While we’ve had a few gloomy days lately, this time of year is definitely the best time to enjoy the outdoors in southern Arizona. The days are warm, the mornings are cool, and while the sun is still blazing, it doesn’t feel quite as, well, hellish…as it does during the summer months.
Since it’s so nice out, Ryan and I have made a habit of taking a mid-week walk in the evening at a local park. This particular park has long trails through the desert canyon and absolutely breathtaking views, with lots of Sonoran desert flora and fauna.
Of course, I need a snack before we go.
And since the desert is dry (this is what makes it a desert, you see), we need to be careful not to get dehydrated, even when it isn’t so hot out that you’re wanting to guzzle water all day.
What did I take with me this past week? Chia pudding. I didn’t eat it while hiking, but I did enjoy a jar of it the whole way to the park from my spot in the passenger seat.
If you aren’t familiar with chia seeds, they’re a little nutrient powerhouse food that absorbs 9 times their own volume in water, making them a great way to help you stay hydrated during exercise or in hot weather. They have crazy thickening powers, and when soaked in something liquidy, they take on a pudding-like texture.
My snack was left over from the photoshoot you’re looking at in this post: strawberry mango chia pudding. I’ve shared a chia pudding recipe before (this delicious apple and vanilla chia pudding with dark chocolate and pomegranate) but ultimately, this version is even more refreshing. The vanilla version with creamy, while the strawberry mango chia pudding is extra fruity and just plain better for a pre-workout (or pre-hike) snack. There’s no fat to slow the absorption of nutrients, and the healthy carbs gave me a boost of energy.
Also, strawberry and mango are a fabulously delicious combination.
And this is the easiest chia pudding you’ll ever make. My strawberry mango chia pudding is just strawberries puree, mango puree, chia seeds, a pinch of sea salt, and a completely optional drizzle of maple syrup depending on how sweet your fruits are.
For the pictures, I topped my pudding with fresh mango slices and almonds. Anything you like will work, though. And those leftovers I ate before my hike? No toppings necessary. I had stuffed the extra into a jar and that’s what I ate it out of.
Ryan likes this recipe as a strawberry chia pudding with fresh mango puree–no chia in the mango. And really, it’s prettier that way! I think he just likes his mango unadulterated. If you’d like to give that a try, just cut the amount of chia seeds listed in the ingredients in half and skip adding any to your mango puree. And I should let you know that you can use frozen fruit in this recipe if that’s what you have. Just thaw it in the microwave or on the stove before pureeing.
And when you’ve eaten every last bite of this strawberry mango chia pudding, check out my more dessert-like apple and vanilla chia pudding with pomegranate and dark chocolate. It’s heavenly.
Easy vegan strawberry mango chia pudding. Serves 1-2.
- 1 cup strawberry puree (for me, this was about 1-1/2 cups thawed frozen strawberries)
- 1 cup mango puree (for me, this was 1 large red mango, fresh)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 pinches sea salt
- optional: if your fruits aren't very sweet, try adding 1/2 a teaspoon of maple syrup to whichever puree needs sweetening
- topping ideas, all optional: nuts or seeds, shredded coconut, fresh or dried fruit, cacao nibs
Pour each puree into a small/medium bowl. If the purees need sweetening, add a touch of maple syrup. Add a pinch of sea salt to each puree. Whisk 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into each bowl using a fork.
Refrigerate the purees for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
Give each bowl a good stir and layer in 1 or 2 jars (depending on whether you're serving 1 or 2 people), alternating the strawberry and the mango. You could also dump the flavors in bowls and swirl them together a bit--that's what I've done in the pictures.
Top as desired and enjoy.