia pudding parfaits with persimmon puree five times fast.
Back to the recipe.
First of all, it’s a parfait and those are automatically waaaaaaaaay more fun to eat.
Second, you can prep the ingredients in less than five minutes before you go to bed. If you’re like me the best part about going to sleep is that it’s like a time machine to breakfast. I don’t know who came up with that saying but whoever they are is a genius.
And who doesn’t like waking up to breakfast ready to grab-and-go? Oh no one? That’s what I thought.
OK so maybe assembling the parfait as I’ve done here will take a bit longer (as in 20 minutes, LOL), but that’s mostly because I used such large glasses. Normally, I’d use a much smaller eight ounce mason jar—the perfectly portioned size!
When I make chia parfaits, I’ll typically add a layer of soaked oats or grain-free granola to make it a bit more substantial (and for an added crunch), but the pomegranate seeds achieve the same effect and are undoubtedly much prettier.
And I have to admit, I really do believe that pretty food tastes better.
Speaking of pretty, let’s talk about the beautiful persimmon for a sec.
MEET THE PERSIMMON
The first time I ever tried a persimmon was only a few months ago. I had seen them before but their uncanny tomato-like resemblance and hard exterior intimidated me.
When I did find the courage to try one, I was blown away by their flavor. It’s similar to an apricot and plum with a touch of honey.
In other words, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!
The key is to make sure they’ve ripened, which varies depending on the type of persimmon. If you have a Hachiya persimmon, which is shaped more like a large acorn or bell pepper, you’ll know it’s ripe when you press the skin and it gives just slightly, like a tomato actually. If it’s not yet ripe, you’ll know right away, as it will have a very off-putting flavor and drying effect in your mouth.
Fuyu (Fuji) persimmons—as shown in this recipe—remain firm when ripe and are non-astringent a.k.a. much sweeter.
They also don’t need to be peeled, which is always a bonus in my opinion!
A few fun facts about the persimmon because you never know when this type of thing will come in handy (holiday party Trivial Pursuit throwdown maybe?)…
The persimmon is native to China and has been cultivated in California since the late 1800s. In Chinese medicine it’s considered a cooling and moisturizing food that can treat yin conditions of the heart, large intestine, lung, stomach and spleen. Persimmons are an excellent source of vitamin A, good source of vitamin C and fiber, B vitamins, manganese, copper, and phosphorus.
CH- CH- CH- CHIA
Now about ‘dem chia seeds.
Chia seeds originated in South and Central Mexico and were one of the staples of the Aztec diet. The Aztecs used these tiny seeds for medicinal treatments and in other nutritional beverages and foods, including pressing them for their oils and grinding them into flour.
They are now widely considered a superfood because they are loaded with fiber, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein (bonus points for containing all the essential amino acids), and antioxidants galore. As I’ve mentioned before, antioxidants are essential for fighting the effects of inflammation and free radical damage, which is known for contributing to the aging process as well as disease.
They are also packed with fiber—11 grams per ounce!—which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your digestive health. Because chia seeds contain saponins and lectins, they can be very damaging to the lining of the small intestine if eaten in excess. Soaking them does help reduce the anti-nutrients a bit, but if you experience a lot of bloating and discomfort after eating chia seeds or chia pudding, it’s probably a good idea to steer clear of ’em.
Like I said, chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which we must obtain from food sources. Omega-3s are important for brain and heart health, as well as skin integrity. That said, the omega-3s in chia seeds are from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This type of fatty acid is more difficult for humans to convert to active forms (DHA) when compared with animal sources of omega-3s. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, relying on chia seeds alone for omega-3s won’t cut it and you may want to consider adding a good DHA supplement (also helpful for those of you who don’t eat cold water fatty fish like salmon on the regular!).
If you haven’t tried chia pudding or you’ve been skeptical about this strange looking breakfast or snack, this recipe is for you!
It’s bursting with fall flavors and the natural sweetness of the persimmon truly compliments the warming Indian spices.
Let’s do it!
Chai-Spiced Chia Pudding Parfaits with Persimmon Puree
gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo, refined sugar free, soy free
Yield: 4-6 servings*| Prep time: 10 minutes active; 8 hours inactive
For the chai chia pudding:
1/2 chia seeds
2 1/2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp garam masala spice blend
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp liquid stevia (could also use 1 tsp maple syrup or honey)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Combine all ingredients except pomegranate seeds in a glass container and whisk to combine.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes then whisk again to make sure the chia seeds aren’t clumping.
- Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
- Layer with persimmon puree in a glass cup or jar and top with pomegranate seeds.
For the persimmon puree:
2 medium ripe persimmons (mine were still pretty firm but still turned out great!)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pitted and soaked date
- Chop off steam of persimmons, cut into smaller chunks and add to a food processor fitted with the S-blade. You could also use a high-speed blender (I just find it easier to scrape stuff out of the food processor).
- Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Layer in between chia pudding in stripes or at the bottom or simply the top. Whatever you like!
*For the purposes of this post, I divided the pudding and puree between two really large, pretty glasses but no one needs to eat that much chia pudding!
Hope you enjoy this fun take on chia pudding! Happy breakfasting!
LET’S CONNECT, YO
And if you make this recipe, please tag share it over on Instagram and tag me @honestlynourished so I can give you a virtual fist bump. Pow!
Are you on Snapchat, too? Don’t miss out on the behind-the-scenes action — find me under honstlynourishd (no “e”s).
Next up, it’s Healthy Holiday Cookie Friday so don’t forget to stop back by for the next cookie recipe—it’s a good one!
What’s your favorite way to eat chia seeds or chia pudding? I’d love to hear how you enjoy it below in the comments!