Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding with Coconut Whip


Everything looks yummy in a mason jar. 

Forgive me for skipping out on my round up for June.  This summer has been going by altogether too fast.  More on that jazz later.  The biggest feature in our kitchen this summer has been the banana.  Because Oliver has developed a serious addiction to this mushy fruit, we have to keep a bunch on hand at all times.  This results in many of our dishes using bananas to keep from spoiling or overcrowding the freezer.

I’ve posted about the many benefits of chia seeds before, on this post, but until last week I had never made my own chia pudding.  I’ve seen recipes for it a dozen times, it always looked quick and easy, so why has this escaped me?  Not only is this recipe nutrient packed, but its sugar free, soy free, gluten free and pretty darn tasty.  The strange tapioca-like texture of the pudding pairs perfectly with the smooth coconut whip cream.  Both are sweetened just enough to not overwhelm your palate.

Chocolate Banana chia pudding with coconut whip


  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Dash of sea salt

  • 1 can coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

  • Fresh banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some chocolate chips for garnish (optional)


  1. Place almond milk, chia seeds, bananas, dates, raw cacao, vanilla and salt in blender and blend till all ingredients are smooth.
  2. Place in covered container in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the coconut whipped cream. Open the can of coconut milk carefully. scoop out the top layer of cream, while reserving the leftover coconut water for another recipe (smoothie perhaps). Place in bowl and add agave, vanilla, and shredded coconut. Whisk by hand or with hand mixer till fluffy. (Do not over whisk, or you will have soupy whip)
  4. After becoming super impatient, find some serving glasses or jars.
  5. Stack as a trifle alternating the chia pudding/coconut whip as desired. You can also just dollop some of the whip as you like.
  6. Garnish with fresh banana slices, chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.




Chia is also loaded with fiber, making this pudding also makes a great breakfast.  It is also so creamy that it satisfies any desire for dairy.  Im thinking ground up chia seeds may be the perfect binder for a raw banana cream pie.  Enjoy!



 Oliver gettin down with his banana filled mesh feeder at the Riverwest Co op

Birdie Granola aka ‘Nola’

photo (23) Its been almost 2 months ago since we left Wisconsin.  And as much as I do miss it, I am whole heartedly enjoying Annapolis, Maryland.  What a great city.  A charming brick laid downtown, overly dog friendly, bike friendly, and I love living in a city that thrives off of the water.  And have I mentioned yet how nice it is to be able to smell the salt water!  Its lovely. Back in Sheboygan, we were making a plethora of granola bi-weekly.  Vegpod sold two flavors at the farmers market, and two flavors to Goodside Grocery for resale.  It always had a tendency to sell like crazy, and we never ran out at the house.  Win-win.  Annapolis is proving to be similar.  Though we are not wholesaling anywhere, and though we don’t run a booth here, we do live with the cutest two-and-three-quarter-year old, who loves to eat granola, or ‘nola’ as she calls it.  Lailah like to eat her nola just as is with a spoon, or out of her hand.  How kid friendly is that? photo (22) The other great things about this granola is that its super easy to make.  And homemade always tastes better anyway, so why out source?  Thats no reason to stop buying Vegpod’s granola, but I encourage everyone to try it out!  I promise you will feel amazing and your kitchen will smell fabulous for hours!  Did I mention its gluten free as well?

Birdie Granola


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flour (scoop and shake to level)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or any kind of nut
  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tea. pinch sea salt
  • 2 tea. cinnamon
  • 1 tea. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (the good stuff) or agave nectar
  • 1.5 tea. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries or any other chopped dried fruit


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix first set of ingredients together in large bowl.
  2. Then mix second set of ingredients in separate bowl.
  3. Pour wet into dry ingredients, combine until well coated. spread evenly on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, stir. bake for another 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the stuff, both agave & maple syrup can brown quick!
  5. Remove from oven, stirring again.
  6. Once its cool, stir in the dried fruit.

There you have it!  I told you it was easy.  You don’t have to be precise with any of the nuts or fruits, really anything to your liking will work.  Sometimes I like to stir in toasted coconut, then sometimes cherries are great for a little tartness.  You can be like Lailah and eat it as is, or have it over your favorite yogurt or milk with some berries.  I have been obsessed with the Trader Joe’s brand soy yogurt, but they have been out of stock for months!  Such a bummer.  Since then I’ve opted for the so-delicious coconut milk based yogurt.  Its not bad, but nothing compared to Trader Joe’s.  Once the weather cools, I will pull out the dehydrator and start making my own again.  Oh fall, how I am ready for you!

photo (21)

In the voice of Lou Reed….’Sunday Morning’ Pancakes

photo (15)

I do love Sunday mornings.  And countless times upon rising, the first thoughts that run through my head are:

1.  Finally a day without the alarm clock, including snuggles with the fam & pups.

2.  I am so incredibly thankful that I am not a brunch chef anymore.  I love cooking brunch.  I just like to leisurely sit and eat it too.

3.  Pancakes!!

As I lay in bed still sleepy eyed, The Velvet Undergrounds ‘Sunday morning’ lyrics pop into my head quite regularly.  Thus its time to flip on the tunes, and make some pancakes!  Not a bad way to start the day.

Since I became pregnant I haven’t had many odd cravings at all.  No pickles, non of the non vegan things people mentioned I would crave.  Except for one thing.  Pancakes.  I have always been more of a savory breakfast person, but the little one inside screams for fruit topped pancakes weekly.  And who am I to deny that.

So here is a pancake recipe I adapted from Candle Cafes recipe, and changed a bit to be a little more whole foodie.  We skipped out on the blueberry ‘butter’, and opted for just some fresh peaches, and maple syrup.

Sunday Morning Pancakes

  • 1 Cup Sprouted Spelt Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Quinoa Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Unbleached Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Flax Seed
  • 2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Alternative of Choice
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Fresh Fruit, for accompaniment, we had peaches that needed to be used.
  • Maple Syrup, for accompaniment
  1. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ground flax seed in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  3. Spray a large nonstick sauté pan with canola oil cooking spray and heat the pan over medium heat.
  4. Drop large spoonfuls of batter into the pan, leaving room for the pancakes to expand.
  5. Cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles are popping to the surface, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Flip the pancakes and cook the second side until golden.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  8. Serve with fresh fruit, and maple syrup.

Here’s a close up of the finished cake stack topped with fresh peaches and syrup!

photo (18)

They turned out wonderful, and I was glad I didn’t use all unbleached flour.  The sprouted spelt flour we used was from a new-to-me company called  One Degree Organic Foods. Every grower/farmer who helps make One Degree food products uses veganic growing methods only.  How cool is that?!  If you haven’t tried any of their products I urge you to.  It’s amazing being able to support a company that prides themselves on transparency.

Next weekend Erik wants banana walnut, and I’ll opt for blueberries, as Im sure any filling will be wonderful.  Maybe even chocolate or carob chips if you feel up to it!

Happy Autumn!

Watch out, the world’s behind you. There’s always someone around you who will call. It’s nothing at all.  Sunday morning….



It has occurred to me that I don’t need to write a whole essay on just anything.  I mean, blogging is blogging right?

So back to breakfast…  Sweet?  Savory?  I’ll take both please.  Five grain pancakes, topped with granola, a dollop of homemade vegan yogurt, and some peach compote.  And for my savory, some green pea infiltrated tofu scramble, topped with Muir Glen kethup, and house grown-pickled jalapenos.  Yum.