Vanilla Chia Seed Parfait with Fresh Berries & Tsubuan (Japanese Sweet Red Beans)
Valentine’s Day is just a week away!
At our home, this means that Bebe and I put up various little heart-shaped decorations and start working on Valentine crafts. We also like to pull out our favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books and we start reading them at nap and bed time. It’s definitely a fun holiday that we enjoy. (Photo Credit Above: Hideki Ueha)
As for celebrating on the 14th, I usually cook dinner and dessert for our family at home in order to beat the restaurant crowds. At a later date, my husband and I usually plan a quiet dinner for the two of us.
For us, Valentine’s Day is a simple affair, much like the parfait I share today.
♥ The vanilla chia seed pudding only requires mixing and refrigeration.
♥ The berries are fresh and naturally sweet. Because the parfait is miniature in size, the strawberries are chopped into bite-sized pieces.
♥ The decorative cookies (wafers and perifioles) are store-bought and optional, but nevertheless enjoyable.
I am both happy and proud to announce that I was interviewed about my blog and experience writing, and this will be featured in an article in the Pacific Citizen, a Japanese – American Newspaper published by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Additionally, my Vanilla Chia Seed Parfait with Fresh Berries and Tsubuan will be featured in this month’s issue. At a later date, I believe the article will also be available on the Pacific Citizen website.
Special thanks to my brother-in-law, Hideki Ueha, who took a gorgeous shot of my parfait.
- FOR PARFAIT:
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk
- 2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar, or more to taste
- 1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, rough chopped
- 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
- Tsubuan (chunky sweet red bean paste)
- Whip cream (pre-made), optional topping
- Cookies (store-bought), optional topping
- FOR TSUBUAN:
- 1 cup azuki beans (small red beans)
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 - 5 cups water, or more as needed
- FOR VANILLA CHIA SEED PUDDING:
- In a medium size re-sealable plastic container, combine chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla soy milk, alcohol-free vanilla extract and sugar. Gently incorporate all ingredients with a spatula, breaking apart any clumps of seeds to create a smooth mixture. Secure lid and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Chia seeds will “puff-up”, and the longer the mixture rests, the thicker the pudding will become.
- FOR TSUBUAN (COARSE SWEET RED BEAN PASTE):
- Tsubuan may be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl, soak azuki beans in water overnight. The beans will expand and some may split. Rinse the beans, transfer to a medium pot, add water, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes; skim foam, discard and repeat until broth is clear of foam.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer the azuki beans for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until soft. Stir occasionally to make sure that the beans don't stick to the pot and burn. Add water if necessary as the liquid evaporates.
- Once the beans are soft, add sugar and salt and stir constantly until sugar dissolves (about 3 – 5 minutes). Gently smash the azuki beans into a chunky paste, leaving some of the beans in tact for texture. If the tsubuan is slightly watery in nature, as it cools, the beans will absorb the liquid, creating a thick paste. Once cooled, store tsubuan in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- FOR ASSEMBLING MINI PARFAIT:
- Chop fresh strawberries and set aside. If the strawberries are tart, a touch of granulated sugar may be tossed with the cut strawberries. Wash and drain fresh raspberries, then set aside.
- In a mini 4” tall dessert glass, layer vanilla chia pudding, top with fresh fruit, add another layer of vanilla chia pudding, then top with a scoop of tsubuan, whip cream and more fresh berries. Optional: add pre-made cookies.
- Serve immediately. Note: When time is limited, tsubuan may be purchased pre-made at most Asian markets but the sweetness cannot be controlled it can when it is homemade.
Best of luck to all the Olympians as the winter games in Sochi begin! We love the olympics and we’re looking forward to being glued to the TV for the next two weeks! :)