One of the great things about having a mother who cooks great food is easy access to such deliciousness. Not only can I pick her brain on how to make the food, but I know how it tastes, too, so I can play around with ingredients to healthify them!
Ché is a term used to describe a large variety of Vietnamese desserts. There isn’t really a way to pin them down, except that they all seem to contain liquid as well as food. They are all vegan, but some are only eaten cold, some are only eaten hot, and some can be eaten both ways. This can be eaten both ways, and I enjoy it both ways but I think I may slightly prefer eating it cold. Don’t worry about measurements for this – adjust it to your tastes and preferences. I have yet to figure out a healthy way to recreate my favorite ché, but here is a super simple version of one that my mom made for me over the holidays that I couldn’t stop gobbling. It is so easy to make that you can basically let it sit while you go watch TV or do other things. It has a sweet and nutty taste to it from the mung beans, in a creamy base from the coconut milk. This dessert is gluten free and high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
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Makes 4 cups
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 cup dehusked mung beans
- 1 cup water or more
- Add chia seeds to a large container.
- Shake the can of coconut milk until the liquids and solids mix together and add milk and syrup to the container. Don’t worry if you have chunks of coconut milk – they will melt later. Stir ingredients until they turn into a light brown color.
- Rinse mung beans and add to a large pot. The beans should be a thin layer across the bottom. Add enough water so that it rises above the layer by about half an inch. You can add more if you want the beans to become softer and thicker.
- Heat beans on medium low until they simmer. Reduce heat to low until most of the water is absorbed into the beans and the beans have softened, about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice. There should be no more water rising above the layer of beans. You can always adjust the water and amount of mung beans to your taste, or let it heat longer if you want the beans even softer.
- Add beans and remaining water from the pot into the container and stir until the solid chunks liquefy and blend with the rest of the dessert.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least a few hours and serve cold.
Tip: If you want to serve it immediately, I recommend letting the chia seeds soak in the milk mixture for at least a couple hours before starting the mung beans, so that the chia seeds can have time to form that gel coating.