Changing gears quite dramatically here from my last post, from the traditional to the positively trendy. Today we’re talking about chia seed pudding, all the rage at the moment, and very easy to create at home.
We spoon chia seeds into our smoothies and oatmeal, and earlier this year I found success using them as an egg substitute in baking (like in this recipe for Vegan Chia, Lemon and Blueberry Cake). But, it’s only recently that we jumped on the pudding bandwagon, and we’re having fun concocting new flavor combinations as we go. Today’s post is a very basic version using coconut milk, and a good place to start if you’re new to chia. Simply mix the ingredients together and let stand for 1-2 hours in the fridge, then top with your favorite fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, dark chocolate buttons or whatever you’re craving.
Adversaries of tapioca may not fall instantly in love with chia pudding, since they both have that jiggly, jelly-like consistency that sets off alarms with the “textural issues” crowd. I find the texture pleasant, fun even. The thirsty seeds soak up so much of the liquid that, after sitting for about an hour, thickens into a fairly substantial treat. I’ve found that a small bowl with some fresh fruit is enough to satisfy my peckishness, sweet tooth and desire for new age-y health food in one go. Experiment with different milks – dairy, almond and coconut are my picks, but I’d love to hear what you use.
Chia seeds themselves are tasteless, which make them ideal for mixing into many different types of meals. They’re full of calcium, omega-3′s, protein, vitamin C and iron, to name a few redeeming qualities. Here are a few ideas on how to use them:
- Blend them into smoothies or fruit/veg juice
- Add a teaspoon to oatmeal or yogurt with fruit and nuts
- Toss them into salad
- Bake into muesli bars or trail mix bits
- Sprinkle a few pinches onto smashed avocado or hummus on toast (with some lemon and olive oil, too)
These days, the seeds are widely available at grocery stores and health food stores, and a few seeds go a long way (a teaspoon in smoothies or oatmeal is plenty). My tip: buy them from the bulk bins at your local farmers market or co-op. They are often sold much cheaper per pound or kilo, so you can enjoy more pudding with less strain on the purse strings.
- 1/3 cup white or black chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, cow's milk or nut milk
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling on top if desired
- Drop of vanilla extract
- 1/2 fresh mango, cubed
- Sliced bananas, kiwi and nectarines, shredded coconut and toasted almonds are other favorites
- Combine all pudding ingredients in a container, and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours, mixing occasionally. Serve with sliced mango and extra maple syrup, if desired.
- If the pudding is too thick for your tastes, add a dash more milk.
This recipe can be made in advance and stored overnight.
Audio pairing: Gorillaz, Empire Ants (Miami Horror remix)