Golden Chia Seed Pudding
by Jennifer Desrosiers
I have a couple of REALLY big weaknesses. I'll going on public record to say that I can eat my weight in french fries and vanilla ice cream all in the same night. Ice cream is definitely my biggest problem though. Why? Because it's easy to get and I'm in love with the sweet, creamy texture. It doesn't help that there is a cute little shop a short walk from my townhouse. Plus, now there are all of these cute boutique brands that use minimal ingredients and coconut milk. Hello!
I'm pretty sure vanilla ice cream is the best palette cleanser ever, and I've even convinced myself that it helps "settle" my stomach on more than one occasion. What a riot?! Now let's be honest, ice cream every now and again is nothing to get all frantic around. A girl's gotta have a little fun. BUT when I find myself reaching into the frig for the 4th night in a row I know I've awakened the beast.
Awakening my sugar monster will send me spiraling for sometimes days (weeks/months) and I'll find myself reaching for carbs at every opportunity whether I'm hungry or not. Part of my wellness journey has been to understand what works for me and what doesn't. That said, I've become a happy intermittent faster and focusing on eating plenty of clean, healthy fats instead of sugar.
Chia seed pudding satisfies a lot of my ice cream cravings. Creamy, cold, and satisfying, I dig how versatile it is too. I can make a big batch, fill mason jars, and grab them on the go as a satisfying snack, as recovery food after yoga, or a treat after dinner.
Chances are you've at least heard of chia seeds. These powerhouse seeds started to get a lot of attention after Chris McDougall’s book, Born to Run was published in 2009. It's an awesome read and in it he talks about how the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico fuel themselves by chewing on chia seeds or "sipping" on a chia paste called pinole. The Tarahumara are known as great runners, and will run distances from 50-200 miles in a period of 1-2 days as a means of entertainment and camaraderie, transportation, or hunting. Eating chia seeds as fuel dates well back in the ancient Mayan cultures as well.
Chia seeds are hygroscopic which means they absorb moisture. They are rich in soluble fiber and alpha lineic acid making them a powerful prebiotic supporting a healthy gut and digestion. In fact, by weight chia seeds contain more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon. They are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and high in protein.
The good news is that chia seeds can now be found in just about every grocery store. They are versatile and can be added to everything from soup to salad dressing to your morning smoothie.
Lately I've been exploring putting all sorts of superfoods, spices, and healthy fats into my coffee or steamed nut milk. That's another post for another day, BUT it got me thinking about chia seed pudding. The general rule for chia seed pudding is 1 cup liquid + 2 tbsp chia seeds. From there you can rock your big heart out with spices, superfoods, fruit, and healthy sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. At Laney & Lu Cafe, we serve a Turmeric Latte so good it will make your dreams come true! I thought it would be fun to recreate this latte into pudding.
GOLDEN CHIA SEED PUDDING
Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Optional
1 - 16oz can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk, or other nut or seed milk
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp collagen protein powder, I used this one from Vital Proteins. (Veggie friends you'll skip this one!)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder, more or less to taste
1-2 dash of black pepper to taste (Boosts absorption of the active ingredients of turmeric)
1 tbsp local honey, more or less to taste (Maple syrup works too!)
(1) Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk well.
(2) Place bowl in refrigerator. Set a timer to 5 minutes.
(3) Whisk again, and repeat 5-10 minutes later. This will help ensure your chia seed pudding is smooth.
(4) OPTION: If you are not a big fan of the "tapioca" like texture of chia seeds, use a blender to blend all ingredient until smooth.
(5) Layer berries or other fruit and pudding into glass mason jars. I used pear, blueberry, and strawberry.
(6) Cover them tightly and refrigerate overnight.
(7) Enjoy within 5-7 days.
A couple of notes. I almost always go easy on sweeteners. In my opinion, once the chia seed is completely cooled and set up, the sweetness comes through a lot more. Plus, the fruit add a nice layer of sweetness to counter the bitterness of turmeric. I suggest you stick with 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup. You can always drizzle more on top later.
Enjoy, my friends!
Jen is co-founder of Wild Adventurous Life and founder of Laney & Lu Cafe. She is a VT native, adventurer, certified yoga teacher, wellness + lifestyle coach, and entrepreneur. She proclaims herself to be passionate about a lot of things, but an expert at none.
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