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Creamy Banana Pudding (Raw, GF & vegan)

While I love my green smoothies in the morning, I do like to change things up from time to time.  This is something that I whipped up when we were vacationing in England and I've now figured out that by blitzing it in the Vitamix I can get quite a creamy consistency.  Whether you use just a fork or go for the appliance, you will end up with something yummy.  It reminds me of yogurt and pudding and is as versatile as both of those little wonders.  You can top this pud with fresh berries and/or granola.  Sprinkle on some flax seeds and you'll totally be a super star. Adjust the sweetness as you see fit.  I prefer to use lucuma powder  here when I want the sweet flavor because it is a very mild earthy sweetness and it's raw.   Like any sweetener, lucuma adds calories but has the benefit of being a minimally processed whole food rather than an overprocessed, chemically treated product like white sugar.  Maple syrup is a good substitute if you really need the sweetness.  I challenge you to try this with less sweetener than you think you need (or none at all!)  Bananas are beautifully sweet and really shine if you let them. Creamy Banana Chia Pudding (Serves 1 adult or 2 children) This recipe can be doubled easily.  My suggestion is to use 2 bananas per adult, 1 per child.  Only add ½ tsp increments of sweetener for each additional portion if you are using a sweetener.   [caption id="attachment_380" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Creamy Banana Chia Pudding"]Creamy Banana Chia Pudding[/caption] 2 ripe bananas 2 Tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp lucuma powder or maple syrup (optional) ½ cup almond milk or other alternative milk There are a few ways to prepare this pudding depending on the equipment you have.  The manual way to tackle this is to grab a wide bowl and a fork.  Put your peeled bananas into the bowl and give them a thorough mashing.  If you like things chunkier, leave them chunkier.  If not, keep mashing until the bananas make a paste.  Top with chia and lucuma and mix those in.  Add the almond milk and stir until everything is combined.  Now leave the bowl alone for a few minutes while the chia swells and absorbs the almond milk. If you have a Vitamix, blender or food processor you can put everything in and blend for a few seconds until you get a smooth puree.  Transfer the puree to a bowl and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes while the chia works it’s magic. If you want a smooth pudding and have a coffee or spice grinder you can mill the chia seeds into a powder before adding them to the manually mashed banana.  Still leaves you with an appliance to clean, but it’s not as messy as using a blender, etc. Top with granola and fresh berries for a great breakfast or quick snack.  

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