Turn a Little Head Into Dessert

Who knew something this sweet could come from a little head?
Who knew something this sweet could come from a little head?

What do Bart Simpson, crocodiles and President Obama have in common? All three have been memorialized as a Chia Pet -- the kitschy terracotta planter thing that sprouts a healthy green coat of the mint-related herb.

Most people think of Chia Pets as a gag gift (or an easy-to-grow plant for those with a black thumb), but chia seeds are actually a good source of fiber, omega 3's and a host of other trendy vitamins and minerals.

Inspired by a taste test at Camelback Inn's Sprouts juice bar, The Virgin decided to be daring and whip up a little chia dessert made with in-season fruit and a free sample of Salba, a white chia supplement available online or at Kroger/Fry's grocery stores.

According to Chef Brian Archambault, the way to best prepare chia is to soak the whole seeds overnight in some form of milk (the cow version works, or you can sub in flavored almond milk or soy milk for a sweeter taste). With that in mind, I tossed a handful of seeds in a teacup, poured in a dash of 2% milk and left them in the fridge overnight.

What resulted was a gross-looking gelatinous mixture that stuck together in thick, gloppy clumps. Yum.

If this happens to you, splash in more milk and keep your fingers crossed for better results in a few hours.

  • 1/2 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 6-7 small fresh apricots
  • 2 cups vanilla or caramel ice cream

The Virgin's DeStructions:

1. Combine nectar and cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Stir in honey. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let cool.

4. Halve apricots with a small knife and remove pits.


5. Pour cream/apricot mixture into a blender and add 6-8 apricot halves. Puree until mixture is semi-smooth.

6. Scoop ice cream into a small bowl and surround with creepy soaked chia globules.

7. Cover with fresh apricots to hide the fact you're serving this shit heathful treat to your guests.

Tip #1: Works best in a solid colored bowl, rather than a glass one which reveals the slimy mess.

Tip #2: Don't put too much fiber-filled chia into one bowl, or "eat and run" will take on a whole new meaning.

8. Top with apricot sauce, plus a few apricot halves, and serve. 

The result: The chia seeds ended up with a texture somewhere between boba (tapioca balls) and the jellylike slime that coats canned ham, but the dessert itself was tasty. Caramel ice cream was a rich base for the naturally sweet apricots and subtle, creamy apricot-honey sauce. The Salba seeds remained slightly crunchy, adding interesting texture to the mix.

Turn a Little Head Into Dessert

Looks aside, this chia dish is better than kale chips or a wheatgrass shake any day.       

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