Who says you have to wait for warm weather to have a picnic? While the weather is still frightful outside across the country (snow storms up north and cold, rainy days around our home), it’s the perfect excuse to create a more fun and memorable snow day with an indoor picnic brunch and a twist on a classic pudding cup with our mocha chia pudding recipe!
We recently decided that there is no time like the present to have an indoor picnic. It’s the perfect remedy for those spring showers (be it rain or snow!). It’s actually really easy to take a break from the norm of eating at the table, and spread out across the floor. Just pile up rugs and blankets to create a cozy atmosphere and adding in pillows helps too. Grab a tray or two and start filling… and this is the best part, you don’t really have to cook! Of course, any meal is great as a picnic, you just have to adjust how you, what utensils you have, etc. But what I REALLY like to do? Clean out our fridge and pantry and serve all kinds of easy to eat items that everyone is free to help themselves to! Fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, crackers, breads, jams… even granola. It doesn’t necessarily look like a full meal, but with everyone noshing away, bellies fill surprisingly quickly.
We went with a brunch theme (having croissants, granola and lemon loaf on hand helped my decision… see cleaning out the fridge and pantry!) and wanted to add a little healthier treat as well. This is where our Mocha Chia Pudding comes in. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of chia seeds by now as they are pretty main stream in a lot of paleo diets, smoothies and other healthy alternative recipes. We thought why not combine our favorite things all together and excite our taste buds for brunch… So, coffee, chocolate and pudding with chai seeds.
Not only was it a healthy pudding dish, breaking out the blender in our house causes all the littles to come running to see what drink or snack is being made. I love to get my children involved in the kitchen when I can. Introducing them to new ideas is what it’s all about for me. I want them to know that creativity is not contained to one small category, but the kitchen is just one perfect place for creativity to flourish. We all have to eat anyway, why not make it creative and have fun experimenting with new ideas, try new flavors, taste from different cultures? So yeah, while chocolate may not be quite so different for us, this was a new, healthier take on the pudding cup. Made in the morning, it had enough time to set before our brunch. 🙂
Our picnic turned out great.It’s just fun. Eating yummy food together, putting on music, breaking for dance parties, laughing and talking over good eats… making the best of a rainy day (and really, indoor picnics are fun for ANY day!).
Though I will saw, it took a little bit for our littles to get over “seeing” the seeds visible in the mocha chia pudding (which is fine… because, coffee; next time I’ll do a half batch, one with coffee and one without), but the older ones and my husband and I relish in the fact that we could add some healthy inclusions to our picnic.
- ½ cup brewed coffee (chilled)
- ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional depending on the amount of sweetness you like)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- Blend brewed coffee, coconut milk, almond butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a blender.
- Place the mixture into a resealable large jar (or 2 smaller jars) then add chia seeds. Seal jar and shake.
- Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 hours.
Have you tried chia pudding before? What are some of your favorite recipes for it? I’d love some new ideas!