Have you ever bought something that you heard people talking about, that you thought you should start eating and would figure out how to get it into your diet soon but never did, only to have that something sit in your pantry forever? That would be a scenario with me and chia seeds a few years ago. I kept reading about these little nutritional powerhouses and I was easily convinced about all their benefits and that I should be incorporating them into my diet, but I hadn’t the slightest idea how to actually eat them. Chia seeds are super high in Omega-3 fats (which many of us don’t consume enough of) and antioxidants. They have almost double the fiber of flaxseeds, as well as lots of protein, calcium, iron and magnesium. What is unique about chia seeds is their gel-like consistency when they are soaked in liquid. They become thick like tapioca and that gel actually helps to keep everything moving very smoothly throughout our bodies.
Most suggestions that I originally encountered for consuming chia seeds were to “sprinkle” them on food, such as oatmeal or yogurt. That was fine for me, but the kiddos and Mr. Picky Sr. weren’t going for it. My next idea was to add chia seeds to cookie dough, which did make for a delicious almond butter and chia seed cookie. But a cookie isn’t going to give you a heck of a lot of chia seeds/nutrition. Finally I heard about chia pudding – an instant, raw, thick and silky pudding of chia seeds soaked in a barely sweetened liquid. Sold! Not only is chia pudding even easier to make than tofu chocolate pudding, but I think it’s even more delicious!
I have two versions to share with you because even though I love the plain Jane vanilla version, Mr. Picky thought it looked like tiny eyeballs and wouldn’t try it. So I added a little cocoa powder to make it chocolate-y and less like, well, eyeballs. Both versions are great. I eat vanilla chia seed pudding for breakfast with berries or diced banana on top and it fills me up for a good long while. Mr. Picky and his buddies love the chocolate pudding after school with lots of different toppings like coconut, raspberries or sliced almonds. Check out the video I did below for The Chalkboard on how to make this delicious concoction. Naturally I used date-sweetened Pressed Juicery almond milk to make it, but you can follow the recipe below.
Now that we’re hooked, I’d love to hear your favorite way to eat chia seeds!
chia seed pudding
1 ¼ cups almond milk
3 pitted dates or sweetener of choice, to taste
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-2 ½ Tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (if making chocolate pudding), depending on how chocolaty you like it
¼ cup chia seeds
- Place almond milk, dates, vanilla and cacao in blender and process until dates are pulverized. A Vitamix does a great job with this. If your blender leaves the dates too chunky, you can strain the mixture before adding it to the chia seeds.
- Pour chia seeds into a medium container and add almond milk mixture. Stir immediately to combine otherwise you may end up with blobs of chia seeds. Allow to sit on countertop and stir every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, it should have thickened.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. I usually do this the night before. Stays in the fridge for as long as your almond milk would. Fun to add toppings like fresh fruit, coconut or chopped nuts.