I love watching Chopped. I’m always amazed at the chefs who come up with such beautiful and appetizing dishes out of that mystery box… and in 30 minutes? Wow. I often spend days just thinking through a recipe, not to mention making and perfecting it. I recently met a winner of Chopped and learned that not only are the time constraints very real, but on top of that, they only get a few minute introduction to the kitchen. Talk about pressure! There is no way I could hack this show. But I will try a more relaxed version!
Melissa’s Produce approached the San Diego Food Bloggers several months ago to take on a “Chopped”-style challenge in which they sent us each several of their amazing produce items and we needed to create a recipe using 3-4 of them along with 1-2 other ingredients of our choice. All of us had a blast with it and created such interesting and different recipes. It was so much fun that we decided to do it again! You can see all the other amazing recipes in the linkup below.
This time, for the Spring Challenge, our wonderful friend, Robert from Melissa’s sent us rhubarb, Korean melon, peaches, nectarines, young coconut, Hatch chile salsa & fava beans. FAVA BEANS? OMG, I thought, when I opened the box. Thank goodness I wasn’t on the real show because I would have absolutely no clue how to incorporate fava beans in with the rest of these items. I wanted so badly to find a way to make fava beans work with rhubarb and coconut (which I knew I wanted to use for sure), but after 3 days of pining over it, I accepted my defeat. So I cooked up my favas, served them with a nice Chianti and went on to make pudding.
Now this is when I really had fun. It seems everyone’s been using chia seeds lately and it’s no wonder why. They are packed full of nutrients and when you stir them together with milk, they magically make pudding! I was dying to use that young coconut in my box of goodies so I cracked it open and blended the water and pulp into a coconut milk. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE rhubarb so I knew I needed to stew that together with the sweet nectarines into a compote (which is really just a fancy name for stewed fruit).
I was so pleased with this combination, I couldn’t stop eating it. Don’t let the look of the chia seeds keep you from trying this. It is insanely good and an incredibly healthy dessert to boot. Melissa’s, I’m sorry I couldn’t step up with the favas. You really got me good this time!
Here are all the other wonderful San Diego Food Blogger’s recipes:
Coconut Chia Pudding with Rhubarb Nectarine Compote
Servings: 6 • Size: ½ cup pudding w/ ¼ cup compote • Weight Watcher Points+: 4
Calories: 178 • Fat: 4g • Carbs: 32g • Fiber: 5g • Protein: 5g
Sugars: 24g • Sodium: 20mg • Cholesterol: 0mg
- 1 Melissa’s young coconut, water and flesh reserved*
- 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups rhubarb chunks (approx. 1/2 inch slices)
- 2 medium nectarines, sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup apple juice
- 2 whole star anise
*Here is an excellent video showing you how to safely open a young coconut to get all the delicious flesh and water from the inside.
Pour the coconut water into a blender and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and add to the blender. Puree on high until the mixture is totally smooth (yields about 1 1/2 cups coconut milk). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the Greek yogurt, vanilla and honey until combined. Stir in the chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. If you get a chance to stir the mixture a couple of times, then do so. If not, no worries, it will still work.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the rhubarb, nectarines, sugar, apple juice and star anise. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool and remove star anise from the mixture.
Scoop the pudding into a bowl and top with the compote. Best served chilled.