We always look forward to picking up an colorful assortment of berries at our local farmers market each weekend and the crop is always beautiful, as there are many farmers in the area not far from where I live. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries abound and I sometimes will also buy raspberries in the store if they look good.
By the end of the week, the remainder of uneaten berries stare at me from the refrigerator shelf wondering what their fates will be, not quite as fresh and appetizing as they were when they first came home (and probably a only a couple of days from going bad.) Normally, at this point, they will hop over to the freezer to become future smoothie ingredients. But this time, I felt a bit more creative and decided to use them to make what I am calling “4 Berry Chia Pudding!”
This 4 Berry Chia Pudding came out supremely delicious but, of course, it was also supremely healthy! Since all the berries were very ripe, I used no sweeteners at all and it really didn’t need it. But the preference of sweetness is such a personal feeling that it’s hard to come up with a one size fits all measure for sweet. My husband likes salty/crunchy snacks and when he tasted my first batch without sweeteners, he remarked that it was definitely very sweet. My tastebuds lean more towards my sweet tooth and I felt that it was perfectly sweet, not too much or too little! Adding some maple syrup or agave would have made this pudding richly sweeter but since I am trying to acclimate my tastes toward less sugar, I liked it simply as is.
by Ellen Francis, Vegan American Princess
- 1 lb of assorted ripe berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) (Note: any combination according to your own taste will do just fine!)
- 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds
- optional: 1/8 – 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave syrup, to taste
- Slice strawberries and leave the other berries whole.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat the berries on medium heat.
- If you are adding sweetener, it can be added now or at the end of the process after tasting.
- As the fruit cooks, crush the berries in the pan with a fork leaving some chunks.
- Bring the fruity mixture to a boil and let it continue to boil so that the juices flow and it becomes saucy.
- Taste to decide whether you’d like to add sweetener.
- Add the chia seeds and stir for a minute on the heat.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
- After it thickens, if you want a thicker consistency add another spoon of chia seeds and stir in.
- Spoon into serving bowls and refrigerate.
- Serve as is or with a dollop of coconut milk whipped cream or ice cream on top.