Surely you’ve heard of chia seeds. No? I first heard of them through Chia Pets-animal shapes that were covered with sprouts. You watered them, applied chia seeds, and the “pet” sprouted “fur”. Who knew that it was edible.
These days, tiny chia seeds have joined the list of superfoods like broccoli, walnuts, cacao, avocados and kale. A superfood is something that packs a powerful nutritional punch. In a one ounce serving of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons dry), you’ll find fiber, protein, antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fats, as well as an impressive lineup of healthy minerals and vitamins. When soaked, they form a gel that acts as a pre-biotic that feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. According to Dr. Axe, they support digestive and heart health, build strong bones and muscles, reduce signs of aging, and promote healthy skin. All of this, and they are low in calories too!
So they are good for you. But how do they taste? Chia seeds have a mild flavor that pairs well with vanilla, maple syrup, chocolate, and other pudding-enhancing flavors. I’ve fallen in love with chia pudding, which is incredibly fast and easy to make, and perfect for breakfasts on the go.
I got my basic Chia Pudding recipe from Wellness Mama. I’ve decided that I like more vanilla (I use a teaspoon) and less maple syrup (1-2 tablespoons), though you may want to use her original version.
Chia Seed Pudding
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (or less) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
From there you can add variations: chocolate, fruit, nut butters and nuts.
The easiest way to make the pudding is to combine all the ingredients except the seeds, then stir in the seeds. You’ll want to stir several times over about a 5 minute period until it begins to thicken. Then cap and store in the fridge. The next morning your pudding will be ready to eat. The seeds will still have a bit of texture. If you want a smoother version, you can whirr the pudding in a high speed blender as you are combining ingredients. You may
want to save the smooth version for chocolate chia pudding, as the dark seeds in the vanilla version will look a bit like concrete after blending.
Detoxinista has a recipe for a delicious Chai-Spiced Chia Pudding. Whir it in a high-speed blender, and you have breakfast. Or dessert. Or, an anytime healthy indulgence.
And CookiesandKate offers up a yummy orange-vanilla versions that tastes like a creamsicle.
Store your chia pudding in small jars so that you can grab a serving and go on a busy morning. Or, call it “dessert” and don’t let your kids in on the secret. Enjoy!