Thursday, July 14, 2016

No-Cook Tropical Kiwifruit Chia Pudding

Toronto is hot right now. Too hot. Disgustingly hot, in fact. Toronto is emitting the kind of heat that has me seriously considering buying a kiddie splash pool to set on my balcony, one I know I would have to fill using buckets from the kitchen sink (hello, condo life and zero access to a hose) just to fill it...but oh, it would be so worth it! With a permanently sweating scalp (so attractive, I know) and an overall sluggish demeanour, cooking (ie. heating my apartment) is one of the last things on my mind these days. Despite my lack of enthusiasm towards cooking with heat as of late, the timing couldn't be better with so much fresh and delicious produce lining the grocery store shelves throughout the summer months.

It's pretty easy to come up with plenty of no-cook, healthy snacks to nibble on throughout the day when working from home, but the trick is to get creative with it! As much as a bowl of sliced fruit is delicious when it's in peak season, let's face it, it can get a little boring after a while. One of my favourite new ways of kicking up a bowl of fruit into something that I can look forward to as a midday treat is making different variations of chia seed puddings. For months now I've been making all different types of chia seed puddings using every berry that I can could get my hands on, and just like my bowls of sliced fruit that got a little tired after a while, I started to itch for a different flavour combination. With a vision of a tropical-themed chia pudding in my mind, a partnership with Zespri SunGold Kiwifruits could come at no better time!
Though green kiwifruits have always been one of my favourite fruits, thanks to their big, bright flavour, awesome health benefits, and ease of eating, I had never heard of a SunGold kiwifruit before now! Curious to try the fruit that was described as a "cross between a mango and a strawberry," and dying to bring my idea of a tropical chia pudding to life, I was happy to get a beautiful basket full of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruits sent right to my door!

As I just mentioned, golden kiwifruits are described as a cross between a mango and a strawberry, making them slightly sweeter and more tropical-tasting than its green sibling. SunGold kiwifruits can be found in grocery stores from May through October, and look almost identical to green kiwifruits from the outside. The difference between the two upon first sight is in the skin, with green kiwifruits having a more fuzzy texture to their outer layer. The difference is clear once cut, as the SunGold kiwifruits possess a striking and unexpected golden-yellow colour.
Before I started playing around with my Tropical Chia Pudding recipe, I had to try the SunGold kiwifruits as is. As I mentioned earlier, one of the awesome things about kiwifruits is how easy and mess-free they are to eat! A simple cut off the top, and a scoop along the skin is all it takes to remove the sweet flesh. The flavour of the SunGold kiwifruits was familiar, yet surprising, and definitely reflected the tropical taste that was first described to me. I knew a base of coconut milk would compliment that tropical flavour perfectly, and would be enhanced all the more with the addition of juicy fresh pineapple. Though chia seeds pack a big punch of health benefits on their own (hello fibre, Omegas, and protein!), the kiwifruit added even more! Thriving with Vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, SunGold kiwifruits may taste like candy, but are so incredibly good for you.

With SunGold kiwifruits reflected in both the pudding and the garnish, nutty coconut, and sweet pineapple, my No-Cook Tropical Kiwifruit Chia Pudding was exactly the refreshing treat I was craving in the midst of this humidity. Not only was the pudding delicious, it left me feeling invigorated and ready to attack the heat and take on the rest of my day! 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup whole chia seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp liquid honey
2 Zespri SunGold kiwifruit, peeled and puréed
1 Zespri SunGold kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup fresh pineapple, chopped small

Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, chia seeds, sea salt, vanilla, shredded coconut, and honey. Pour into a container and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove from fridge, stir, and refrigerate for at least 3 more hours, or overnight. 
  2. Remove 2-Tbsp. of the chia pudding mixture and blend together with the puréed Zespri SunGold kiwifruit and refrigerate for at least 1-hour. 
  3. Distribute 1/4 cup of the fresh pineapple between four serving dishes. Top each evenly with chia pudding. Evenly top each with the blended kiwifruit mixture. Garnish with Zespri SunGold kiwifruit slices, remaining pineapple, and a sprinkle of coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve or serve immediately.

* This post is brought to you in collaboration with Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit. All words, opinions, and photographs, as always, are entirely my own and reflect my own personal views. 

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