There are a few ingredients recently to which I have a very fond love for. Chia seeds, Crunola, and Cookie Butter. The three C's, if you will. And if there is a way to squeeze them into a recipe, then I absolutely will.
My increased love for chia seeds and Crunola grew from my frequent morning visits to Le Pain Quotidien for either a Crunola Parfait or Chia Seed Pudding paired with a pot of green tea. I started purchasing their Crunola and found that I was using it in nearly everything, from Almond Butter & Banana sandwiches to grab & go energy bites. To me, the stuff is the equivalent of sprinkling glitter onto something. Anyhow, I made my own version of chia pudding and brought it to my co-workers yesterday to see if it passed the test. I think it did? At least I came home with five empty jars and found myself scraping the jar for every last little chia seed.
Better late than never, I was recently exposed to Trader Joe's Cookie Butter, as a recipe that I made for a bake sale called for it. [Read this open letter to see what the craze is all about]. In thinking that the leftovers would cause a direct spoon-to-jar situation, I found a successful way to blend it with several other ingredients into these amazing bliss bites where the cookie butter was still the star of the show.
ALL that said....a dynamic duo for you to feast your eyes on - Mango & Strawberry Chia Pudding and my signature Cookie Butter Bliss Bites. Eat your heart out.
Strawberry & Mango Chia Pudding, adapted from Blissful Basil
- 2 cups almond milk
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 vanilla bean or 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch cardamom
- 1 large mango
- 2 handfuls of strawberries
- 4 pitted dates
- Optional topping: Crunola (or your own blend of raw buckwheat groats, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, goji berries)
- Add almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla bean, maple syrup, cinnamon, and cardamom to a large bowl. Whisk together and refrigerate overnight.
- Once your chia pudding is ready the next morning, slice your mango and scoop the flesh into a food processor. Slice 2 dates into smaller pieces, add to food processor and process into a smooth mango puree and transfer into a smaller bowl.
- For the strawberry puree, slice the green tops off the strawberries and add into the food processor with 2 sliced dates and transfer into another smaller bowl.
- In 4 to 5 smaller glasses (such as these canning jars or tulip jars), create a layer of chia pudding and then top with either the mango or strawberry puree. I alternated so that there was an option for a more tangy vs. sweet palate.
- Top with Crunola or additional toppings of choice and keep refrigerated until ready to serve!
Cookie Butter Bliss Bites
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 1 cup Crunola (see above) or any crunchy granola of choice
- 1 cup Trader Joe's Cookie Butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- In large bowl, combine rolled oats, crunola/granola, cookie butter. honey, chia and flax.
- Using a large spoon or your own two hands (!!!), blend all ingredients together well.
- Taking a chunk of the "dough", form into a small round ball and continue until you're left with an empty bowl. Set on a large plate or tray and place in the refrigerator.
- On very low heat, place the coconut oil and dark chocolate into a pot and stir often until completely melted. Take off the burner and let cool for approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove cookie butter balls form the refrigerator and one by one, dunk into your chocolatey blend and place on parchment paper or the plate or tray that you just used.
- Place back into the refrigerator or freezer to set & enjoy!