Strawberry Chia Fluff (and Cool Summer Entertaining)
This is the paradox of summer: along with warmer weather and longer daylight hours, we get the urge to spend more time socializing with friends and family, inviting people over for drinks on the patio, BBQs, pool parties and the like. At the same time, though, who feels like cooking in all this heat?
That’s why perfect summer entertaining involves no-cook foods or foods served ice-cold. You know, dishes like salad, pâtés and dips, grilled veggies (or grilled anything!), ice creams, mousses, or chilled pies and tarts. Juicy, crispy, colorful veggies take a starring role in these types of foods, and now, more than ever, it’s time to dig in–often directly with your hands! (well, maybe not the ice cream. . . ).
My favorite foods for entertaining are big, one-bowl affairs, proffering a veggie or pasta-based salad, a platter of mini appetizers so people can taste them all, or a big tray of bite-sized desserts. What better way to share good times with friends, so that everyone—the chef included—can mingle, eat, and chat at the same time?
This recipe is one of my favorites to serve to guests, because they are always surprised at what’s in it—and how great it tastes! It’s like a light mousse combined with the fresh flavors of sherbet. You can make it in advance (in fact, it’s better if you do—it firms up best overnight), then either serve in one big bowl so guests can scoop their own, or else in miniature glasses or bowls (a little goes a long way with this rich-tasting coconut milk base). It’s cool and creamy for a hot summer’s evening. It’s super-easy to whip up. And best of all, it’s pretty to look at!
What’s your go-to No-Cook summertime recipe?
Strawberry Chia Fluff
The coconut milk adds richness and creaminess, yet this still tastes like a light dessert, and one that is both cool and refreshing because of the strawberries. One spoonful and you’ll enjoy that summertime feeling!
2/3 cup (160 ml) full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can; I use Thai Kitchen)
2 cups (480 ml) sliced fresh or frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole chia seeds*
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure almond extract (omit if sensitive)
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia, to taste
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a VitaMix) and blend until perfectly smooth. Pour into glasses and refrigerate until cold, 1-2 hours (or just eat it right away if you can’t wait–thinner, but still good). Makes 3-4 servings.
*NOTE: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can still make this, but grind the chia seeds first in a coffee grinder until they form a fine powder; pour the powder into the blender along with the other ingredients.
Ricki Heller is the author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar (endorsed by Ellen DeGeneres on her website) as well as three e-cookbooks. She writes the popular food blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, where she chronicles her journey with candida and has posted more than 600 sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, whole-foods recipes.
This recipe is being shared on Wellness Weekend.