When I was a child, my favourite desserts were anything with strawberries and cream. To be honest, not much has changed – except now I have to choose alternatives to dairy cream, which can be hard to find.
That’s not to say there aren’t a range of cream alternatives on the market, even a whipping cream, but they often contain oils and emulsifiers. Which is fine if you don’t have food intolerances or are eating a plant-based diet for health issues. But they’re a no go if you’re following programmes like Overcoming MS or looking after your gut health.
My solution is often to make my own dairy-free cream at home. Like this lovely cashew cream. Or this tasty oat cream. Both are great, but don’t create a thick, decadent texture that feels like a treat.
There is a tasty solution, however – this yummy creamy chia seed based dessert. A combination of chia seeds, dairy-free yoghurt, dairy-free milk and a dash of maple syrup creates a delicious dessert that’s:
- thick and creamy
- light but still filling
- full of healthy fats and fibre
- a great gluten free option
- moreish (you have been warned!)
I’ve chosen strawberries as my fruit of choice, but you can go for whatever berry you prefer. Or other fruit, like passion fruit, mango, kiwi – whatever you like. Seasonal is of course better (and cheapest), but if it’s out of season, frozen is always a good option. You could also used stewed fruit like apples, pears or plums. In fact, if it’s a fruit you like, then give it a go!
One of the challenges of choosing strawberries is they tend to be grown with high amounts of chemicals. I wrote an article about it here if you want to know more. When possible, buy organic. Or grow your own – always a super tasty option if you have the time and space.
I like a little texture on the top of this dessert, so I’ve sprinkled a little of the M&S Berry Booster, a mix of toasted seeds and dried fruit. Alternatively, you could add some granola or just leave it as fruit only.
This dessert does take a little planning ahead as the chia seeds need time to swell and thicken the mix. But apart from the chilling time, it takes only moments to prepare. Keep the mix in the fridge until you’re ready to serve, then fill your glass or serving dish to the brim!
I hope you enjoy this tasty, creamy strawberry chia dessert. Do let me know how you get on if you make it – and which fruit you decide to go for.
Creamy strawberry chia dessert
- 40 grams chia seeds
- 60 grams plain unsweetened soya yoghurt or dairy free yoghurt of choice
- 250 mls unsweetened soya 'milk' or dairy free milk of choice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 15 medium sized strawberries or berry or fruit of choice/in season
- 1 tbsp M&S Berry Boost Topper optional
- Measure the chia seeds into the bowl. Pour in the dairy-free yoghurt, milk and maple syrup. Stir well to combine then pop in the fridge for 4 hours to thicken.
- Wash the strawberries well. Allow 5 strawberries for each glass/dish. Chop the strawberries into small pieces and separate into 3 equal piles.
- Place 1/3 strawberries from pile one into the bottom of a glass/dish. Spoon some of the chia mix over the top. Sprinkle another 1/3 of strawberries on top then cover with another dollop or 2 of chia mix. Finish off with the last 1/3 of chopped strawberries. Serve with a sprig of mint or sprinkle of Toasted Berry Topper (optional)
- Repeat above for the other two portions.
- Serve immediately or keep chilled in the fridge.