Whoever said ice cream for breakfast wasn’t a good idea is NOT my friend. Not only is this ice cream incredibly rich, creamy and indulgent, it is free from dairy and seriously AMAZING. No guilt friends. Not even a bit. But to be honest, it isn’t real ice cream. It is actually made from bananas that have gotten nice and spotted and then frozen. I made banana ice cream for my daughters first birthday instead of the oh-so-popular smash cake. At the time she wasn’t a huge fan, but now she really loves it. Naturally sweet, whole food ice cream. The stuff dreams are made of. Well…my dreams at least.
This version of the ice cream was inspired by a a cinnamon gelato I had last year that totally blew my socks off. It was so delicious and cinnamon-y. Hey, I think I just invented the 2016 new word for the dictionary. Anyways. Whenever I eat something delicious I often try to figure out how to make it. Since I am not into dairy ice cream, I figured it couldn’t be too hard to spice up some banana ice cream. I literally dumped a buttload of cinnamon in the food processor with my bananas and the result was magical. Not identical, but pretty darn close. Cinnamon is a great option for adding to your breakfast because it helps to balance your blood sugar first thing in the morning, which will help keep your energy level steady.
The first time I tried chia pudding, I actually hated it. I didn’t understand what all the hype was about. I must have followed a really crappy recipe because what I made was chia goop. It was thick and chewy and I didn’t want anything to do with chia pudding after the first couple of bites. It was about two years later that I gave it an honest try again, but this time, the ratio of chia to almond milk was exactly right for my taste. It really tasted like pudding this time. Smooth, slightly sweet, and not to mention incredibly healthy for you.
Chia is one of those superfoods that I think everyone should have in their kitchen. It is versatile and really packs a punch in the nutrition department. Some of the key players I am talking about are healthy fats, protein, fibre, calcium and iron. Soaking them like I did in this pudding makes them easier to digest and these tiny seeds will also help to get things moving, if you know what I mean.
Chia pudding is such a great option for busy mamas because it can be made the night before. My daughter demolishes this stuff and usually asks for another bowl. I keep hers extremely simple – unsweetened and adding carob powder to the top, which she loves. I like to make mine in a mason jar on busy mornings and let it soak on my drive to work.
This version is not for busy mornings. It is for lazy Saturdays when the whole family is home and things are relaxed and going at a snails pace. I love those mornings.
The last little component of this pudding is the chocolate sauce. I really love cacao for its antioxidant power. Antioxidants are your friends because they help to squash free radicals that are running loose in your body. So many things can cause this, one of them being stress. In essence, antioxidants can help your body to not get too overwhelmed by free radicals, which can have a negative effect on your cells. Food can be such a powerhouse.
I used raw honey to sweeten the chocolate sauce, which is full of enzymes. Raw honey is alive, so by not heating it, you preserve all of this goodness. Almond butter helps to pump up the protein component. Sometimes I just dump a big spoonful of almond butter in the centre of my pudding and try to get a little bit with each bite. So so yummy!
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 2 teaspoons water (to thin)
- 2 small ripe bananas (peeled, cut and frozen)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- In a bowl, add chia seeds. To the chia, add your almond milk. Using a fork, mix for 30 seconds. Wait a minute or two and then mix for another 30 seconds. This will help ensure your pudding doesn't get clumpy*. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Add all chocolate swirl ingredients together in a small bowl and mix with fork until smooth.
- In a food processor, add frozen bananas and cinnamon. Let sit for about 3-4 minutes which will let the bananas thaw slightly, making it easier to blend. Blend until smooth.
- Divide the chia pudding between two bowls, divide the chocolate swirl between both bowls, and top each bowl with the banana ice cream.
- *If your pudding does get clumpy, mix vigorously with a fork to break up clumps and let sit for a couple more minutes.
Hope you are enjoying an amazing long Easter weekend!