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Persimmon Ginger Chia Pudding

Persimmon Ginger Chia Pudding

Have you gotten your fill of persimmons this year? If not, hurry – season’s almost over!

What’s a persimmon?

If you’re not familiar, persimmons make their grand and brief appearance in California from September to November. While they are native to North America, the variety that shows up most often in US grocery stores are the Japanese “kaki fruit.” There are two types to watch for: the Fuyus, which have the texture of a tomato or peach and flavor of a cloyingly sweet papaya or sapota (mamey/chikoo). And then there are the Hachiyas, which are astringent due to tannins and best enjoyed in baked goods.

Despite their overbearing sweetness, persimmons are surprisingly good for you. They’re rich in antioxidants (vitamins A & C, polyphenols and other phytochemicals) and a good source of fiber. They’ve been studied for various benefits, including cardiovascular, cholesterol lowering and for promoting healthy skin (to mention a few).

They’re also a feast for sore eyes – adding persimmons to salads, desserts and smoothies treats you to a welcome burst of color on a drab wintry day.

Needless to say, I buy as many persimmons as humanly possible when they’re in season.

Which brings me to this recipe.

 

This chia pudding combines the sweetness of persimmon with lime and ginger to make a refreshing, delectable, tropical flavor. Throw in some coconut and you may as well fire up the tiki torches!

Enjoy as a light breakfast, snack or dessert – just get those persimmons in before they’re gone!

xo – Mux

For variation: 

I use homemade pecan milk in the recipe, but you could use any nut or seed milk. Use my almond or cashew milk recipe as a guide.

If you run out of persimmons, you can use any fruit with a similar texture – mangoes, chikoo, papaya, peaches or even blueberries.

Add spices! Cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg would be lovely here.

Persimmon Ginger Chia Pudding

Chia pudding made into an extra fancy & satisfying treat with Fuyu persimmon, ginger, lime & coconut.
Prep Time1 hr
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: chia, healthy fats, persimmon, pudding, snack
Servings: 2
Author: Mukta Gadkari

Equipment

  • High-speed blender (if making nut milk from scratch)

Ingredients

1 cup nut-milk

  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup water

Chia pudding

  • 4 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon
  • 1 tbsp. raw ginger root (finely grated)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut (or more)

Optional

  • 2 tbsp. hemp hearts (or hemp seeds)
  • drizzle raw honey

Instructions

For the nut-milk (approx. 1 cup):

  • Rinse and drain the soaked pecans and add to a high-speed blender.
  • Add 1 cup of filtered water.
  • Blend for about 1 minute (until smooth) and pour the pecan milk into a mason jar.

For the chia-pudding:

  • Stir the chia seeds into the pecan milk and mix well (if you don't stir, the chia will clump together).
  • Let the pudding set for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. If your kitchen is warm, leave it in the fridge.
  • Optional: After the chia pudding has set, add 2 tbsp. hemp seeds and mix well.
  • Wash and cube the persimmon and add it to a separate bowl.
  • Add the ginger and lime juice to the cubed persimmon and mix well, mashing the fruit slightly. Once the persimmon is a little mushy and juicy, it's time to assemble the pudding!
  • Take two small jars, glasses or dessert bowls. Layer the pudding by scooping 1-2 tbsp. chia pudding into each jar, then 1-2 tbsp of the persimmon mixture, then more chia pudding, and more persimmon (until it's all gone).
  • Finally garnish each jar with 1 tbsp. of shredded coconut each and a tiny drizzle of raw honey. Enjoy!
Small-batch Flourless Espresso Brownies

Small-batch Flourless Espresso Brownies

OMG. I don’t normally rush to post a recipe right after cooking, but here I am, still swooning over possibly the best brownies I’ve ever made.

Granted, my track record of brownie making aint that impressive (considering the last time I made them was two years ago).

But, hel-lo.

These brownies are quite simply, to die for. They’re:

    • flour-less (I’ve been baking with nut- and seed-flour lately with delicious results).
    • sinfully chocolatey (with cacao powder AND chocolate chips).
    • the perfect balance of bitter-sweet (with a tinge of espresso).

And they’re small-batch (perfect for that quick-hit chocolate craving).

Because the recipe only makes 8 brownies, you’ll be tempted to eat it all in one go, but try not to.

Savor these brownies. Eat them slowly. Relish the wholesome, ooey gooey textures. And if you can bear to, share them with your neighbors.

The idea for these brownies came from Ambitious Kitchen’s Small Batch Paleo Almond Flour Brownies with Raspberries. I loved the idea of a small-batch brownie recipe, and one made completely with nuts (and no weird gluten-free flour blends) seemed too good to be true.

So, I’ve been trying to find an excuse to make them this entire lock-down.

But the longer I waited, the more this recipe evolved (you know me, I can’t leave a recipe alone).

I finally decided to make them for my dad’s birthday (my dad’s a chocolate monster; and yes, he might be in a different country, but a girl can still celebrate!).

So, here are the tweaks I made.

#1. Blitzed almonds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) instead of almond flour. I don’t normally buy almond flour and instead grind raw unsalted almonds into a fine flour-like substance. I’m also a bit stingy with my raw almonds (especially in times like these, when grocery store trips are limited), so I used an almond-pumpkin seed blend, which totally worked.

#2. Maple syrup instead of coconut sugar. The recipe uses 1/3 cup coconut sugar. I used a little less than 1/4 cup maple syrup because that’s what I had at home. I don’t love overly sweet desserts, and this quantity worked well for me, but you can adjust it if needed.

#3. Espresso instead of raspberries. Since it was my dad’s birthday, I wanted something that represented him. And if there’s anything my dad loves more than chocolate, it’s coffee. So I swapped out the berries for 1.5 tsp of a strong espresso powder. I also added chocolate chips, a handful of walnuts and garnished with more pumpkin seeds.

Et voila – here it is, a dense, moreish, nut & seed-filled caffeinated masterpiece.

Hope you love it as much as I did (and if you make it, don’t forget to share and tag me!). xo

Small-Batch Flourless Espresso Brownies

These gluten-free brownies are adapted from Ambitious Kitchen's Small Batch Paleo Almond Flour Brownies with Raspberries. They're chockful of nuts, seeds, chocolate and espresso, and make an ooey, gooey, wholesome treat!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Cooling time5 mins
Course: Chocolate, desserts, snacks, Sweets
Cuisine: all
Keyword: brownies, chocolate, espresso, flourless, gluten-free, nuts, seeds
Servings: 8 brownies

Equipment

  • Loaf tin

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (or raw almonds)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

Optional (but recommended)

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (to garnish on top)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line a 8X4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (The original recipe provides an option to make it in two 5-inch skillets, so if you want to try that instead, refer to the Ambitious Kitchen recipe).
  • Place a small saucepan over low heat, add coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until the coconut oil is completely melted. The oil will be separate from the maple syrup at this point.
  • Set aside to cool for just a few minutes, then transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Next, in a food processor (I used a hand-held food chopper), blitz the almonds and pumpkin seeds together until the texture resembles sand. You don't want it to become clumpy or turn into paste, so don't go crazy with this!
  • Add the other dry ingredients - raw cacao, baking soda, sea salt and espresso powder to the ground nut-seed mixture. Blitz once so they mix together (you ca do this in a separate bowl if you like, but why dirty another bowl?).
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly and mix with a wooden spoon. The batter should be quite thick.
  • Drop in the chocolate chips and walnuts, and combine gently.
  • Now pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Tilt the pan so the batter is evenly spread, then garnish with the remaining pumpkin seeds.
  • Place in the preheated oven for 18-23 minutes, or until the edges are set. Under-bake these brownies, so they remain fudgy once they cool down.
  • Once you take it out of the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire-rack, another 5-10 minutes (trust me, it's easier to cut once they cool down).
  • Cut into 8 brownies, and tuck right in. <3

Notes

  • Almond meal is not the same as almond flour. The original calls for almond flour, and I used to mix of almond & pumpkin seed meal (blitzed). It totally works.
  • I used a little less sweetener than the recipe called for. I tend to enjoy sweets that are less sweet, and in the bitter-sweet spectrum of chocolate, I gravitate towards the bitter end. The brownies was sweet enough for me (especially once you add chocolate chips). Don't knock it till you try it!
Pumpkin Chaiwalla Brownies (grain-free)

Pumpkin Chaiwalla Brownies (grain-free)

There’s just something about chai.

Something about a steaming cup of spicy chai that hits all the right notes of ginger, black pepper and cardamom, the boldness of black tea leaves and just a touch of milk and sweetener. Like the kind that chaiwallas serve on Indian train platforms, or the comforting mug accompanying a Parle G biscuit.  Throw in a hot samosa, a cold afternoon and a cozy blanket – and we’re talking about one seriously crave-worthy combination that is difficult to match.

Having said that, combining the flavors of chai with chocolate was a little outrageous, even for my standards. Yes, it had been done before, but never in my kitchen. But there was just something, something about infusing ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric (yes that too) with dark chocolate in a brownie that Just. Made. Sense.  And adding pumpkin created another layer of suspense that I frankly could not wait to try out.

But first, a quick back story.

Like most of my cooking, this one started with an idea: a dream, even. I woke up knowing I had to make pumpkin brownies. Blame it on the subliminal messaging on social media what with everyone’s PSLs, pumpkin muffins, cookies, cakes, smoothies, dips, butters, mac ‘n cheeses – it just had to be done! I looked up a few tested and tried recipes, settled on the basic framework of Ambitious Kitchen’s decadent “One-Bowl Paleo Pumpkin Brownies” and got to work.

As I started to add the blend the wet ingredients together, I scanned through the rest of the recipe and the what-ifs began. What if I added ginger? Wait, what about cardamom? Ooh black pepper! Hang on, surely I’d get away with turmeric? Hmm, chai brownie….must add black tea leaves……

And that was that, folks. With that, I give you the Pumpkin Chaiwalla Brownie: a scrummy fudgy spicy Indian square of yum.

Here they are. I was so proud, I took them on a special photo-shoot in the backyard!

(If you’re wondering why they’re so skinny, it’s because I used a larger baking tray (9×13). If you use an 8×8 square one, your brownies will be perfect).

Recipe super-powers:

Trying to settle on this recipe’s superstar ingredient was a massive challenge; there were just so many to choose from! But in the interest of time (I know you want this recipe already), I chose almonds. They really do shine in every bite, and take this from being a refined carb, blood-sugar hazard to a (dare-I-say) healthy dessert!

Studies have even shown that adding almonds to a potentially high glycemic index (GI) meal, actually reduces the overall glycemic index of the meal – which means that it keeps your blood sugar nice and steady. On top of that, almonds contain rich amounts of biotin, which supports the production of insulin (again great for your blood sugar); potent antioxidant vitamin E, which cleans up free radical damage; copper which is essential for energy production; and good monosaturated fats, which when combined with the vitamin E have shown to reduce LDL cholesterol!

With this fabulous nutritional profile, it’s no wonder that almonds were recently ranked the #1 most nutritious food in the world. Oi vey!

Pumpkin Chaiwalla Brownies

A brownie recipe that's part chai, part chocolate, part pumpkin, and entirely too delicious to pass up on!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Chocolate, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: almond, brownie, cardamom, chai, ginger, paleo, pumpkin
Servings: 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (I used the pulp from a roasted pumpkin)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • ¾ cup almond flour (I made almond-meal by blitzing raw almonds in a chopper)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp. cardamom (I like this strong!)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper (you can add ½ tsp if you want less)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric (you won’t even know it’s in there)
  • 1 tsp. black tea leaves (lightly crushed)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or unsweetened applesauce (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper (I used a 9x13 inch pan and my brownies became a little skinny). 
  • In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract (if using) and grated ginger until smooth. 
  • Mix in the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, tea leaves and salt until smooth. If the batter is too dry, you can add 1 tbsp. of olive oil or unsweetened applesauce. 
  • Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Add batter into prepared pan and spread to the edges. Smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes until knife comes out clean. Brownies will not look completely cooked but as soon as the knife comes out clean, they will be done (mine took 30 minutes). 
  • Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and store in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for up to a week.