This weekend, we hit a low in the forties and highs in the low seventies. I’m in heaven. My favorite season is here. Long live lattes, scarves, carved pumpkins, harvest spices, crisp leaves and wood fires. I think my heart was made for autumn.
It’s interesting that events like Nanowrimo are scheduled in November because I feel more creative in autumn. Maybe that goes for a lot of others, too? Inspired by one of these creative bursts, this pistachio chia pudding transforms one of my favorite ice cream flavors into a healthy and filling snack.
The poached figs are optional but a delicious accompaniment. Plus, the recipe makes this sinfully good syrup that you can drizzle on the pudding or add to a warm mug of tea. Without it, the pudding has just a touch of sweetness, so that’s something to watch out for if you like things sweeter than I do.
I love that the figs are sweet and complementary but not overpowering, so the pistachio flavor really shines through. They’re also super simple to make: just boil figs in water, sugar and spices. After removing the figs, let the water boil down into a flavorful syrup perfect for spooning over fruit and coconut cream. Of course plums also make an appearance again because I am digging them like crazy lately.
Chia seeds are one of my favorite thickeners for desserts and smoothies. They’re not only super absorbant, but they are also full of omega-3 fatty acids that keep our brain healthy. Did anyone watch SNL’s Justin Timberlake vegan-ville skit? Chia seeds are also chock full of fiber, the dope ingredient that.. well, you remember the rest.
Another of my all-time favorite smoothie ingredients, spirulina is a deep green algae that boasts 2 grams of protein per teaspoon. I don’t rely on it for my B12 intake since the bioavailability of spirulina’s B12 has been contested, but it’s full of antioxidants, chlorophyl and other nutrients that make it a great pantry staple. I only added a teaspoon here for a hint at its flavor and its beautiful color. Spirulina adds this clean vegetal flavor that tastes so complementary alongside the pistachios.
Not too many people seem crazy about the flavor of spirulina. I love it! From what I gather, different sources have different flavors. I’ve definitely tried some not so nice brands, so it might take some exploring to find your favorite. My favorite brand isn’t certified organic, but this isn’t something I’m concerned with. Apparently, aquaculture of spirulina differs from traditional agriculture in its use of inorganic fertilizer (the minerals found in sea water) to feed the algae. Of course, do your research and buy what you are comfortable with, but I vastly prefer the flavor of Hawaiian spirulina to the organic brands I have tried. If spirulina isn’t your thing though, you could definitely leave it out of this recipe with no problems.
- 1½ cups water
- ½ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, soaked 2-8 hours
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup or to taste
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 4 Tbsp chia seeds
- 6 figs
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup sugar
- vanilla pod used for pudding
- 1 stick cinnamon
- For the pudding, rinse the soaked pistachios well and drain. Combine all ingredients except chia seeds in high speed blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Adjust sweetness to taste. Add liquid and chia seeds to a bowl and stir well. Allow to set in fridge for at least two hours.
- To poach the figs, boil water with sugar and spices. When water is boiling, add figs and allow to boil for 8 minutes before removing. Set aside to cool. Allow liquid to continue boiling until reduced, about 10 minutes more.
- To serve, spoon pudding into glasses and top with plum slices, halved poached figs and a few spoonfuls of syrup.