Banana Split Chia Seed Parfait (gluten-free)

Due to the unseasonably warm weather we had this past weekend, I thought I'd sneak in one last summer recipe before we slip completely into fall mode. All this marathon training has me looking for different sources of protein so I decided to give chia seeds a shot. Inspired by the idea of a banana split, this guilt-free parfait makes the perfect post-workout snack.

I admit that chia seeds had never appeared on my radar before, having no clue how to prepare them or what they would actually taste like. The result is something like tapioca pudding, lending more of a texture than a flavor. I was also really excited to find that nothing in this recipe needs to be cooked — merely whisked, refrigerated, and assembled. I suggest preparing the pudding the night before and putting the parfait together when you're ready to eat. Dessert? Health food? I imagine this falls somewhere in between.

 

INGREDIENTS

For the pudding:
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chia seeds

Middle layer:
1 ripe banana
2 teaspoons honey

Topping:
1/2 cup chopped strawberries


INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a bowl with a lid, combine the first six ingredients and whisk together.

2. Add chia seeds and stir. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour, then stir to avoid too many clumps. Refrigerate overnight.

3. In a small bowl mash together the banana and honey with a fork.

4. Chop strawberries.

5. In a small glass cup, layer chia pudding with the banana mixture. Top with strawberries. 

 

NOTE
While milk is inherently higher in protein, swapping chocolate milk left something to be desired. I switched to a protein rich almond milk and was much happier with the result.

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recipe adapted from A Beautiful Mess and ifoodreal  /  photos by Amanda Dennelly