This peanut butter chocolate chia pudding is a healthy dessert parfait topped with whipped frozen strawberries and peanut butter chocolate chip LÄRABAR crumbles.
I’ve gone through a lot of “phases” when it comes to food since what I like to call my “healthy food epiphany” back in 2009 (you can read more about that journey on my about page). I dabbled in paleo for a bit, while undocumented on this site, I played around with a more vegetarian approach (no idea what I was thinking with that one, I love meat!) and now most recently, I’ve been using a macro-nutrient approach to my diet for over the past year.
This post is sponsored by LÄRABAR.
There’s been one constant underlying theme to all those approaches though and it’s something I’m pretty unwavering about in importance.
EAT. REAL. FOOD.
I still credit Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food for this little nugget that has stuck with me but quality foods and simple ingredients have been paramount no matter what “diet” approach I’ve taken. In fact, in the macro-nutrient world I sort of live in now, I’m probably in the minority with this one.
Everyone’s all “IIFYM” (if it fits your macros) and throwing up pictures of the Pop-Tarts and other junk they make work in their diet while I’m over here like, I’d rather eat an entire sheet pan worth of vegetables and feel full than the half a Pop-Tart or other junk food I’d get for the same amount of carbs.
I remember first hearing about these magical little things called chia seeds pretty early on in my weight loss journey. People were throwing them in smoothies, in their bowl of morning oats and then making something called pudding with them too! I was skeptical but considering I loved tapioca and texture issues weren’t usually a problem for me, I gave it a shot (this blueberry coconut chia pudding was one of my first tries actually) and subsequently fell in love.
Chia pudding became a real food staple in my diet ever since when I’m craving dessert or a sweeter snack but want to keep things healthy.
From seasonal ones like this pumpkin pie chia pudding or this pumpkin chocolate chia pudding in the fall to this gorgeous spring/summer layered strawberry guava chia pudding you can pretty much assume I whip up a batch at least once a month to have on hand (it keeps really well in the fridge!).
LÄRABAR, like chia pudding, holds a special place in my healthy food journey as well.
Chalk it up to seeing the bars on every single healthy food blogger’s site I read even before starting my own, their bars, with their simple ingredients and real food approach got me through many a long runs back in my running days and made it through every “diet” phase with me (many of them are Whole30, paleo and vegan compliant).
They were pretty much a given to be found in the bottom of my bag (or food satchel as my coworkers used to call it) no matter where I went to make sure I always had a healthy snack at my disposal. They were also a welcome real food departure from previous protein bars (which shall remain nameless for the sake of the guilty) that I used to consume.
When I thought about how to feature LÄRABAR, it just made sense to combine the two in this peanut butter chocolate chia pudding.
It’s no average chia pudding either, with a whipped frozen strawberry topping and peanut butter chocolate chip LÄRABAR crumbles it’s a simple, real food, healthy dessert disguised as a decadent indulgence.
Unsweetened cacao powder and powdered peanut butter (<– new recent fave) make the pudding itself taste like a peanut butter cup while the whipped frozen strawberries add a fun icy natural sweetness. The LÄRABAR crumbles are just the icing on the cake with any bite that includes a piece making your mouth all sorts of happy.
Love this peanut butter chocolate chia pudding recipe? Try these peanut butter and jelly frozen yogurt bars too!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding
For the chia pudding:
For strawberry topping:
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other milk
For peanut butter chocolate chip crumbles
For chia pudding:
- Combine all ingredients for the pudding in a large bowl. Whisk together until thoroughly mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until thickened (this can be done overnight as well).
- Before use, stir the pudding well to break up any clumps that have formed.
For strawberry topping:
- Place the strawberries and banana in a food processor. Process and slowly stream in the milk. Scrape down sides as needed and continue processing until smooth. You may need more or less milk to achieve desired consistency. Start with less and add as you go.
- Evenly spoon chia pudding into 4 jars. Top with the frozen whipped strawberry mixture. Crumble the LARABAR into small pieces and sprinkle on top of each jar.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.