Let's talk chia pudding! It's been my little obsession lately. I love it as breakfast, snack or lunch. When paired with an assortment of fruits it's so fresh, light and surprisingly filling. Add a little granola for even more texture and flavor. It's also extremely easy to make, just chia seeds & plant milk plus a little sweetener or spice if you like. Add them all together, place in your trusty fridge, shake/mix every few hours and within six hours or so you'll have yourself a perfect 'super food' pudding. If you make your own plant milk, you'll have a super food raw pudding! Texture wise this pudding is not too seedy or crunchy at all, these amazing little seeds will absorb the milk making them mostly gelatinous. There is much to love about this quick and easy treat. If you haven't tried chia pudding yet, I suggest you do so asap!
Chia seeds have been around a long time and are finally making it into the mainstream. They are no longer just seen in health food stores and are easily accessible. I see them at Target and all my local grocery stores. They are mostly found dark colored like the ones you see above but you can find white chia seeds online. In the world of vegan food, chia seeds act as a binder to replace eggs and also as a thickener, like for this pudding. When not making chia pudding, you can sprinkle them on smoothies, oatmeal, salads and make chia fresca (a drink). Chia seeds are small but nutritious and should be included in your heart healthy habits! Per 1 ounce serving (2 tablespoons) of chia seeds you'll get 138 calories, 9 grams of fat (I strive for 3 grams per 100 calories but this is healthy fat), 10 grams of fiber (amazing!), 4.7 grams of protein (not too shabby). They contain a concentrated amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, although they don't contain all the essential omegas like EPA or DHA, you'll still get a good dose of the others at 5 grams. All their fiber will help aid in digestion and elimination.
Above you'll see the difference of before and after. The top jar has just been mixed together and the bottom jar is what it will thicken up to look like after six hours or so. I used mason jars to make my chia pudding. The mason jars work great, all you have to do is shake the jar every few hours until it sets. They also make it easy to travel with. Fill your pint size jars half way using half the recipe, once set, fill the other half with fruit. Its a perfect take along lunch or snack!
My favorite way to eat chia pudding is with a mix of seasonal fruits. I call this the CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWL. Adding a little granola over top will add some extra texture. It's good to eat the rainbow! :)
VANILLA CHIA PUDDING
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (use your favorite)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or cocount, turbinado or organic pure cane sugar, optional
Place ingredients in container or bowl and mix well. Place covered in the refrigerator and mix every 1-2 hours until set. Mixing is important since the seeds will fall to the bottom of the container, if not shakin or stirred every now and then it won't set properly. Keep refrigerated, will last up to 5-6 days.
Serve as you like.
I usually eat about 1/3 with a bunch of fruit. Use mandarins oranges, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, mango, banana, apples, peaches, granola, nuts, seeds, etc. Mix and match your favorite fruits, nuts & seeds!
I use mason jars to prepare the pudding. This way you can shake the jar to mix instead of mixing with a utensil. Mason jars are also great for travelling.
I don't add sugar to my chia pudding but the option is there if you prefer a little sweetness.
Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom or other dessert type spices for a change of pace. I like simple vanilla and used Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean for this recipe, about 1/2-1 teaspoon. I love it and the jar goes a long way!