One of my favorite parts of our holiday in Australia was our road trip up the coast to Byron Bay, mostly because of all the amazing beachside cafés we stopped at along the way. Every town we drove through had its own version of an effortlessly cool, laidback, brunch-y coffee shop, and I couldn’t get enough of them. I loved the rustic, fresh-from-the-kiln tableware. I loved the kitschy collectible antique spoons. I loved the meticulously poured flat whites (seriously, can you get a bad coffee in Australia? I think not).
But what struck me most was the simplicity of the menus at these cafés. They all relied on the same healthy-ish breakfast staples: yogurt and granola bowls, poached eggs and sourdough, avocado toast—but they each managed to add original twists to their dishes. One café added avocado slices to a bountiful bowl of yogurt, passionfruit, and granola, a combination that satisfied my sweet tooth and my craving for healthy fats in an unexpected way. Another plopped a generous scoop of coconut ice cream on top of a stack of pancakes and fruit (I REPEAT: ice cream on pancakes!!!). I was in paradise.
Chia pudding is a dish that was also featured heavily on these menus, and it’s a breakfast food that I’ve forgotten about lately—but no longer! I decided to make a quick little recipe for a chia pudding parfait featuring another ingredient that’s everywhere in summery Australia, mango. The mangoes there are unbelievably sweet and delicious and I miss them every day. I don’t buy mangoes too often in London for obvious reasons, but as an ode to our holiday I made an exception.
This recipe is no-cook, vegan, gluten-free, and it’s great for meal prepping and make-ahead breakfasts. It’s also really pretty and can cheer you up if you’re feeling down in the middle of winter and need to eat something colorful while watching videos of babies laughing (not that I have any experience with that…). I took a bite, closed my eyes, and pretended I was sitting at a reclaimed wood table overlooking the beach, a bustling café at my back. It’s not Australia, but it’ll do in a pinch.
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt, if not vegan), divided
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed if frozen), divided
- More fruit and granola, for topping
- In a blender, combine the mango chunks and almond milk. Blend until smooth, then pour into a jar. Stir the chia seeds into the mango-almond milk blend until evenly incorporated. Seal the jar and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight to allow the chia seeds to soak.
- After the mango chia pudding has set, get out two clean jars. Spoon 1/4 of the mango-chia mixture into one of the jars. Layer 1/4 cup of the yogurt on top of the chia pudding, followed by 1/2 cup of the raspberries. Spoon another 1/4 of the mango-chia mixture on top of the raspberries, then layer another 1/4 cup of yogurt over the chia pudding. Top the parfait with more fruit and a sprinkling of granola.
- Repeat the layering pattern with the other jar and the remaining chia pudding, yogurt, raspberries, fruit, and granola. Serve, or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.