Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dessert for Breakfast: Cashew Chia Pudding from Cafe Guest Michelle Karl

Dessert for Breakfast: Cashew Chia Pudding – Michelle Karl
Thank you so much to Yankee Belle Café and Cate Nolan for hosting me today!
Now, I am not a morning person. I’m one of those people who needs to set two alarms: one next to the bed and one on the other side of the room that forces me to get up to turn it off. Often, I’ll set a third alarm too, by which I mean I tell my husband “make sure I’m up by 7:30am” or the like.
Guess how many times I still hit the snooze button? Guess how many times my husband has to come into the room and “wake me up” before I finally tumble out of bed moaning for coffee like a brain-starved zombie?
If you guessed any number greater than two, you win—and uh, I guess I lose. Anyway, what this means is I’m always running behind in the mornings, and I’m one of those people who absolutely needs to eat breakfast or else I’ll feel cruddy for the rest of the day. I need something for breakfast that will provide sustainable energy while also motivating me to actually eat it despite running behind.
Cue…chia pudding! Now, I know you’re going, “Michelle, we already know about chia pudding, it’s nothing new…dump some chia seeds into almond milk or coconut milk overnight and Bob’s your uncle.” Yes, yes. I, too, love myself a nut milk or coconut milk based chia pudding. But what if we could include all that fiber, all that protein, and still come out the other side with a delicious breakfast pudding?
One of my favorite food bloggers is Elana of Elana’s Pantry (, and today I’m sharing one of her recipes that I use regularly. I had to try it to believe it could work, but once I made it…I was hooked.
It begins with one cup of raw cashews. Place them in a bowl of water and soak for a few hours (no longer) to soften. This will make the cashews soft enough to blend and become creamy. Discard the soaking water.

Elana’s recipe recommends three cups of water, but I found that made the dish too runny. I use a maximum of two cups filtered water. Add water and cashews to a blender. It will help to have a high-powered blender, but even a regular blender or food processor should be okay with soaked cashews.
Then I cheat, because the original recipe says to blend the cashews and water first before adding the other ingredients. Who has time for that? Go ahead and dump in your honey (I use raw), vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Blend. Oooh, frothy!



Pour into a jar. I use an old honey jar because it’s the perfect size. Then I take my chia seeds, pour them in the jar on top (I add more than the quarter cup the original recipe calls for, because I prefer a denser pudding), replace the lid and shake! 

What I find is that because the cashews are much thicker than using a store-bought almond milk or coconut milk, the chia seeds don’t all sink to the bottom and clump up. I rarely have to shake it more than once before putting it into the fridge for the next day.
By the time morning comes, I have a delicious, creamy, dessert-like pudding for breakfast—you could even add some fresh berries, sliced almonds, or coconut flakes for some extra oomph. My husband eats this breakfast up almost as fast as I do—which is probably why he doesn’t complain too much if he has to wake me up five times before I crawl out of bed. Breakfast is already waiting!

I met Michelle when we sold to our mutual editor - the wondrously talented Emily Rodmell - through the Killer Voices contest. Michelle's second book is out this month.


  1. This just looks absolutely amazingly yummy. Actually I had not heard of chia pudding. I drink iced coffee for breakfast in Phoenix. This is chilled so it would be great. Thank you.

    Your cover is awesome as well.

    1. Yes, it's perfect for breakfast in warmer climates! The chill of the pudding is so refreshing. ^_^

      And thanks, I love the cover as well! The art team did such a good job, I'm very grateful.

  2. I'm laughing at the timing of this, Michelle, because fifteen minutes ago my husband came in and said, "You'd better get up."

    That was after my alarm clock had gone off (and snoozed) several times, and the alarm on my iPod had gone off at 6:00, 6:05, 6:10, 6:15, 6:20, and 6:24.

    Wish I had some cashew chia pudding for breakfast.

    Thanks for being our guest today.

    I agree with Tina about the lovely cover.

    1. Haha, you and me both! The "your coffee is getting cold" is definitely a motivator to actually get out of bed, however. :P

      Thanks again for having me!

  3. This looks fantastic! I'll be trying it soon! Thx! :)

  4. Hi, Michelle. Welcome to the cafe.

    I agree with the others, this sounds yummy. I might swap out Truvia for the honey, but that's just a preference thing. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks, Mindy! I think any liquid sweetener would be perfect (I plan to try maple syrup, too, or a few drops of stevia)...curious to know how it turns out with Truvia! I mean, you do blend the cashews with water, so as long as it dissolves easily I think it should work...!

  5. Welcome to the Cafe, Michelle!

    I had to laugh at your getting out of bed struggles! My oldest son used to set multiple alarms loud enough to wake the whole neighborhood...and would still sleep through them.

    His siblings called it "alarmageddon"!

    We had a serious talk. :)

    This chia pudding sounds fabulous! I hadn't had chia seeds until I bought some granola that had them as part of the mix. I stirred it into yogurt and loved the tapioca-style thickening! So I'm trying this. Definitely.

    Thanks for being here today!

    1. Hahaha...alarmageddon, perfect!!! Yes, the chia seed is so versatile, once you've tried and liked them, there's so much you can use them for! And for folks who aren't sure about the tapoica-like texture, the thickening effect still works if you grind up the chia seeds & add them to liquid. Amazing!

  6. Well, I'm gobsmacked because I love puddings but I will confess to never having eaten a chia.... although I've grown many a chia pet in my time!

    I love rice pudding.

    I love tapioca pudding.

    But will I love this? Michelle, help me out here! Where are the farm-fresh eggs???? My 4% whole milk???? Aye Caramba! I'm just a little NERVOUS seeing this, but I can be taught.

    In small, measured doses, Michelle, I, too, can learn.

    Chia Pet Pudding.

    Now I'm envisioning those little figures, sprouting green chia hair!!!!


    Must drink coffee and calm down.


    1. Haha...oh, Ruth...would it help to know that chia was a crop nearly as important as maize in ancient Mesoamerica? In North America, we only know it because of those silly chia pets, but it's been a vital part of economic agriculture in Mexico (and other countries) for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And still is today!

      I think that if you like rice pudding & tapioca pudding, you'll like this. I find that folks who don't like it are usually put off by the texture, which is...similar to tapioca. So, you're good! The seeds can also be ground up and added to liquid as a thickener, if texture is an issue.

      They can be used for so many things, added to so many foods both savory and sweet, and can even be used as an egg replacement if needed. But, baby steps!

      Just remember -- chia is for eating! Millions of people throughout history have eaten & loved chia, so trying it will be like a cultural & educational experience! Albeit, a delicious one... ;)

    2. Chia is for eating. Quinoa is for eating. Bean curd is for eating.

      (hangs head....)

      So, darling.... darling.... darling....

      I'm still suspect, and here's why. "Ancient Grains"... Paleo diets....

      My theory: If all that stuff is so good for us, why are we living so much longer NOW, Michelle??? Huh???


      I'm kidding with you, I bet this is delicious, but if we all jumped instantly on board, how suspect would that be? As a suspense author, you know what I mean!

      Laughing in upstate, and possibly guarding my rice pudding!

  7. Welcome, Michelle!! Thanks for sharing this. My daughter makes something similar. I'll have to share this with her!

    BTW, I can totally relate about the alarms! LOL I always set at least 2. And then have the husband backup. hahaha

  8. LOL -- my first thought was the chia pets too. I'm a vegetarian and should have given this a try long ago but I haven't. I am a committed oatmeal breakfaster but now that the warm weather is here something cold might be worth a try. Now I can't get that silly commercial out of my head..."cha-cha-cha-chia!"

  9. You mean that you're not supposed to hit snooze five times? What's the fun in getting up right away?!!

    Michelle...I will admit I have never even heard of chia pudding. Sounds a little intimidating. But, because I have kids and am trying to wean our family away from processed food, I may just give this a whirl this summer. I'll let you know how it turns out!

  10. Michelle, my only complaint with chia has been that it tends to get stuck in my teeth. I know I could grind it, but I'm wondering if the pudding texture alleviates that problem.