Let me get this out there before I go any further: I know this banana chia pudding is kind of buzzword central. After all it’s vegan, paleo, dairy free and gluten free. And’s that’s before you mention the chia seeds and date caramel. But try not to judge, as I know I would be tempted to do. This is actually really, really good. It’s thick and creamy, deliciously sweet but in a wonderfully low guilt way. It’s the kind of breakfast/snack/dessert you eat and actually feel good about after. And want again.
I remember when I shared my coconut chia pudding with white peach a while ago now, I was a little reluctant at first. I don’t really like feeling like I’m jumping on a trend, and chia seeds definitely felt that way. However I found I liked it, and chia pudding is now something I make now and then as a nice, refreshing snack or breakfast. It’s a lot lighter than many options so is perfect in warmer weather. Plus, you can take a second to prepare it in the evening and it’s ready to go, maybe with just the slightest additions, in the morning.
I came up with this banana chia pudding with date caramel as I was thinking what to make for this month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme: caramel. While I’m not massively sweet-toothed I do have a soft spot for caramel, particularly dulce de leche. I considered a few ideas with that, but then inspired by the flavors of banoffee pie, I came up with this. OK, it’s not ‘real’ caramel in here, but it’s just as good.
What is date caramel?
I mentioned when I shared my banana oatmeal that we’d had some tasty oatmeal in London last year with date puree. I’ve since come across it called date caramel, and I can completely see why. It has all the same smooth creamy sweetness, it’s just made from dates. In fact, it’s simple dates pureed with a little water. The only caution is it’s best to use very soft dates, in fact I’d recommend medjool dates, or else you’ll need to soak them in boiling water for a little first.
Dates and banana go wonderfully together, as do dates and caramel, so you get the idea that this is a pretty great combination. Throw in coconut milk, and topped with a little toasted coconut too, and it can hardly get better. While I love the more ‘regular’ chia pudding, I have to say this one just blew me away. It’s more filling, but in a really good way. The flavors are so good, and it feels almost indulgent. So much so, it would work for breakfast, dessert, or simply a snack. And it’s so easy to make as you can see here:
This banana chia pudding with date caramel is easy to make and easy to enjoy. Only a few ingredients, and a few minutes of prep lead to such a delicious but guilt-free treat. You’ll be looking for an excuse to have it again.
- ⅓ cup/ 80ml coconut milk (thick - I use culinary coconut milk)
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 3oz/85g soft dates (Medjool best), pitted weight
- approx 3tbsp water
- a little toasted coconut to serve (1/2 tbsp approx)
- Blend together the coconut milk and banana in a food processor or blender. Add the chia seeds and pulse once or twice to mix then tip into a dish. Cover and chill for 20min to allow seeds to swell and soften. You can leave overnight, but it will become a little more grey.
- If the dates are not really soft, soak in boiling water for 10min or so first. Pulse the dates in a food processor so they become small chunks. Add some water, a tablespoon at a time so that it comes together as a smooth puree. The exact amount will depend on your dates but you want a spoonable mixture but not too runny. Note - this will give you enough for around 2-3 chia puddings or use the rest for something else (also good on toast, with oatmeal and more).
- Once the chia have soaked, layer up the chia pudding with the date puree and top with a little toasted coconut.
Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party where bloggers come together to create recipes using the same ingredient. The host, this month it’s Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas, picks an ingredient from the website The Nibble. If you’re a blogger and would like to join in the fun, you can request to join on this Facebook page. Posting day is alway the first Wednesday of the month. If you’d like to see past recipes, you can follow our Pinterest board too.
Gooey Caramel Cake – Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Easter Coconut Bird’s Egg Nests – Palatable Pastime
Ooey Gooey Salted Caramel Cake – A Day in the Life on the Farm
Caramel Apple Granola – Hardly a Goddess
Caramel Apple Dip – Sew You Think You Can Cook
Banana Chia Pudding with Date Caramel – Caroline’s Cooking
Fa’ausi (Samoan Coconut Caramel Bread) – Tara’s Multicultural Table