SMUG BRUNCH – STRAWBERRY AND RHUBARB CHIA PUDDING

Have you seen South East London Journal? It’s a fantastic little mag all about our neighbourhood here in London. There’s a new issue out this week and we’ve contributed a couple of recipes. Check them out on page 17. Here’s Selina’s recipe for strawberry and rhubarb chia pudding.

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Pudding for breakfast? Yes, please! But before you start thinking of whipped cream and chocolate for brunch (hmm, that’s an idea) we have to tell you this ridiculously good morning treat actually strays dangerously close to smug food territory. Virtuous chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, calcium and fibre, and are low-GI so give you a good, long energy boost.

You can tweak this recipe to suit what’s in season: we’re celebrating spring with some rhubarb (from Cruson in Camberwell btw). You’ll need to soak your chia seeds overnight, which does require a little organisation, but these puddings keep in the fridge for up to three days.

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¼ cup chia seeds (black or white – up to you)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
A pinch of cinnamon
A handful of strawberries, chopped

Toasted slivered almonds and granola, optional, for sprinkling

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For the stewed rhubarb:
1 bunch of rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch thick pieces
1 orange, zested and juiced
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

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1. Rinse your chia seeds under cold, running water and transfer them to a large container.

2. Pour in the coconut milk and honey (or maple syrup or agave) and give the chia a stir to make sure there aren’t any pockets of seeds that have remained dry. Allow to soak overnight – the chia seeds will take on a tapioca-like consistency.

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3. To stew your rhubarb, place into a pan along with the orange zest and juice, sugar and cinnamon. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes until soft; you want some texture, not a puree. Set aside to add to your chia pudding when it’s ready.

4. Take a glass (or jar if you’re bringing this to work) and place a dollop of rhubarb in the bottom. Rhubarb still a bit too tart? Add a drizzle of honey. Spoon over your chia seeds, leaving enough room on top for the strawberries. Add your strawberries and a sprinkle of granola and toasted slivered almonds if you fancy.

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4. Bring it to work and amaze your colleagues as you eat your virtuous breakfast at your desk. No swinging your bag around precariously on the way to the office!

Note: Try macadamias, pistachios or pumpkin seeds for crunch – and use your preferred milk to soak the chia seeds. Almond milk, soy and dairy all work; just keep to the ratio of 1 part chia seeds to 4 parts liquid. Trick yourself into feeling like you’re in the tropics with our mango and coconut version.

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