You know, I never really understood the whole peanut butter and jelly thing. It just didn’t really seem like two things that would go together. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that being allergic to nuts meant that I had no idea what peanut butter was like. Or because being in England, I had a completely different idea about what jelly was. It took me a while to realise the whole thing was actually about jam! But since making my own free from butter, I’m obsessed with this strange combo!
The fruit puree really couldn’t be easier to make and can be made from either fresh or frozen fruit. Just add it to a pan with a splash of liquid, either water or fruit juice. With a little touch of sweetener of your choice (sugar, honey, maple syrup…). Wait for the mixture to come to the boil and let it simmer until nice and smooth. You can either leave it slightly chunky, or use a blender / hand blender to whizz it down until smooth. You can use any fruit that you want really, but to keep it true to the PB & J flavour, I’ve gone with a raspberry and strawberry combination, which is the perfect sweet and fruity taste to compliment the savoury butter and creamy chia. My one top tip for best results: leave the jam mixture to thicken in the fridge overnight.
The base is made from creamy and delicious chia pudding made with milk. You can use absolutely any type of milk you like to make this and the result will always be the same. I’ve tried this with both dairy milk and a dairy free alternative – coconut milk in my case – and you really couldn’t tell the difference between the two!
The main thing to remember is that chia seeds expand to about 3x their original size when soaked in water. So if the mixture doesn’t seem very thick at the beginning, it will slowly thicken up with time. Don’t add a load more seeds because you’ll be left with a very thick, glue-like chia pudding. You can always add a little more liquid if this happens, but it’s just easier to be patient. I normally add a little coconut sugar as well; but you can either omit this or use a different type of sweetener.
I try to incorporate chia seeds into my meals at least once a day, just because they are packed with so many health benefits. Just in case you’d like to find a bit more about this little seeds super food status, I’ll leave a link here.
I have a nut allergy, so I have to use seed butter instead of the traditional peanut butter for my PB&J chia pudding. I suppose it’s more of a SB&J – Seed Butter & Jam – creation. But I am told that the two butters taste nearly identical, so I’m confident that it’s as true to the traditional flavours as I can get!
If you’d prefer, of course use your favourite nut butter as the topping! But, if you’d prefer the seed butter, I’m going to leave a link for my go-to recipe here. It is one of my most used recipes, and is honestly super quick, easy and delicious.
So, to recap the steps needed to make this pudding are: Make the chia pudding first, and let it soak for at least 2 hours. Then layer on your puree (jelly), and a heaped layer of peanut (or seed) butter. Leave it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set, and enjoy each delicious and perfect bite!