So lately, I have been trying to incorporate healthier food into my diet. Chia seeds were an easy addition because I could just add them into my homemade granola and get a decent serve with breakfast. I got into juicing last year too and really enjoy that, it just makes so much sense because there is no other way I could possibly eat that much veg in a day, pure nutrient hit. We the humanity are slowly awakening from our processed food diets and trying to incorporate more nutritional food into our life. I feel like the awareness is really spreading and people are truly embracing this healthier way to live. The amount of people eating raw and vegan diets is growing all the time. I completely see their how much healthier it is to go that way. But I still love my meat to much to ever consider giving it up. And I do buy the idea that if you eat a free range organic animal eating its natural diet, at least it had a good life when it lived and so have no qualms in eating it! Switch to grass fed beef and corn fed chicken or at least free range organic chicken and after a while you notice how flavorless the regular battery farm chickens are. I would rather eat meat less, but eat good quality when I do.
Anyway I digress… back to the topic of this gorgeous chia pudding! Me and my husband have been trying to avoid eating sweets and ice-cream, but after dinner we inevitably start looking around for some sugary treat. For a while I just got good dark chocolate and it seemed to work. But then it got a bit boring and I thought god there have to be some healthy sweets out there other than fruit! So I began looking at the raw food blogs and instagrams and since chia seeds were the only healthy thing I had, and uptil then had not been using them in anything but my morning bowl of granola, I was quite happy to give it a go.
The results as you will see, are very satisfying indeed. You will feel like you had a proper dessert and not guilty at all. In fact you did your body a favor! So good it is for you! They have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein! They will give you the most nutritional bang for minimal amount of calories. Do yourself a favor and if you haven’t already started, then please incorporate at least a tablespoon a day. They keep you satiated longer as they absorb 12 times their weight in liquid. In fact if you are trying to watch your calories you can mix some chia seeds in water (1/3 cup chia seeds to 2 cups water) so you end up with a chia gel in a four hours or so. Mix your gel with more water and drink this by itself or adding to smoothies to keep yourself feeling full with very few calories.
Anyway, that’s enough of diet and weight loss tips, now here is the amazing recipe. By the way you can now get cartons of Silk pure coconut milk next to the almond milks in refrigerators of your supermarkets…for New Yorkers even Fresh Direct stocks it. This was a great discovery for me last week, it is already slightly sweet, so you won’t be able to use it for thai curries or anything. I know because the first time I used it without tasting it and added it to a nice Goan fish curry I was making! It totally threw off the flavors, making it a tad sweet when it was meant to be sour and tangy. Anyway…I digress again….This milk is great in your granola or chia puddings! I am sure I will find more uses for it, cause at the moment I am in love with it and can’t imagine how I went on till now with it being in my life! It is thinner in consistency than tinned coconut milk and much lower in calories (90 calories a cup). You can of course also use almond milk instead of this coconut milk and it will be even healthier.
After my success with the basic version of the pudding, I got a little adventurous and added a couple of tablespoons of quality dark cocoa powder to the pudding mix before sticking it in the fridge. It was absolutely yummy and gives me a nice chocolate option too!
GLORIOUS CHIA PUDDING
2 cups milk (coconut milk/ almond milk /whole milk)
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1.5-2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup ( or agave nectar or honey)
sweetened shredded coconut (I like the one from trader joes, even use it in my granola)
ripe strawberries or raspberries (mango if you can get some quality sweet ones)
raw blanched slivered almonds
semi sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate shavings (for the chocolate version of the pudding)
Mix the chia seeds into the milk and break up any lumps with your whisk. Add vanilla and maple syrup, mix. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in fridge for a minimum of four hours.
When you are ready to eat, take out of fridge and give it a good stir. If it is too thick then you may want to loosen it up a little bit by adding a couple of tablespoons of milk. Taste the pudding and add more maple syrup to your taste if you don’t find it sweet enough.
Now you can dish it up in some pretty bowls or martini glasses for some wow factor. Sprinkle the top with some ripe sweet sliced strawberries, some slivered almonds, and shredded sweetened coconut.
Now enjoy each bite as you savor this good for you dessert! No need to workout extra long tomorrow!