Every dish at Heather Sperling’s For Real Meals lunch was a hit, but her dessert was the real “whoa” moment. We all had seconds (and thirds) of this simple yet oh-so-comforting pudding. One of the coolest things about this dish is how easy it is to make. It only has a few ingredients and takes minutes to prep. If you don’t have any fruit on hand, just sprinkle some cinnamon or raw cocoa on top to recreate the “whoa” moment in your own kitchen.
Chia-Coconut Pudding with Citrus, Pomegranate, and Mint
2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons high-quality maple syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/2 cup chia seeds
5 small oranges (ideally a variety like blood, cara cara, or navel)
2 tablespoons julienned mint
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the chia seeds, stir well to combine, and leave on the counter to set for at least 15 minutes. *You can let the pudding sit overnight in the fridge to make an even thicker, custard-like consistency.
While the pudding is setting, cut the oranges and seed the pomegranate (see below for directions). In a bowl, combine the citrus segments, pomegranate seeds, and mint and stir.
Serve the chia pudding in individual bowls with the orange-pomegranate mixture spooned on top.
How to scrape a vanilla bean: Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the tip of the knife, scrape down the inside of the bean, flattening the cut halves and removing the seeds inside. Discard the bean.
How to segment the citrus: Slice off the ends of the citrus and stand the fruit upright. Slice off the peel, working from top to bottom, removing all of the white pith. Hold the citrus over a small bowl and use a paring knife to slice between each membrane and release the segments. Drain off the juice (drink or reserve for another use).
How to seed a pomegranate: Roll the pomegranate on the counter, applying pressure to release the seeds from the peel. Cut the pomegranate in half and turn the seeds into a small bowl. Pick out any errant white membranes and drain off the juice (drink or reserve for another use).