April 2, 2017

Tropical Overnight Chia Breakfast Parfaits

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We’ve hit a bit of a breakfast slump lately. Mornings are chaos. In a matter of seconds, I go from a deep, peaceful slumber to a four-alarm mad rush of changing eggs, cooking diapers (wait, is that right? ), cleaning up milk spills, removing fingers from sockets, protecting the Irish Setter from having legos shoved up his nostrils, and removing the raspberries that the 18-month-old has cheerfully smooshed and distributed among everyone’s boots.

I’m usually hyperventilating with hair sticking up in all directions by 8 o’clock. On workdays, the nanny arrives at 9. One day last week, I closed the door in my office, sat down at my desk with my coffee and absentmindedly petted the dog for a good 5 minutes before I realized it was just a pile of laundry.

(It’s time to worry when you catch your pet trying to puzzle out your behavior.)

I’m worried about you, mom, you ok? Woof.

All that to say, we have been relying heavily on a freezer stash of bread goods to carry us through until lunch. I love breakfast, and I’ve really missed thoughtful breakfasts. Plus, I’ve been craving summery foods – freshness and light. So, during a particularly horrific span of endless rain (even by pacific northwest standards), I decided to pretend we are in the tropics.

With spring upon us (there’s actual SUN today!), it feels like time to hit reset on the morning routine and plan in advance for some easy-but-nourishing, colorful, wholesome breakfasts again. Back to intentional decisions and better-for-us ingredients with this first meal of the day.

I partnered with Horizon Dairy, US leader in organic milk, to bring you this recipe. I watched their recent video that featured a bunch of adorable quirky kids, with the slogan “we’re all for weird, just not in food”. I love that so much! It’s very fitting to my life right now.

It totally inspired my ingredient choice for this parfait. I went with the quirkiest, most unusual, colorful fruit I could find. The spiky, fuchsia dragonfruit, whose wild exterior belies a strangely sedate black-and-white interior. The kids love everything about it, right down to its name. (And they were roaring and pretending to be actual dragons for the rest of the morning.)

I’m years behind the internet in jumping on the chia seed bandwagon, but better late than never, right?  These things are magical! I just stirred them into a bowl of Horizon organic milk with a splash of maple syrup and a few drips of pure vanilla extract, and in the morning? Delicious, nutritious, adorably polka-dotted PUDDING!

I layered this quick vanilla chia pudding with a vibrant 2-ingredient mango sauce (also yummy on waffles, pancakes, yogurt or oatmeal) and some balled dragonfruit just for fun, and everyone inhaled it in the morning. (I used measuring spoons to scoop the balls.)

Despite how cutesy they look, these parfaits were as easy as peanut butter toast (easier, because the 60 seconds of effort were accomplished the night before). If you want to make pretty cross-section of fruit in front of the parfait, just press it firmly to the side of the glass as you fill it up. Slices of kiwi are really cute this way, too.

My husband loved the pudding, too, he swears it kept him full until 3 pm. I am skeptical, but it is a suprisingly satistfing breakfast.  The texture is kinda like tapioca or rice pudding. You can puree it if you prefer smoothness, but if you do, it needs a bit more maple syrup.

Follow Horizon Dairy on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and Pinterest for lots more fun, wholesome, real-food inspiration.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.



Tropical Overnight Chia Breakfast Parfaits

Quick & easy overnight chia pudding layered with 2-ingredient mango sauce and fruit for a beautiful, healthy, deceptively easy tropical breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Jennifer Pallian


  • 1 1/2 cups Horizon Dairy Organic Milk I like whole or 2%
  • 4-6 tbsp white or black chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe Ataulfo mangoes pitted, peeled and cut in a few chunks (or use frozen mango chunks, thawed a bit first)
  • 2 tbsp apple juice orange juice, coconut water or just plain water
  • Ripe dragonfruit kiwi, bananas, pineapple or your choice of other fruit, peeled and balled or chopped


  1. In the evening, whisk milk, 4 tbsp chia seeds (6 if you prefer a thick pudding), maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl. Whisk again just before you go to bed to prevent the seeds from clumping as the pudding thickens. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or up to 3 days).
  2. To make the mango sauce, puree mangoes with juice or water in blender or food processor until smooth. Use right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  3. In the morning, give the chia pudding another good whisk.  Spoon layers of pudding, fruit and mango sauce into serving dishes (mason jars work well to see the layers, or unbreakable acrylic glasses are a safe bet for littles).

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Hi, I’m Jenn! I’m in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + making something delicious, in roughly equal parts. So happy that you’ve joined me!


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