I love traveling: discovering new places, seeing new things, and especially eating new things. Even though exotic destinations have been put on hold, there are still plenty of fun and interesting destinations here at home. One city I visit often that always inspires me in the kitchen is Chicago. And this summer I stopped by for a quick breakfast at the cute and insta-ready Wake N’ Bacon. There are lots of creative and over the top breakfast places in Chi-Town but what drew me there was the Filipino influence on some of their menu items. And the one thing that caught my eye immediately was their Halo Halo Chia Pudding. A combination of chia pudding with colorful fruity toppings? Yup, ordering one right up.
Breakfast For Dessert
Don’t you love when breakfast can double for dessert? Such is the case with Halo halo. Halo halo means “mix-mix” and it is one of the iconic sweet dishes in the Philippines. Endlessly customizable, I modeled my chia pudding after Wake N’ Bacon’s and loaded it with fruit, coconut milk, and protein packed chia seeds. Since there’s no sugar in this chia pudding, I added a couple of sweet touches that you typically see in halo halo. Some cubes of coconut jelly and a dollop of condensed milk give it just enough sweetness that you could legitimately serve it as either breakfast or dessert. Day or night, the combination of textures and flavors will have you clamoring for more.
Plus, you will love the convenience of making it ahead and having a fresh, colorful grab and go breakfast in the fridge. Perfect for easing back into the school routine…
What is Halo halo?
Typically enjoyed as a dessert throughout the Philippines, this summer time treat is a playful mix of everything from shaved ice, scoops of ice cream, chunks of flan, and every variety of fruit, jellies, cereal, and sweet beans, all artfully layered in tall glasses or big bowls. It’s served with a spoon to “mix-mix” it all up.
For our breakfast version though we are going to forgo the ice cream, flan, and shaved ice, for a streamlined and healthier version. I opt instead for chia pudding layered with coconut jelly and fruit.
The chia seeds are so light that they have a tendency to float on top of the liquid, so you need to mix them really well, and then mix them again a few minutes later to make sure they aren’t clumping together.
After about 10 minutes, the chia pudding should have thickened, and it will thicken more as it chills. While the chia seeds are busy absorbing the liquid, I prep the fruit.
Pour the chia pudding on top of the berries. Then top with more fruit and chill for a couple of hours.
A few things: if you are making these the day before, leave the cereal topping off until right before serving so they are the right crunchy texture. You can also make these in storage containers to pack in the fridge and take on the go. They last a couple of days but no more than that or the fresh fruit will not be so fresh.
If you want to make these dairy free/vegan, you can omit the condensed milk. There is canned condensed coconut milk you can use instead. And if you are a thief of joy and want to use a healthier cereal than Fruity Pebbles, go for it, but Fruity Pebbles add the perfect crunch and pop of color. Nothing turns that first day of school frown upside down faster.
I hope you love this breakfast treat as much as we do. If you make it, let us know. Leave a comment or rate the recipe below. And let’s see those beautiful Halo halos-tag us @funkyasiankitchen.
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut cream or milk
- 3/4 cup water
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup nate de coco (coconut jelly)*
- 8 tablespoons fruity pebbles or other crunchy cereal
- In a medium bowl or tall mixing glass, mix together the chia seeds, water, and coconut milk. The chia seeds are very light so you need to mix well. After a couple of minutes, mix again to make sure all of the chia is soaking in the coconut milk and there are no pockets of dry grains.
- Let the chia seeds continue absorbing the liquid and thickening, about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prep the fruit:
- Wash the strawberries. Next cut off the stems of the strawberries and cut into quarters. Set aside.
- Wash the blueberries and set aside.
- Use 4 clear wine glasses or small clear bowls for your puddings. At the bottom of each cup put 2 tablespoons each of the nate de coco, chopped strawberries, and blueberries.
- Evenly pour the chia pudding on top of the fruit in the four glasses. Next top each pudding with 2 tablespoons of nate de coco, strawberries, and blueberries.
- Cover the chia pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, pour a couple of tablespoons of condensed milk on top of the pudding and top with the fruity pebbles.
- Then mix-mix (halo halo) and enjoy.
*Nato de coco, little cubes of coconut jelly, can be found in Asian markets. You can also use any of the flavored ones used for bubble tea.
*This pudding chills up firm. If you prefer a looser, softer pudding, increase the water to 1 cup.
Keywords: halo halo, chia, chia pudding, healthy breakfast, filipino food