To give this vegan and gluten-free chia pudding a new take, I used my favorite protein bars, NuGo Slim. As summer approaches, so does berry season! Bursting with vitamin C and fiber, berries should be your next favorite fruit in desserts, sauces, or even breakfast recipes.

When it comes to summer time desserts, we mostly think of cold pies, scoops of ice cream, and decadent puddings. Trendy versions of ice cream are now vegan “nice cream” made from frozen bananas and pies are now “no bake.” A not-so-new pudding version is slowly taking over at a cafe and smoothie store near you. Yes, it’s chia pudding.

Chia is a type of plant that provides the nutritious superfood chia seeds. You may recognize chia plants from the tv commercials showing grassy plants shaped as a puppy or even Mickey Mouse.  Similar to flaxseed, these tiny, but mighty seeds are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber!

The trick is to soak the chia seeds overnight (or for at least four hours). This gives the seeds time to absorb the liquid which results in a more viscous consistency. Most times making chia pudding I have always used almond milk. For this version, I finally tried it with low fat coconut milk. Coconut milk and other milks, like soy or cow’s milk will lend a bit more creaminess thanks to their adequate fat content.

I have been eating NuGo Nutrition bars since I first reached out to NuGo several months ago. Their passion for quality, plant-based ingredients in their bars and recipes is such an admiration. I have contributed previously to their blog about plant-based meals and really enjoy the recipes they share. Not only are they extremely considerate of their consumers, but they also value good quality nutrition in their food products.

In this recipe, I used the NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter bars as a middle layer in the chia pudding.  What I love about these bars is that each are packed with 17 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber! This pudding parfait can be excellent as a dessert or breakfast! If you prefer the strawberry chia pudding without the bars, I highly recommend trying these bars as a new go-to snack. The box of bars doesn’t even last a full week in my house!

Vegan PB&J Chia Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Serving Size: 1/2 cup with one nutrition bar for topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries (thawed if frozen), stems removed
  • 1 can or 1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup plus two tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 NuGo Slim Crunchy Peanut Butter bars, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine the strawberries and coconut milk. Pulse until well blended and the strawberries resemble a puree. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds, strawberries, coconut milk blend, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to food containers with an airtight lid and cover.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. This allows the chia seeds to absorb the liquid and form a viscous consistency.
  5. Once a desired pudding consistency is achieved, layer with the chopped NuGo bars.